After more than two years spent fighting for change, The Coalition to Ban Dog Auctions says it has enough public support to put an end to Ohio’s notorious dog auctions.
The group says it has finally collected the required 150,000 registered voter signatures in support of a ban, and submitted the signatures to the secretary of state’s office last week for certification.
This is welcome news for animal welfare supporters: once the signatures are certified, the General Assembly is required to either pass a ban, or a modified version approved by the coalition within four months.
If certification is denied for any reason, the coalition has the opportunity to collect a second round of signatures in order to have a proposal added to the November ballot.
“This is a critical step in the process,” said coalition leader Mary O’Connor-Shaver. “We have to do this in 2012. It’s do or die.”
The Coalition to Ban Dog Auctions says that auctioneers often turn a blind eye to sick and mistreated animals, pushing them into the commercial supply chain where breeders buy them before flipping them to pet stores for a profit. Consumers and the dogs both suffer for the practice: unsuspecting owners often face massive unexpected vet bills, and those unwilling to pay large sums of money to treat a new pet frequently drop them off at shelters.
The ban would put an end the auction or raffle of dogs in Ohio, and would prohibit the sale or trade of any dogs acquired by auction. Violators could face fines of $250 and up to 30 days behind bars.