Ohio Valley Dog Owners, Inc.

Protecting dogs, dog owners and our neighbors
through education and community service

Welcome to Ohio Valley Dog Owners, Inc.

A coalition of dog clubs, dog-related businesses, and individual dog lovers in the Ohio River Valley dedicated to responsible dog ownership and to reasonable laws that protect dogs, dog owners, and our neighbors. Membership is open to clubs, individuals, and dog-related businesses.

OVDO supports the National Animal Interest Alliance and is the AKC dog legislation federation for Ohio.

Read more about OVDO

Attention!! Cincinnati considers new BSL and dog restrictions in aftermath of dog attacks

September 4, 2014: Following two devastating dog attacks this summer, Cincinnati City Councilman Christopher Smitherman proposed to amend the city's dog laws to require registration of pit bulls and the use of chain link leashes for all dogs when off the owner's property. The proposal defines pit bulls as American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, and their mixes and look-alikes in a virtual repeat of a program that failed in the past. In addition to being dangerous to try to control a dog on a chain-link leash or tether, the leash requirement would eliminate all off-lead training, competitions and demonstrations, limit the use of dog parks and dog daycare centers, and prevent other activites that need longer leashes or no leashes.

OVDO is seeking a meeting with Councilman Smitherman and, following a suggestion by the training director at Queen City Dog Training Club, we have invited Mr. Smitherman to observe some classes and talk to instructors and other knowledgeable trainers.

The proposal will be heard in council's Law and Public Safety Committee chaired by Mr. Smitherman, but a hearing date has not been set as of September 4.

Download the proposal. Download the OVDO letter.

2014-15 Ohio budget bill has news for dog owners

The budget bill signed by Governor Kasich in June allows counties to offer 3-year and permanent dog licenses and put sheriff's offices in charge of animal control. It alos gives prosecutors the discretion to charge violations of animal cruelty law as low-level felonies if the infractions take place in boarding, training, or rescue kennels.

The prosecutorial discretion amendment is the former HB 90, a bill also under discussion in the past two sessions of the Legislature. HB 90 is also known as Nitro's Law after a Rottweiler who starved to death in a training kennel in 2008. It was first introduced as HB 70 in 2010 and again as HB 108 in 2011. It failed both times, was reintroduced as HB 90 in 2013 and passed the House in April. The authority to offer multi-year dog licenses and to switch animal control services to sheriff's offices are new proposals.

See the budget bill summary for dog owners and the actual budget language.

Two federal agencies tighten regs for imported dogs

Summer 2014: Under new regulations issued by the US department of Agriculture and the Centers for Disease Control, imported dogs must have rabies vaccinations and meet certain other requirements prior to import into the US.

The USDA rules affect only dogs brought into the country for resale or adoption. These dogs must be at least six months of age; vaccinated against rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza virus (DHLPP); and in good health. The dogs must be accompanied by a health certificate signed by a veterinarian. The rabies vaccination must be given at least 30 days prior to arrival in the US, and the additional vaccinations must be given no more than 12 months from US arrival. The changes go into effect in mid-November this year.

The CDC rule require rabies vaccination administered no less than 30 days prior to US arrival and affects all dogs, even those imported by individuals for personal use. Rabies vaccine is not given to puppies less than three months of age, so this rule could limit the importation of puppies less than four months old by breeders and buyers of working or performance dogs.

The link to USDA regs is https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/08/18/2014-19515/animal-welfare-importation-of-live-dogs. This document gives the entire history of the proposal; click on "Subpart J: Importation of live dogs" in the table of contents to go directly to the rule. The CDC entry in the Federal Register is at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-10/pdf/2014-16130.pdf; the import regulation change starts at the bottom of the page.

New federal Animal Welfare Act rules govern Internet puppy sales

Spring 2014: The US Department of Agriculture amended federal Animal Welfare Regulations to bring Internet commercial retail puppy sellers under federal supervision by restricting the definition of "retail sales" to include only face-to-face transactions between sellers and buyers. The amendments expand the regulations beyond the wholesale production of pets to cover direct sales to consumers by sellers who advertise on the Internet and in print publications and send puppies sight-unseen to pet buyers.

Breeders with fewer than five breeding females are exempt along with those who sell face-to-face so that buyers can see that the puppy is healthy before they accept delivery. Breeders with more than five breeding females are also exempt as long as they produce occasional litters and sell the puppies face-to-face to consumers.

The agency is working on a definition of "breeding female."

For more information about the genesis for the law and the regulatory process, see the NAIA comment; the AKC resource page, and the collection of more than 15,000 USDA comments.


Roundup of Ohio kennel regulations

Kennel licensing info is on the ODA website

UPDATE, September 4, 2014: All commercial dog kennels in Ohio must apply for a license if they produce more than eight litters and sell more than 59 puppies in a calendar year. Link is http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/ai/ai.aspx for general information; http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/ai/docs/CDB%20Rules.pdf for kennel standards.

