Report a bad breeder in Ohio
Ohio Dept of Ag, Commercial Dog Breeding 844-820-2234
(the Ohio Dept of Ag web site (link above) does not tell you what to do if you need to file a complaint, to more quickly help a dog that could be in danger, please make a complaint to the:
Commercial Dog Breeder Program Manager at
If you need information on an Ohio High Volume Breeder, send your written request to: AGRpublicrecords@agri.ohio.gov
If you need more details on how to submit a: request for public info:
Commercial Dog Breeders Info
Next Commercial Dog Breeder Meeting, open for public to attend
Pet Store Reulations
Where else to report a Bad Breeder
History of the Ohio Puppy Mill Bill
From the new puppy mill law effective 9/28/18
--- Breeders must be licensed and fulfill requirements established by the Ohio Depart of Agriculture
---A High Volume Breeder- keeps 6 or more breeding dogs, AND does at least ONE of the following:
1) sells 5/more dogs/puppies to dog brokers/pet stores
2) sells 40/more puppies a year to the public
3) keeps on the premises at any given time in a year more than
40 puppies under 4 months of age
---Dog Broker, retailer, intermediary is someone
1) who buys or sells dogs at wholesale for resale or
2) who sells or gives dogs to a pet store
As of 8/31/18, there are 290 licensed High Volume Breeders and 560
Dog Brokers (retailers) in the State of Ohio. Many of High Volume Breeders are also Dog Brokers.
As of May 2018, the following counties had the corresponding number of county kennel licenses:
County Kennel Lic State Kennel Lic
Coschocton Co 710 35
Holmes Co 361 150
Tuscarwarus 508 23
Advocates hope to see a higher number of state kennel licenses with new licening in 2019. In Ohio, you may only have a county kennel license if you breed dogs. For the above counties to have such a disparity in state vs county license, there is likely an obvious flaw.
---The new law also:
-requires constant access to clean water & food 2 times/day
-bans stacking of cages
-banes wire flooring
-increases size of kennels
-requires daily exercise and socialization
-requries housing w/ other dogs
-places limits on number of litters females can have
-requires retailers to acquire pups from breeders who meet these standards, regarless of what state the breeder is located in
Puppy Mill: A dog breeder that puts profit before the well-being of a dog. Dogs are housed in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions without adequate veterinary care, food, water and socialization.
Ohio Puppy Mills in the News
Frequently Asked Questions
Puppy Mills In Ohio
Marion Star Nov 15, 2012
Columbus Dispatch Nov 14, 2012
Cleveland Press Nov, 12 2012
The Plain Dealer Nov, 12, 2012
Columbus Dispatch Nov 12, 2012
Dispatch Editorial Nov 11, 2012
Columbus Dispatch Nov 10, 2012
-Pickaway Co Nov 8, 2012 Circleville Herald
-Huffington Post on Shelby Co Ohio Puppy Mill Oct 26, 2012
-Pickaway Co Pup Mill Oct 2, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Article Sept 24, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Letter to the Ed Sept 23, 2012
-Toledo Blade Editorial Sept 18, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Editorial Sept 14, 2012
Hannah Report (Statehouse News Info) Sept 12, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Letter to Editor Sept 13, 2012
-Ch 4 Testimony on SB 130 Sept 11, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Guest Editorial Sept 1, 2012
-August 2012 ---all stories immediately below related to Puppy Miller
Edith Buchko of Richland Co Ohio. Buchko was banned from breeding
in New Jersey and move her operation of 250 dogs to Ohio.
LancasterEagleGazette.com ToledoBlade.com ABC6onyourside.com
Mansfieldnewsjournal.com Coshoctontribune.com Nbc4i.com
-Cleveland Plain Dealer Editorial Aug 12, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Editorial Aug 6, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Editorial July 18, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Article July 12, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Editorial Feb 2, 2012
-The Toledo Blade Editorial Feb 2, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Article Feb 1, 2012
-The Other Paper Feb 9, 2012
-Columbus Dispatch Editorial Nov 18, 2011
-Columbus Dispatch SB 130 Nov 16, 2011
-WKRC Cincinnati Feb 2011 Ohio Dog Auctions
-Buckeye Dog Auction, Holmes Co Oh very graphic
-The Wall St Journal, Dec 2010 Breeder making $120k
-Cleveland Scene July 2010 Amish connection
-Buckeye Dog Auction May 2010 Owner Threatens Reporter
-Columbus Dispatch Oct 2009 Editorial
-Cols Dispatch July 2009 Pup Mills Must Be Stopped
-Cols Dispatch Lawsuit Seeks to Stop Breeder July 2009
-Dispatch, Petland/Pup Mill Connection April 2009
-Jo Ingels interviews Rep Hagan April 8, 2009
-Nightline investigation of Amish Mills March 2009
-Ch 10 Petland being Sued March 19, 2009
-Dispatch Editorial Feb 2, 2009
-Dispatch Editorial Nov 28, 2008
-Dispatch Letter To Ed 11/7/2008
-YouTube Ohio Puppy Mill Rescue 11/23/2008
-Dispatch Editorial 10/13/2008
-Coschocton Co OH August 2008 banned breeder
-W Virginia Pup Mill Video 8/30/2008
-Dispatch Editorial 7/13/2008
-Dispatch Editorial 4/17/2008
-Toledo Blade 6/11/07
-Columbus Dispatch Editorial 5/2/06
-Columbus Dispatch Article 4/27/06
-Cincinnati Ch 12 WKRC 4/27/06
-Cincinnati Enquirer 4/27/06
-Columbus Channel 10 4/26/06
Columbiana Co Puppy Mill April 2010
Tuscawarus Co Puppy Mill 80 dogs removed, filthy conditions March 2008
View Ohio Dog Auctions
Ohio Puppy Mill Articles
Perry County Ohio Puppy Mill Owners Get 10 year Suspension
Pittsburgh PA, Channel 4, story on Ohio Pup Mills May 2006
Puppy Mill in Morrow County in 2002
Perry County OH Puppy Mill Owners Get 10 yr Suspension
-More Puppy Mill Articles
Question: What are conditions like in so called puppy mills?
