An Ohio bill to crack down on high-volume dog breeding operations, dubbed puppy mills, is headed to the governor's desk.
The Ohio Senate signed off, 32-1, to House changes. A spokesman for Gov. John Kasich says he plans to sign it.
The measure bolsters regulations on the care and treatment of animals housed in large-scale establishments and distinguishes the facilities from traditional dog kennels. Those considered "dog retailers" will have to be licensed.
The bill creates an advisory board to provide guidance on care standards for the facilities. It also allows the director of the state's agriculture department to contract with local veterinarians to conduct inspections.
Kellie DiFrishchia, director of the Columbus Dog Connection, said that it was a great day for dogs.
“We finally have an opportunity, for the first time in Ohio’s history, to look at high-volume breeders and make sure they’re doing things well,” DiFrishchia said. “Ohio’s gotten a black eye over all these years as having a welcome mat out for bad breeders from other states.”
The law also would make animal rescue groups, like Columbus Dog Connection, register with the state.
Animal rescues would have to register with the state, raising concerns from one nonprofit rescue in Cleveland that the bill would be onerous.