130th Ohio General Assembly
The online versions of legislation provided on this website are not official. Enrolled bills are the final version passed by the Ohio General Assembly and presented to the Governor for signature. The official version of acts signed by the Governor are available from the Secretary of State's Office in the Continental Plaza, 180 East Broad St., Columbus.

H. B. No. 570  As Introduced
As Introduced

128th General Assembly
Regular Session
2009-2010
H. B. No. 570


Representative Grossman 



A BILL
To amend sections 955.04, 955.21, and 955.99 and to enact sections 956.01 to 956.11 and 956.99 of the Revised Code to establish standards of care for commercial dog breeding kennels and to establish requirements governing the sale of dogs.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 955.04, 955.21, and 955.99 be amended and sections 956.01, 956.02, 956.03, 956.04, 956.05, 956.06, 956.07, 956.08, 956.09, 956.10, 956.11, and 956.99 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 955.04.  (A) Every owner of a kennel of dogs shall, in like manner as provided in section 955.01 of the Revised Code, make application for the registration of such the kennel, and pay to the county auditor a registration fee of ten dollars for each such kennel, unless a greater fee has been established under section 955.14 of the Revised Code. If such an application is not filed and the fee paid, on or before the thirty-first day of January of each year, the auditor shall assess a penalty in an amount equal to the registration fee upon the owner of such the kennel. The payment of such the kennel registration fee shall entitle the licensee registrant to not more than five tags, to bear consecutive numbers and to be issued in like manner and have like effect when worn by any dog owned in good faith by such licensee the registrant as the tags provided for in section 955.08 of the Revised Code. Upon application to the county auditor, additional tags, in excess of the five tags, may be issued upon payment of an additional fee of one dollar per tag.
(B) No owner of a kennel of dogs shall fail to file the application for registration required by this section or fail to pay the registration fee established in this section or under section 955.14 of the Revised Code, as applicable.
Sec. 955.21.  No owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog more than three months of age, nor owner of a dog kennel, or older shall fail to file the application for registration required by section 955.01 of the Revised Code, nor shall he any such owner, keeper, or harborer fail to pay the legal registration fee therefor established in that section or under section 955.14 of the Revised Code, as applicable.
Sec. 955.99.  (A)(1) Whoever violates division (E) of section 955.11 of the Revised Code because of a failure to comply with division (B) of that section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(2) Whoever violates division (E) of section 955.11 of the Revised Code because of a failure to comply with division (C) or (D) of that section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense and of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.
(B) Whoever violates section 955.10, 955.23, 955.24, or 955.25 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(C) Whoever violates section 955.261, 955.39, or 955.50 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense and of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense.
(D) Whoever violates division (F) of section 955.16 or division (B) of section 955.43 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
(E)(1) Whoever violates section 955.21 or division (B) or (C) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars or more than one hundred dollars on a first offense, and on each subsequent offense shall be fined not less than seventy-five dollars or more than two hundred fifty dollars and may be imprisoned for not more than thirty days.
(2) In addition to the penalties prescribed in division (E)(1) of this section, if the offender is guilty of a violation of division (B) or (C) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code, the court may order the offender to personally supervise the dog that the offender owns, keeps, or harbors, to cause that dog to complete dog obedience training, or to do both.
(F) If a violation of division (D) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code involves a dangerous dog, whoever violates that division is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree on a first offense and of a misdemeanor of the third degree on each subsequent offense. Additionally, the court may order the offender to personally supervise the dangerous dog that the offender owns, keeps, or harbors, to cause that dog to complete dog obedience training, or to do both, and the court may order the offender to obtain liability insurance pursuant to division (E) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code. The court, in the alternative, may order the dangerous dog to be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden, or the county humane society.
(G) If a violation of division (D) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code involves a vicious dog, whoever violates that division is guilty of one of the following:
(1) A felony of the fourth degree on a first or subsequent offense if the dog kills or seriously injures a person. Additionally, the court shall order that the vicious dog be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden, or the county humane society.
(2) A misdemeanor of the first degree on a first offense and a felony of the fourth degree on each subsequent offense. Additionally, the court may order the vicious dog to be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden, or the county humane society.
(3) A misdemeanor of the first degree if the dog causes injury, other than killing or serious injury, to any person.
(H) Whoever violates section 955.04, division (A)(2) of section 955.01, or division (E) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
(I) Whoever violates division (C) of section 955.221 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. Each day of continued violation constitutes a separate offense. Fines levied and collected for violations of that division shall be distributed by the mayor or clerk of the municipal or county court in accordance with section 733.40, division (F) of section 1901.31, or division (C) of section 1907.20 of the Revised Code to the treasury of the county, township, or municipal corporation whose resolution or ordinance was violated.
(J) Whoever violates division (F)(1), (2), or (3) of section 955.22 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fourth degree. Additionally, the court shall order that the vicious dog be humanely destroyed by a licensed veterinarian, the county dog warden, or the county humane society.
Sec. 956.01.  As used in this chapter:
(A) "Animal shelter" means a facility that is used to house or contain seized, impounded, or quarantined animals that were unwanted, stray, homeless, or abandoned and that is under contract with, owned by, operated by, or maintained by a county or municipal corporation, a humane society established under Chapter 1717. of the Revised Code, or a nonprofit organization the primary purpose of which is the welfare, protection, rehabilitation, or humane treatment of animals.
