"Stop Puppy Mills": Ballot measure to stop cruel conditions
SHARONVILLE, Ohio (WKRC) - When Cathy Madewell adopted her Chihuahua, Newman, she knew he was rescued from an Ohio puppy mill. The poor conditions caused Newman to have health problems.
“When he came, he was kind of already sick with kennel cough. He had no fur. He had lost all of his fur," said Cathy.
Newman also had Hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. A puppy mill bred him despite his genetic disorder. Cathy joined a group that wants to stop puppy mills.
“When your housing them in deplorable conditions, they’re filthy, they’re not taken care of it all, they have no socialization at all," said Mike Retzlaff, Chief Operating Officer of SPCA Cincinnati.
In a 2017 report, The Humane Society of the United States called Ohio the second worst state for puppy mill cruelty in the country. Most are in northern Ohio, but in 2014 the SPCA rescued more than 60 dogs from a West Price Hill home.
Harold Alexander, who goes by the name "Latoisha Alexander", was breeding and selling dogs that lived in deplorable conditions.
A new initiative called, “Stop Puppy Mills" kicked off at the SPCA. The organizers want an amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would stop families from unknowingly supporting puppy mills.
“A lot of families will spend thousands of dollars on a puppy and not know that the puppy's mother is living in a puppy mill. The puppy will have been raised in filth and misery and have diseases and illnesses," said John Goodwin of The Human Society of the United States.
The potential reforms would stop breeders from stacking cages and would include a ban on wire flooring. It would also require daily exercise for dogs and vet care. The hope is to protect dogs and consumers.
“I just think that the deception for these people that are adopting these very ill and genetically defective dogs it’s just horrible,” said Cathy.
The Humane Society is hosting presentations all over the state to get the public's help. They need more than 300,000 signatures to get the issue on the ballot. More information is also available at this link.