All rescues operating in Ohio must register with ODA. Link to search rescue database is http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/ai/docs/Animal%20Rescue.pdf; to register a group, go to http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/ai/docs/Animal%20Rescue.pdf.

Kennel regulations stalled at ODA

UPDATE, July 10, 2013: The Ohio Department of Agriculture postponed the kennel licensing law implementation date from June 13 because the draft rules for high volume kennels are awaiting final approval. ODA has not announced a new date.

The delay also affects rescue organizations that must register with the state and report the names of foster homes to the department. Check ODA for the latest news on kennel and rescue registration. See the kennel licensing law and the draft regulations.

More on rescue registration: ODA answered our questions about rescue registrations in this letter. However, more questions remain.

Governor Kasich signed the kennel licensing bill into law December 11, 2012

After several years of struggle ot get a kennel licensing bill that did not unfairly target good breeders, the House amended and passed SB 130, a bill that regulates large commercial breeders and has consequences for other breeders and rescue organizations. There were enough changes from the original that OVDO testified as an interested party requesting a few more changes instead of continuing to oppose the majority of the bill's provisions. See details below. AKC sent several letters detailing objections to certain provisions in the bill and reported the end result in a letter that will be included in the newsletter. SB 130 went into effect 90 days after signing.

Senate bill 130 regulates large breeding kennels and all dog rescues

SB 130 Update: The House Agriculture Committee produced a substitute bill on November 13, 2012, then voted to send it to the full House. On November 14, the House passed the substitute bill 91-5.

The new bill contains the same kennel definition for breeders who are not high volume that we have opposed from the day the bill was introduced. It also has the potential to impact breeders who rescue their own breed in conjunction with a national or regional breed rescue organization or breed club and breeders who own boarding kennels.

The Senate approved the House substutue bill.

HSUS and the ASPCA supported the bill as a "first step" towards regulating breeding kennels, but urged further limits on breeders.

The bill as passed by the House is here.

The OVDO report on the bill is here.

OVDO Senate committee testimony is here and House committee testimony is here.

AKC letter to the Senate committee is here and to the House committee is here.

Victories and partial victories in 2012

Victory: Ohio repeals BSL in state law

HB 14, introduced by Representative Barbara Sears, deletes "pit bull" from the definition of dangerous dog in Ohio Law. Both House and Senate approved the bill and Governor Kasich signed it into law on February 21 and HB 14 took effect on May 20.

HB 14 also changed the state's vicious dog law by rewriting the dangerous and vicious categories and adding a nuisance category to cover loose dogs that harass or threaten people in public.

OVDO supported the original version of HB 14 but asked for changes in the amendments. Our letter to the sponsor is here. The amended bill is available here. Our letter to Representative Sears about the flaws in the amended bill and a request to change it in the Senate is here. Our most recent HB 14 letter to the Judiciary Committee is here.

Partial victory: A proposed change to Ohio cruelty law

HB 25, introduced by Representative Courtney Combs,

  • adds family pets to domestic violence protection orders;
  • allows courts to require counseling for juvenile offenders convicted of animal cruelty; and
  • allows intensive probationary periods for offenders;

Cosponsors are Representatives Timothy Derickson, Cheryl Grossman, Bill Patmon, Connie Pillich, Peter Beck, Michael Stinziano, Mike Dovilla, Ron Maag, Terry Blair, Gerald Stebelton, Cliff Rosenberger, Bob Hackett, and Mike Ashford. HB 25 passed the House but was not heard in the Senate. OVDO supported HB 25.


Victory: Cincinnati's seesaw pit bull ban is off again!

On May 16, Cincinnati City Council voted 8-1 to drop its ban on dogs identified as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers or any mixed-breed containing one of these breeds. The original ban was passed in the late 1980s, was dropped in favor of a more comprehensive dangerous dog law in 1999, and re-enacted in 2003.

The ordinance was introduced by Councilman Chris Seelbach. Councilman Cecil Thomas was the lone "no" vote. The council also appointed a task force to review the city's animal laws and report back in 90 days.

Partial victory: Accountability for human agent training

HB 138, introduced by Representative Ronald Gerberry, amends current animal cruelty law to require humane agents to provide proof

that they have completed a training course in legal procedure and animal husbandry.

Current law requires them to attend the training but includes no accountability to assure the public that the training has been completed. HB 138 passed the House but was not heard in the Senate. OVDO supported HB 138.

NAIA promotes responsible animal ownership and use, exposes the arrogance and danger of the animal rights movement, and encourages lawmakers and regulators to include responsible animal owners in their deliberations. Visit the NAIA website at http://www.naiaonline.org

See these NAIA articles for more information: From firearms to Fido: "Feel Good" Laws Make Things Worse, and the NAIA Guide to Pet Friendly Ordinances



The Ohio Association of Animal Owners' members are committed to protect the rights of animal owners, aid in securing fair regulations and legislation, and educate animal owners in their responsibility to animal care and public safety. The OAAO supports the responsible ownership and use of animals and animal products.



Membership information

OVDO home page     Contact Ohio Valley Dog Owners at ovdog01@canismajor.com

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