Ohio Dog Auctions Initiative (2012)

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A Ohio Dog Auctions Initiative did not make the November 2011 ballot in Ohio as an indirect initiated state statute. Although proponents then focused on getting the proposal on a 2012 ballot instead, that effort did not come to ballot fruition either.

The measure would have prohibited bringing into the state, for purposes of sale/trade, a dog acquired through auction.[1][2] Additionally, the measure aimed to empower the Ohio Attorney General to "investigate, conciliate and prosecute alleged violations" and, if necessary, to bring civil actions against violators.[3][4]


According to the filed petition, the initiative proposed:[5]

The Ohio Dog Auctions Act would enact Section 955.54 of the Ohio Revised Code to make it unlawful for any person to auction, as defined in R.C.4707.01, or raffle a dog within Ohio for any purpose. It would also prohibit bringing into the state for purposes of sale or trade a dog acquired through an auction or raffle in another jurisdiction. the Ohio Attorney General would have authority to investigate, conciliate and prosecute alleged violations of the Act. The Attorney General or any resident of the state could bring a civil action to enjoin a violation of the Act. A first conviction under the Act would be punishable as a minor misdemeanor and each subsequent conviction as a fourth degree misdemeanor.



  • The measure was supported by the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions. Mary O'Connor-Shaver, part of the campaign, said, "Ohio has virtually no laws regulating dog-breeding kennels and dog auctions." O'Connor-Shaver argued that that was the reason why dog breeders had increased significantly in previous years in the state of Ohio.
  • Supporters reportedly said at the time that they hoped the proposed measure would work in tandem with other proposed legislation - House Bill 570. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Cheryl Grossman, called for establishing standards for commercial dog-breeding kennels.[3]




  • Polly Britton, a legislative agent for the Ohio Association of Animal Owners, argued that dog auctions were already "well-policed" and that the measure was "a way to shut down a segment of the agriculture commerce in Ohio. Dogs are agriculture under Ohio Revised Code."[3]

Path to the ballot

See also: Ohio signature requirements

In order to qualify for the 2011 ballot supporters were required to collect 120,600 valid signatures by December 31, 2010. The initiative effort had collected 77,355 of the signatures required to get the measure on the ballot as of December 28, 2010. The measure fell short of the signature requirement, therefore leaving it off of the ballot. However, proponents then turned their efforts for the 2012 ballot.[6][7][8][4]

2012 effort

The Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions submitted 154,082 signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State during the week of December 29, 2011. According to reports, 115,570 signatures must have been verified in order for the Ohio Legislature to consider the proposal.[9]

However, the initiative effort fell short about 360 signatures on January 10, 2012, according to Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. The group had 10 days to collect the amount of signatures needed to surpass their total since they fell short.[10]

On January 20, 2011, supporters submitted 4,089 additional signatures. Reports stated that the Ohio Secretary of State would catalog the signatures and send them to county boards of elections to verify them. The measure was then sent to the legislature for review.[11]

Senate passage

The Ohio State Senate advanced the proposal with a vote of 30-0 on February 1, 2012. The measure will now be sent to the House for a full vote. If the measure cleared the chamber, it would be enacted into a law. If the Ohio House of Representatives does not enact the measure, it would then be sent to the ballot.[12]

See also

External links

Additional reading