The movement to ban dog auctions in Ohio is gaining momentum. The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions (CBODA) advocacy group has been working for several years to gather enough signatures to be able to present the Ohio Dog Auctions Act to the Ohio General Assembly. The CBODA recently collected the necessary number of signatures and is awaitng the certification review in order to be able to present the bill to the Ohio General Assembly.
The Ohio Dog Auctions Act targets dog auctions, a little known aspect of the puppy mill industry. The hope is that the Act will put a stop to dog auctions in Ohio in order to help stem this key supply channel for the puppy mill industry.
Dog auctions in Ohio serve as a major distribution channel for breeders that run large-scale breeding facilities. Buyers and sellers come from across the country to buy and sell dogs for the purpose of profit. The dogs at these auctions are sold for their breeding capabilities, much like livestock would be at agricultural auctions.
Many of the dogs sold at these auctions are found to be unhealthy, not screened for genetic diseases, and do not show resemblance to the breed or temperment standards. They can sell for just a few dollars up to a few hundred dollars. An the end of the chain, the dogs or their litters are sold to pet stores where unsuspecting consumers purchase them. The new pet owners often face massive unexpected vet bills, and owners unwilling or unable to pay for the pets care will frequently abandon the dogs at shelters or put the animal down.
"Reputable breeders will not buy and sell their dogs at dog auctions," said Mary O'Connor-Shaver, CBODA representative. According to Mary O'Connor Shaver, "Dog fanciers (hobby and show breeders) served as the catalyst for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act. These breeders, along with voters from the humane community, strongly endorse this ballot iniative as an effective way to address a major distribution channel serving puppy-mill breeders from 15 states, many of whom have long-standing, repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act and/or have been convicted of animal cruelty."
Polly Britton, a lobbyist for the Ohio Association of Animal Owners likening dog auctions to livestock auctions, saying there is "absolutely nothing inherently wrong with selling animals at auction. And Ohio is not in the business of putting animal owners out of business, especially in today's shaky economy." She predicts that Ohio legislators will fail to enact the ban.
Footage from Farmerstown Dog Auction in Ohio in January 2011
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