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Trying to Ban Dog Auctions in Ohio

Story ID:5542
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Local History
Location:various Ohio USA
Person:Mary O'Connor-Shaver
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I received permission to cross post this article re dog auctions in Ohio from Donna Miller of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Sadly, the pictures of examples of the products of puppy mills did not take, but hopefully their message of ill treatment and despair will be read by anyone who believes that dog auctions in Ohio should be stopped to dry up the cruel Amish Puppy Mills which feed these dog auctions. Even though the deadline for the ban ballot petition has expired, I believe that Mary O'Connor-Shaver of info@columbustopdogs.com believes that they may still have a chance to get the needed number of signers. Any Ohioan reading this and wishing to help stop the influx of these poor puppy mill dogs into Ohio, please contact her at the above e-mail address if you think you can help.

Here is the article:
Opponents of dog auctions in Ohio reach deadline for petition drive: Animals in the News
By Donna J. Miller, Plain Dealer reporter
December 14, 2009, 7:30AM

St. Francis Animal Sanctuary -Isabelle was born at a puppy mill with a cleft palate and sold at the Farmerstown auction. A grass-roots effort to close Ohio's only dog auction, in Holmes County, and outlaw dog auctions statewide could fizzle today if activists circulating petitions for the last 10 weeks haven't collected 120,700 signatures from voters in 44 of Ohio's 88 counties.

Those signatures are needed by today's deadline to put the proposal before legislators in January. If legislators fail to enact the ban within 90 days, 120,700 more signatures will be needed to put the issue on the November 2010 ballot.

All that effort to shut down one auction that has sold about 2,450 dogs and puppies this year?

"Yes, because the dog auction is a symptom of the puppy mill industry," said Mary O'Connor-Shaver of Ban Ohio Dog Auctions. "Dogs sold at auction live deplorably, to be bred over and over and shuffled between puppy mills. They churn out puppies to supply pet stores, Internet sales and the auction in Farmerstown."

About 400 dogs were auctioned there Saturday.

Activists have protested outside the auction for several years and gone inside to observe. They report seeing ill, weak, dirty, injured and genetically flawed dogs. No cameras or cell phones are allowed.

The auctions have been banned in Pennsylvania since 1982, so large-scale breeders there often haul their dogs to Farmerstown.

The issue is discussed at tinyurl.com/yll2jx2 and banohiodogauctions.com. Geauga County voters are signing the petition at the county humane society's shelter at 15463 Chillicothe Road in Russell Township. Geauga Humane's director, Hope Brustein, says puppy mill operators' "primary motivation is profit rather than good breeding practices or the well-being of the dogs."

Petitions are available at the Cleveland Animal Protective League in Tremont, or download it here, Initiative_Petition.pdf. For details, e-mail info@banohiodogauctions.com or call 614-271-8248.

Thank you Donna Miller for reporting this story and many thanks to Mary O'Connor-Shaver and all those who work so tirelessly with her to enact a bill which will ban auctions in Ohio and which will hopefully lead to the eventual closing of puppy mills. At least with the passage of a dog ban in Ohio, these unreputable people will not be able to take these poor puppies across state lines into Ohio. I think good people who recognize this problem will refuse to buy dogs at pet stores, at internet sales, and auctions elsewhere. There are more than enough dogs awaiting good homes through the shelters and rescue groups. And another reminder-responsible owners alter their pets. Too many die lonely and hungry on the streets when people tire of them and just dump them to fend on their own. And too many die in shelters where the unwanted animals are put down to make room for the newcomers.