Kindly write or call important decision makers in Columbus to push back against the contentious amendment in HB 166!
The “Pet Store Animal Sales” amendment, recently slipped into HB 166, an unrelated tax cleanup bill, lays a legal foundation for continuing ‘profits over pups’.
This amendment aims to OVERTURN the ban on the sale of mill animals in pet stores already passed in Toledo and Grove City and to STOP future ordinances from passing in Ohio cities.
This amendment overrides “home rule”, the ability of individual jurisdictions to understand and to regulate their local issues. Will the state legislature be enacting other legislation to nullify more local ordinances?
The ever-popular “End Big Government” chorus is silent here. State legislators appear to be strong-arming the small jurisdictions by moving suddenly on this undesirable amendment, right before summer break. These legislators are now poised to impose the will of a few onto the many.
Costly, ongoing problems come with the purchase of mill animals. Designer pets, originating in mills, with hidden health and behavior problems, are often sold for $1,000, $1,500, even several thousands of dollars per animal. Cleaned up, groomed, and endearing – but seriously defective – pets are sold to unsuspecting consumers.
Moreover, this recently added amendment is a clear example of special interests and lobbyists directing the legislature. Petland has a law suit against Grove City because of the ordinance that passed there in March to ban mill animals from being sold in pet stores.
Petland approached Senator Bob Peterson (R) of Chillicothe, where Petland’s world headquarters is located, to add this amendment to a bill. Senator Peterson is the chair of the Senate Ways and Means committee, that is hearing HB 166 with the horrendous, Petland-backed amendment.
Also, the “Pet Stores Animal Sales” amendment states, “The regulation of pet stores is a matter of general statewide interest that requires statewide regulation.” I agree that this is a laudable goal. It should, however, be reached in a decidedly different manner. Instead of voiding local ordinances with state bills, the senators should be applauding the legislative initiatives and due diligence of Grove City and Toledo.
Widespread awareness of the miserable conditions in which animals are raised by large-scale, dog merchants has launched a flurry of protective, legislative action across the nation. Over 160 jurisdictions nationwide have passed ordinances to ban the sale of mill animals in pet stores with a half dozen more poised to pass their own ordinances.
More than 21 states (AZ, AK, CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NB, NV, NH, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA) have enacted “Puppy Lemon Laws”. “Puppy Lemon” laws are common sense consumer protections that guard against individuals unknowingly buying a dog or cat with expensive, health or severe behavior problems.
Senator Peterson was recently quoted in the media as saying he wanted to see animals coming from USDA-licensed breeders. Unfortunately, Senator, the USDA-licensed breeders require only the most bare, minimum standards of care to keep an animal alive.
Pet stores nationwide regularly advertise that their puppies and kittens come from USDA-licensed breeders. This is an attempt to relax unsuspecting consumers. The consumers believe that this means these animals are not bred in mills. That is not so. That USDA-license neither assures that the animals were housed in sanitary conditions nor confirms that the animals had adequate, veterinary care.
Big business is at its worst here. One business with its world headquarters in Ohio is directing state law, against the will of the voters across the state.
There is a hearing in Columbus on HB 166 this Wednesday WITH A POSSIBLE VOTE. We do not want the amendment to be voted on in committee. We want the amendment to be taken out.
If the committee votes on HB 166 WITH the amendment, it is also possible that HB 166 could move to the Senate floor for a vote. This would not be good.
There is a similar, pet store bill in Arizona that has passed both the House and the Senate. It awaits the governor’s signature.
“’We want to grow in all four corners of the state,’ said Mike Gonidakis, Petland attorney and lobbyist. ‘Our world headquarters is in Chillicothe. We’re a family-owned business that employs 500 people statewide in over 20 stores, and we want to grow. But radicals have been picking off city councils one at a time to ban us from operating.’”
Both Toledo and Grove City Councils have passed resolutions opposing this amendment.
When Illinois Governor Quinn signed his “Puppy Lemon” bill into law, he stated, ”This law … is all about protecting our pets and protecting our families who love their pets. We don’t want those who are conducting these puppy mills anywhere in the United States to get away with what they’re doing. That’s our real mission.”
Please write or call the members of the Senate Ways and Means committee. RESPECTFULLY ask that the “Pet Stores Animal Sales” amendment be taken out of HB 166.
“Dear Chair Peterson, Vice Chair Beagle, Ranking Minority Member Tavares, and honorable members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee,”
“I strongly urge you to strike the “Pet Store Animal Sales” amendment, recently slipped into HB 166, a tax cleanup bill.”
“I stand firmly against this amendment for several reasons. First, I am opposed to the state legislators working to end ‘home rule’. Local jurisdictions are in the best position to know what their community values are and to make their own ordinances. This is yet another example of ‘big government’ deciding what’s best for all and imposing laws which the local jurisdictions do not want.”
“Second, state legislation should protect unsuspecting consumers from buying unhealthy, unsocialized animals instead of opening the floodgates to sell more mill animals.”
“Third, this recently added amendment relates specifically to one, Ohio business whose world headquarters is located in the chair of the committee’s district, Chillicothe.”
“In closing, I urge you to strike this contentious amendment from HB 166 before the next committee meeting.”
Senate Ways and Means Committee
Sen Bob Peterson, Chair (R), (614) 466-8156 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Bill Beagle (R), (614) 466-6247 email@example.com
Sen Chaleta Tavares (D), Ranking Minority Member (614) 466-5131 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Troy Balderson (R), (614) 466-8076 email@example.com
Sen Capri Cafaro (D), (614) 466-7182 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Frank LaRose (R), (614) 466-4823 email@example.com
Sen John Eklund (R), (614) 644-7718 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Bob Hackett (R), (614) 466-3780 email@example.com
Sen Kris Jordan (R), (614) 466-8086 firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen Sandra Williams (D), (614) 466-4857 email@example.com
Please copy your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com They have been reporting on the amendment.