Animal rights advocates say it would be the weakest animal-protection law in the country. Even worse, it would take away local governments’ power to make their own, tougher laws meant to shut down puppy mill sales. Existing laws in Toledo and Grove City would be wiped off the books because, the bill says: “The regulation of pet stores is a matter of general statewide interest that requires statewide regulation.”
SB 331 is backed by Chillicothe-based pet store chain Petland, which objects to local laws such as Toledo’s banning retailers from selling dogs except those obtained from shelters or rescues. Regulations – not bans – are the answer to putting puppy mills out of business, Petland representatives contend.
That might be a more credible argument if the proposed regulations weren’t so weak.
But regardless, cities, villages and townships should retain the right to make their own laws on this issue, just as they can decide whether or not to ban certain breeds, for instance. They exist to serve the needs and reflect the values of their residents.
Both sides make their cases in op-eds. Check them out in the links above and then urge your state representative to vote against SB 331.
Please take the suggestion from the editorial board and contact your House Representative and politely ask that they oppose SB331.