Answer: Large numbers of breeding dogs kept in cramped cages that are not regularly cleaned. Breeding dogs receive little to no medical treatment, and are not properly socialized either with other dogs or with humans. Such breeders engage in large scale breeding of many different breeds of dogs.
These dogs are then sold to consumers without documentation of the dog’s origin or state of health. Puppy mills negatively affect responsible breeders who care for the health, social and behavioral aspects of the dogs and puppies they breed and sell.
Puppy mill produced puppies are often sick and born with genetic defects and sold to unsuspecting consumers under the guise of being “registered” and/or “purebred”. Consumers don’t know they are buying a dog born and bred in horrendous conditions.
When the breeding dogs have become so ill or bred so much that their uterus collapses, they have been known to be disposed of by drowning, bludgeoning, shooting, surrendered to tax supported dog shelters, or sold at auction.
Question: Does Ohio have a puppy mill problem?
Answer: Yes. Ohio has over 11,000 kennels. The dog breeding business is not regulated in Ohio. The USDA only regulates wholesale breeders.
The USDA has 161 licensed breeders in Ohio (many of which are breeders of animals other than dogs). Ohio is second only to Missouri in number of puppy mills. National undercover investigators have called Ohio the worst state for the sanitary conditions that dogs live in.
High volume, irresponsible breeders locate in Ohio because there is no regulation that addresses substandard conditions, and the few laws that do exist must be enforced by a county dog warden who lacks the facilities and funds needed to enforce the existing animal cruelty law. This bill will bring change by providing an enforcement entity to address and shut down abusive puppy mill operations in Ohio, so that responsible breeders can flourish, and consumers can be protected.
Info about Ohio High Volume Kennels
2009 Video of Ohio Kennel
Effect Ohio rescues
-Graphic images of high volume kennel owner carrying/dangling dog
by two front paws. This dog died in from hereditary disease.
-Interview of Junior Horton, infamous breeder kicked out of Virginia for deplorable breeding practices. Horton now lives in Coshocton County with over 400 dogs.
-1000 dogs removed from West Virginia Breeder Sharon Roberts.
She agrees not to breed in W Virginia ever again.
She is now living in Washington County Ohio. Washington County Ohio Sheriff found over a quarter of a million dollars in cash in her home.
There are 161 USDA licensed breeders in Ohio. With over 11,000 kennel registrations in Ohio, there is a great disparity in the USDA licensing
and inspecting of the appropriate number of kennels. Most high volume kennels are not under USDA enforcement because they are not selling wholesale. Ohio is the 2nd worst state for the number of puppy mills in the country and, in the opinion of an undercover investigator who has videoed puppy mills across the nation, Ohio is the worst in the entire country for conditions the dogs live in.
Existing Ohio legislation does not provide for public accountability where deplorable conditions exist. Ohio is quickly gaining the reputation as the puppy mill capital of the Midwest. The high volume kennels are the major concern.
Reputable breeders, veterinarians and dog enthusiasts continue to embrace the puppy mill language. Minimum standards for dog care (such as unfrozen water bowls, daily feeding, living quarters free from a build up of urine/feces) are a few of the requirements included in the puppy mill legislation.
This bill encourages responsible breeding and the raising of dogs for the pet industry.
A puppy purchased from an Ohio breeder will be a badge of honor instead of a mark of shame. Our goal is to address the situations where dogs
are being warehoused in deplorable conditions. Please read
below as to how you can do your part to make sure the Puppy Mill Bill is passed.
Estimates suggest OH has a 1 billion dollar breeding business.
Holmes County Commissioners testified against the puppy mill bill, but did state
the dog breeding in Holmes County generates $9 million a year.
We believe that to be grossly underestimated.
This article from the Indy Star states that 92 Indiana breeders are USDA-registered. Lawmakers and industry experts estimate there are as many as 3,000 commercial dog breeders in the state, fueling a $1.3 billion industry. If Indiana is estimating that 3000 kennels generate 1 billion....then Ohio could be as high as 3 billion in untaxed revenue.
OH has over 11,000 kennels, 161 USDA licensed. When we looked at these numbers....we reduced the kennel numbers to 9,000. (given that 2000 could be
hunters or low volume breeders or people who have a license that should not)