Ohio is believed to have hundreds of dog-rescue operations, but only a fraction has registered, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. The registration requirement was among regulations put into effect starting this year to crack down on puppy mills.
Martha Leary of Star-Mar Rescue in Wooster helped write the law and said the state has sent rescue organizations letters about compliance.
“Some organizations are scared of possible inspection, and rightfully so, and some honestly feel that the law doesn’t pertain to them,” she told the newspaper.
Ohio Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Erica Hawkins said a lag in compliance isn’t uncommon when such regulation starts from scratch.
High-volume dog breeders in the state — anyone who sells more than 60 dogs or has nine or more litters in a calendar year — were required to register by Jan. 1. Generally, the law prohibits a person from acting as a dog retailer in Ohio without a state license.
The law describes a rescue as one that cannot operate for profit, sell dogs for a profit, breed dogs or purchase more than nine dogs in a calendar year unless they come from a shelter, animal warden, humane society or another animal rescue.