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!”
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.