Each year, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) publishes the Horrible Hundred Report (humanesociety.org/100puppymills), which highlights 100 terrible puppy mills and their appalling conditions. Many dogs in puppy mills spend their lives in outdoor cages, in bad weather, with insufficient food, water, and shelter. Some of them suffer from injuries and ailments for which they receive little or no medical treatment. Last year Ohio had 16 dealers on the Horrible Hundred list, but this year we’re down to two. I assumed that meant our state was really cracking down on puppy mills!
Then I read further: Apparently Ohio officials did not respond to HSUS’s document request in a timely manner, leaving the Ohio section of the report incomplete. That left only US Department of Agriculture inspection reports for Ohio ranchers in this year’s report.
This raises the question of whether the Ohio Department of Agriculture is hiding something when it comes to enforcing regulations on dog breeders. Ohio’s Sunshine Law gives the public the right to know about and have access to records held by public agencies. As concerned citizens, we deserve to know how the state regulates puppy mills and puppy dealers with our taxes.