OHIO ANIMAL ACTION ALERT!
SB 331. “Dog Sales in Pet Stores”, IS EXPECTED TO HAVE AMENDMENTS AND TO BE VOTED ON and PASSED BY THE FULL HOUSE THIS WEEK!
Your VOICES & TWEETS are needed to STOP the passage of SB 331,”Dog Sales in Pet Stores”
Tuesday, December 4 – House Finance Committee hearing, possible amendments added
Some two hundred jurisdictions across the nation have passed ordinances, banning the sale of mill animals in pet stores.
Additionally, some twenty-one states have passed “Puppy Lemon Laws”. These laws promote the humane treatment of animals and protect unsuspecting consumers from purchasing unhealthy, unsocialized animals.
OHIO is headed in the OPPOSITE direction!
It appears that special interests and big business influence state law. The chorus of “No More Big Government” is silent here. State government is strong-arming Ohio voters by moving quickly to OVERTURN “home rule” in Toledo and Grove City and to prevent it from popping up in jurisdictions across the state.
These bills are primarily an affront to our Ohio Constitution. Our Constitution has “home rule”. “Home rule” intends to protect the wisdom of each community to know best what its own values are and to independently legislate in order to preserve those values.
When Petland comes a-knocking, our state legislators open the door wide. The Statehouse ignores the state Constitution, the will of its voters, and the orderly progression of bills.
The business interests of one company, Petland, are being promoted by the Ohio General Assembly over “home rule”, the will of the voters, consumer protections, and animal welfare.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Ohio, CALL your STATE REPRESENTATIVES and the HOUSE FINANCE COMMITTEE in opposition to SB 331. Instructions and contact information follow below. This bill is a runaway locomotive, … but that does not mean we should not try.
- If you buy pet food, animal toys, pet shampoo, or pet products of any kind, thank you for only supporting those stores that advocate for our animal friends and the families that purchase them.
SB 331, “Dog Sales in Pet Stores”, PASSED the Ohio Senate. It aims to pass the House in the next couple of weeks.
Sponsor – Senator Bob Peterson (R), Cosponsors – Senators John Eklund (R) and Bill Seitz (R)
https://www.legislature.ohio.gov/legislation/legislation-summary?id=GA131-SB-331 (Read SB 331 here.)
Please RESPECTFULLY write or call the members of the House Finance committee. It’s always better to tweak the script to make it fresh. Calls require more effort of the office staff than e-mails; therefore, our calls make a stronger impression in Columbus.
You might say, “Good morning, Chair Smith. This is (your name) from (your city). I strongly urge you to VOTE NO on SB 331, ‘Dog Sales in Pet Stores’.
“I stand firmly against this bill for several reasons. First, it was only introduced in the late spring. SB 331 is being fast-tracked and has not been properly vetted.
“Second, I am opposed to the state legislators stomping on ‘home rule’, embedded in the Ohio Constitution. “Home rule” says 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’ (132 state legislators) deciding what’s best for all and imposing laws which the local jurisdictions do not want.
“Third, state legislation should protect unsuspecting families from buying defective, unsocialized animals instead of opening the floodgates to sell more mill animals.
“Fourth, how do the wishes of one, Ohio business, Petland, override the wishes of the voters in Toledo, Grove City, and in jurisdictions across the state?
“Again, I urge you to VOTE NO on SB 331, ‘Dog Sales in Pet Stores’.”
House Finance Committee
Rep Ryan Smith (R), Chair (614) 466-1366 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Scott Ryan (R), Vice Chair (614) 466-1482 email@example.com
Rep Denise Driehaus (D), Ranking Minority Member (614) 466-5786 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Marlene Anielski (R), (614) 644-6041 email@example.com
Rep Nickie J. Antonio (D), (614) 466-5921 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Kevin Boyce (D), (614) 466-5343 email@example.com
Rep Tony Burkley (R), (614) 644-5091 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Jack Cera (D), (614) 466-3735 email@example.com
Rep Kathleen Clyde (D), (614) 466-2004 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Robert Cupp (R), (614) 466-9624 email@example.com
Rep Timothy Derickson (R), (614) 644-5094 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep John Patterson (D), (614) 466-1405 email@example.com
Rep Debbie Phillips (D), (614) 466-2158 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep Barbara Sears (R), (614) 466-1731 email@example.com
Today, I am Ohio. I am shocked at what happened in Arizona this year. I am chilled at what is happening right now in Ohio.
A rotting stink is slowly wafting across the nation. It’s not just the usual, rising stench of the 10,000 mills with puppies and kittens, endlessly crated, lying in their own waste. This nasty odor starts in Arizona. A bill was signed this spring into law by Arizona Governor Ducey. This new state law, allowing pet stores to sell animals from large-scale breeders (AKA “puppy mills”), trumps and VOIDS ordinances already in effect in the cities of Tempe and Phoenix, and finishes off the proposed ordinance in Tucson. These three cities had independently legislated that they would only allow shelter and rescue dogs to be sold in pet stores. The state legislature decided otherwise for them.
The new law also STOPS other Arizona jurisdictions from passing such ordinances in the future.
Arizona’s initiative is larger than the mill animals being sold in pet stores. Please note that there are some 18, Arizona state bills that aim to trump local ordinances.
