Dog breeders to be licensed in law meant for puppy mills

Regulations meant to crack down on puppy mills in Ohio will require licenses for breeders and clean cages for dogs.
Associated Press
Dec 31, 2013


The licensing requirements that take effect with the new year mean dog breeders who produce at least nine litters and at least 60 dogs in a year will need to get a state license.

Those who buy from breeders and sell to pet stores must also get a license.

Ohio has had a reputation of being soft on oversight of large dog breeding operations.

The legislation regulating puppy mills has been seven years in the making and was approved more than a year ago, The Columbus Dispatch reported.

But because rules about care, caging and other standards had to go through a legislative process, the Ohio Department of Agriculture set the licensing deadline for Jan. 1.

How many breeders will be licensed isn’t known yet.

About 300 people have identified themselves as high-volume breeders in a survey, said Erica Hawkins, a spokeswoman for the department of agriculture

The department has about 100 license applications in progress and has completed 13, she said.

The law sets standards for housing and care of puppies and dogs. Those include making sure kennels are clean, properly ventilated and have temperature controls.

It also regulates how much space the dogs have and requires shelter from weather.

Background checks and insurance also will be required for breeders. They also must have a relationship with a veterinarian who can provide care for the animals.

The department of agriculture has hired four inspectors, a supervisor and staff to oversee the program, Hawkins said.

It also opened an office in Millersburg in Holmes County, which is home to many dog breeders.

The Ohio Association of Animal Owners backed the law as it was debated in the legislature and said it long believed dog breeding should be overseen by the state’s agriculture department.



A step in the right direction. Many of these puppy mills have deplorable conditions. Animal lovers should consider the amount of homeless and over-bred dogs out there as it is, and adopt instead of shopping for a designer breed.


LadyC has it exactly right. You can always spend a lot of money for a dog with various pedigrees. But inbreeding is almost invariably an issue, and many breeds have now developed negative traits (hip dysplasia, for example) that breed true.

If you're not looking for a show dog (and not many people are) but rather a companion animal, rescue a shelter dog. Mutts often share the most positive characteristics of their component breeds, and frequently see the mix eliminate or minimize other issues. It's cheaper; you'll end up with what is almost certainly a better pet; and you'll save a life rather than encourage the breeding of still more "assembly line" animals. As an added bonus, anybody who's adopted an "unwanted" animal can tell you: They never, NEVER forget who saved them, and you'll reap those benefits for as long as your pet is alive.


Great comment, could not agree more.


Rescued my cat from a blizzard in 2003- great companion- wants to be everywhere I am. Bought a Samoyed (similar to malamute) years ago from pet store- dumbest animal I had ever seen. Learned my lesson.