COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Senate Bill 331 would replace local regulations on Ohio pet stores with statewide regulations, but those who oppose say the bill is far more complex than that – and that big brand pet stores, not pets and pet owners, are the main beneficiary in the bill.
“Senate Bill 331 is an industry-backed effort that will not reform pet stores in any meaningful way,” says Vicki Deisner or the American Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA).
“It’s true purpose is to protect one corporation – Petland,” added Corey Roscoe of the Humane Society of the United States.
Petland says the claims aren’t true.
“If we were doing an eighth of the things they say we’re doing, we’d have been out of business 20 years ago. It’s simply not true,” says Michael Gonidakis, an attorney for Petland, which is based in Chillicothe.
Those who oppose Senate Bill 331 say it will allow pet stores the ability to buy dogs from puppy mills.
“Are there puppy mills across the nation and in Ohio? Absolutely,” Gonidakis says. “Does Petland have anything to do with them? Absolutely not.”
Senate Bill 331 is expected to be voted on by the end of November.