The Ballot Initiative to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions

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The Ballot Initiative to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions

From Animal Law Coalition
July 2010

The 2010 ballot initiative to ban Ohio dog auctions is well underway! Signatures obtained during the initial drive carried over, and volunteers are working to gather a total of 120,700 signatures needed to submit the dog auction ban to the state legislature in 2011.

For more on the initiative and how it works and most importantly how you can help.....

The WHAS-11 news team has been working on in partnership with the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions for several months. The story includes coverage of nine dogs rescued from this past Saturday's sale and an assault initiated against a WHAS11 investigative team member by auction owner, Harold Neuhart! It should be noted that several dogs from this sale tested positive for brucellosis - as confirmed by East Holmes Veterinary Clinic - and two were euthanized, with one scheduled to be euthanized.

Katie Davis, League of Humane Voters of Ohio, elaborates:

 "Something many animal advocates don't know about the pet industry... is that mill dogs are often subjected to the additional misery of being shuffled between puppy mills throughout their lives. Such transactions occur largely through dog auctions, which in general, are events held by low standard, USDA-licensees and others involved with high volume/low quality dog breeding.

"Dog auctions are held primarily for backyard breeders and other puppy mill owners, thereby providing an efficient way to sell dogs, who are no longer producing as many puppies as when they were first bred and/or who have developed medical and/or behavioral problems. In this way, dog auctions .... provide an easy method for puppy mill owners to increase their sales revenue.

"Of course an increase in dog overpopulation exacerbates the problem of pet abandonment; results in more demand for already overstretched rescue and shelter resources; leads to more dogs being killed in shelters, due to the lack of good adopters; causes more demand for increased tax dollars and charitable donations to run shelters and rescues; and results in extra stress for shelter and rescue workers.

"Something else less apparent to most animal advocates is that prior to and after auctions, dogs and pups are driven for long distances, sometimes for more than 10 hours, when they are taken for sale in such places as Holmes County, OH (about 60 miles southwest of Canton). Dogs and pups being transported to and from auctions are not only exposed to extreme weather conditions, but also deprived of food and water for very long periods, including the many hours while the auctions are actually going on.

"Typically, a minimum of 250 dogs are sold per auction in Ohio, at prices ranging from over $1,000/dog to as little as $1/dog. Fortunately, Ohio dog auctions have not "successfully" spread out of Holmes County yet, where they were started in 2004. So dog auctions are a relatively recent addition to similar Ohio auctions held nearby, where - shamefully -- exotic and other types of abused and neglected animals are sold (e.g., native Ohio wildlife, horses, cattle, pigs, etc.) Dog auctions are an outgrowth of the thriving Ohio puppy mill business. According to testimony given at an Ohio Puppy Mill Bill hearing by mass puppy producer and co-founder of the Buckeye Dog Auction, Ervin Raber, it is a $9 million dollar/year industry for Holmes County."