Additionally, there is a state bill that intends to withhold state funds from jurisdictions that want to pass local ordinances that do not line up with the Arizona legislature’s proposals.
Two, fast-tracked, Ohio bills
This same rotten funk is now hovering over Ohio. Two bills are being fast-tracked at the end of the legislative session against the will of Ohioans and against “home rule”, embedded in the Ohio Constitution.
Two years ago, Toledo passed an ordinance, banning the sale of mill animals in pet stores. Grove City passed this same ordinance in March.
So, Petland pushed back hard. First, it sued Grove City Council because it not want the local ordinance. Then, Petland, whose international headquarters is in Chillicothe, approached Senator Bob Peterson (R) of Chillicothe, to sponsor state legislation similar to Arizona’s.
SB 331, sponsored by Senator Peterson (R) moved through committee and passed a full Senate vote in about a week, lightning speed. Amendments are expected to be added this week. A full House vote is expected to pass SB 331 this week, the last week of the General Assembly.
These bills are not good for mill animals, where profit stomps puppies, and not good for unsuspecting, pet owners. Additionally, the passage of these initiatives does not bode well for the passage of future, animal welfare legislation in Ohio. These bills must be stopped.
What can you do to stop these bills from being enacted? Call Speaker Rosenberger’s office (614) 466-3506 today to RESPECTFULLY oppose SB 331, Dog Sales in Pet Stores!
You might say, “Good morning! This is (your name) from (your city). I am calling to ask Speaker Rosenberger to use his authority as Speaker of the Ohio House to oppose SB 331, Dog Sales in Pet Stores.
“SB 331 is not good for Ohio animals, families, or communities. It perpetuates the inhumane treatment of animals by large-scale breeders. It does not protect unsuspecting families, who buy pet store animals that often have enormous medical and behavior problems. It stomps ‘home rule’, embedded in the Ohio Constitution. Ohio jurisdictions know what their own community values are, and are capable of legislating accordingly.
“Most states across the nation are moving in the OPPOSITE direction. Their pet stores use the successful business model of selling pets from shelters and humane agencies, not large-scale breeders.
“Thank you for using your leadership to protect Ohio animals, families, and communities by OPPOSING the passage of SB 331!”
Testimony before the Ohio House Finance Agriculture Subcommittee
March 11, 2015
Good morning, Chair Thompson, Ranking Member O’Brien, Representative Burkley, Representative Cera, and Representative Hall,
I am Beth Sheehan. I live in Cincinnati. I have come to reinforce the testimony of Ms. Theresa Stir, executive director of the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board (OVMLB), who asked you for additional funds for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. The OVMLB needs these funds in order to strengthen its veterinary oversight program. I am specifically asking for an additional $100,000.
Right now about half of the funds from that licensure passes through the Veterinary Board and into a General Fund, not to be touched by the Veterinary Board. Please release the Veterinary Board’s own funds for use in animal hospital inspections.
Three, primary reasons for having increased animal hospital inspections are community disease control, illegal drugs control, and consumer protection. The Center for Disease Control states that 75% of emerging infectious, human diseases come from animals. These are zoonotic diseases that pass between animal and human species. So, the possibility of disease spread in an unhygienic, animal hospital not only negatively impacts the animals’ health, but also threatens the health of the workers and pet owners. Public health is at stake here.
Veterinarians are licensed to prescribe and have regular access to drugs. Yet, the drugs housed and used in animal hospitals go largely unchecked. The black hole in veterinary oversight leaves a lot of room for bad actors, flying low under the radar, to take advantage. Right now in Ohio there is a background check just once during the career of a veterinarian, when he first applies for his license. In Ohio, that fledgling veterinarian and his animal hospital can both go unchecked and unnoticed for the rest of his career until he retires.
There have been several cases, most notably Alvin Burger of Canton, Ohio and Brandi Tomko of Summit County, Ohio, who were both found guilty of practicing veterinary medicine without a license in their county courts. Where were these individuals getting their veterinary drugs to use in their illegal practice?
Additionally, Lee Ann Givan, DVM, was severely censored by the Tennessee Veterinary Board for a host of behaviors, including illegal use of drugs. What did Dr. Givan do then? She promptly moved to Ohio, where she was issued a license. She was later sanctioned by the OVMLB for getting drugs for her two dogs, but using them herself.
Recently, Michael Smith, DVM, of Zanesville, Ohio, his son, Eryn R. Smith, and Travis E. Ryan, “were indicted following a more than 2-year, multiagency investigation into a prescription drug trafficking ring.” Hopefully, the increased inspections of animal hospitals would be another prong to successfully work against prescription drug trafficking rings in Ohio.
Third, the mission statement of the OVMLB is “consumer protection”. Right now Ohio veterinarians are “on the honor system”. Ohio consumers remain unprotected if the conditions and operations of their animal hospitals are unknown and unmonitored by the state agency that issues the licenses. In fact, it is only in recent months that the number of animal hospitals and their locations became known by the OVMLB.
Finally, I appreciate the opportunity to speak with the Ohio House Finance subcommittee today about the need for the Ohio Veterinary Board to have access to an additional $100,000 of its own money. These funds will be used to increase animal hospital inspections, aimed at protecting public health, monitoring illegal use of drugs, and protecting the consumer.