Resolve to Ban Dog Auctions
Join the activists fighting an inhumane way of breeding and raising dogs
It's almost time for a News Year's resolution, and here's one that's easy to adopt.
I hope you've signed the petition to end dog auctions in Ohio.
If you haven't, it's easy. Here are your marching orders.
On January 17 or soon thereafter, visit the front desk of Lake Humane Society at 7564 Tyler Blvd. Bldg E, ask for the petition and add your John Hancock.
Here's what you should know:
Dog auctions are the sustenance of Ohio dog breeders with dollar signs in their eyes. You've heard of puppy mills — small cages, excessive breeding, all kinds of diseases and, worst of all, no substantive human contact.
Unwanted dogs not only tug on our heartstrings, they cost us in shelter, pound and rescue center costs. And without laws to prevent this behavior, Ohio is among the most overpopulated dog states in the country.
That's why the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions intends to collect the signatures of 120,700 registered voters, to urge legislators to make it "unlawful for any person to auction or raffle a dog within Ohio for any purpose" and keep dogs intended for these reasons out of the state.
The first go-'round for this effort, in 2009, came up with barely 7,000 signatures. This year's attempt was clearly much more serious. Leader Mary Shaver said 77,355 signatures have now been collected – just more than 64 percent of the goal. On December 1, the group officially missed its goal to put the proposed law before Ohio legislators in January 2011. But it will resume its efforts that much stronger January 17 for presentation in 2012.
If legislators act on the proposed law, a first offense would be a minor misdemeanor, carrying a fine up to $150. Subsequent offenses would be fourth-degree misdemeanors carrying a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail. And if legislators decline, the Coalition petitions for a ballot issue.
But enough with the politics and the sell.
What it comes down to is luck, the odd chance of a good life for each animal written off at these auctions. If you couldn't care for your pet, you'd hope someone would. Here are dogs whose only hope is people who don't know them.
It's time to take our own advice and speak.
To download a campaign kit with a dog auction Q&A, strategies to raise awareness and gather signatures, and the petition itself, visit http://www.banohiodogauctions.com/Campaigns.html.
The photo is used courtesy of photographer Peter Griffin and Public Domain Pictures.