(B) "Buyer" means a person who purchases a dog from a seller.
(C) "Commercial breeder" means a person who for a fee or other consideration does one or more of the following:
(1) Maintains at any time more than five dogs that are used for breeding;
(2) Promotes, advertises, operates, supervises, or manages the breeding of dogs or the business of breeding dogs;
(3) Sells, leases, trades, barters, auctions, or offers to sell, lease, trade, barter, or auction dogs.
(D) "Congenital" means existing at birth.
(E) "Congenital defect or common hereditary disorder" means a condition, such as hip dysplasia, deafness, blindness, thyroid or bleeding disorders, and patellar luxation grades three and four, that frequently manifests itself in certain sizes or breeds of dogs and adversely affects a dog's health or requires, or is likely to require, hospitalization or a surgical procedure to preserve or restore its health, prevent it from experiencing pain or discomfort, or correct a condition that interferes with its ability to walk, run, jump, or otherwise function in a normal manner.
(F) "County dog warden" or "dog warden" means a county dog warden appointed or employed under section 955.12 of the Revised Code.
(G) "Fire safety inspector" has the same meaning as in section 3737.01 of the Revised Code.
(H) "Hereditary" means genetically transmitted.
(I) "Inspector" means the attorney general, the director of agriculture, the state veterinarian or an authorized representative of the state veterinarian, a county dog warden, a humane society agent appointed under section 1717.06 of the Revised Code, or a public health or safety official within whose jurisdiction a commercial breeder operates a kennel that is registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code.
(J) "Nonprofit organization" means a corporation, association, group, institution, society, or other organization that is exempt from federal income taxation under section 501(c)(3) of the "Internal Revenue Code of 1986," 100 Stat. 2085, 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3), as amended.
(K) "Seller" means a person who sells dogs to any of the following:
(1) The public;
(2) Pet stores;
(3) The owners of kennels that are registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code.
"Seller" does not include a humane society, a nonprofit organization that performs the functions of a humane society, or an animal control agency.
(L) "Veterinarian" means a person who is licensed in this state to practice veterinary medicine under Chapter 4741. of the Revised Code.
(M) "Violation" means a violation of this chapter.
Sec. 956.02. (A) A commercial breeder who operates a kennel that is registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code shall do all of the following:
(1) Establish an evacuation plan for use in the event of a fire at each kennel location that the commercial breeder operates. The evacuation plan shall be submitted yearly for approval by a fire safety inspector who has been certified as required by section 3737.34 of the Revised Code and by the applicable county dog warden. A fire safety inspector shall inspect each kennel location for functioning smoke detectors and fire extinguishers.
Upon approval, the fire safety inspector and the county dog warden shall sign and date the evacuation plan. If either the fire safety inspector or the county dog warden does not approve the evacuation plan, the inspector or dog warden, as applicable, shall inform the commercial breeder of the reason for the plan's disapproval and identify the changes that need to be made in order for the plan to be approved. The commercial breeder then shall modify the evacuation plan and resubmit it for approval.
The commercial breeder shall retain the signed evacuation plan and make it available upon request.
(2) Maintain for at least two years records for each dog that is housed at a kennel location that the commercial breeder operates. The records shall include all of the following:
(a) The date on which the dog initially was housed at the kennel and whether the dog entered the kennel through purchase, birth, or otherwise;
(b) The name, address, and telephone number of the person from whom the dog was obtained, if applicable;
(c) A description of the dog, including the breed, color, sex, age, and weight;
(d) A description of a tattoo or microchip number or other identification number associated with or appearing on the dog, if present;
(e) The date on which the dog gave birth to a litter and the number of puppies in the litter, if applicable;
(f) Documentation of medical care and vaccinations provided to the dog;
(g) A description of the disposition of the dog;
(h) The name, address, and telephone number of the person to whom the dog was transferred or sold and the date of the transfer or sale.
(3) Keep or confine a dog in an enclosure that complies with all of the following requirements:
(a) A primary indoor enclosure shall be three times the area occupied by the length, measured from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail, and width of the largest dog in the enclosure when the dog is in a normal standing position. The top of the enclosure shall be six inches higher than the head of the tallest dog when the dog is standing on all four feet. If a residence is accessible to a dog from a primary enclosure, the area of that residence shall be included in calculating the space available to the dog.
(b) The roof shall be solid, clean, dry, and impervious to moisture.
(c) The enclosure shall protect the animal from weather emergencies, including rain, hail, sleet, snow, temperatures above eighty-five degrees fahrenheit, temperatures below forty degrees fahrenheit, or other temperatures or extreme conditions that may cause a dog to suffer, sustain injury, become ill, or die.
(d) Sides or walls shall be impervious to moisture.
(e) Flooring shall be solid, nonporous, impervious to moisture, and able to be sanitized. The floor shall be of sufficient strength to support the weight of dogs confined in the enclosure without sagging. If the enclosure is raised off the ground, the flooring may be constructed of flat slats with not more than one-half inch between them. Within a single enclosure, each slat shall be level with the slat next to it.
(f) Ventilation shall circulate air eight to ten times per hour.
(g) A source of light to the enclosure shall be adequate for the inspection of dogs at night and during periods of cleaning. A flame shall not be used as the source of light.
(h) There shall be continuous access to an outdoor enclosure that is separate from, but attached to a primary indoor enclosure, is at least four times the size of the primary indoor enclosure, and is large enough for a dog that is more than eight weeks of age to reach a running stride when the dog is unleashed.
(i) Primary indoor enclosures shall not be stacked on top of each other and shall be not more than forty-two inches above the ground.
(4) House or exercise together only dogs that are compatible with each other. A dangerous dog or vicious dog shall be housed and exercised separately from other dogs. As used in this division, "dangerous dog" and "vicious dog" have the same meanings as in section 955.11 of the Revised Code.
(5) Clean and sanitize a primary enclosure and an exercise enclosure at least every twenty-four hours to prevent an accumulation of feces, food wastes, dirty water, parasites, pests, trash, debris, sharp or dangerous objects, offensive odors, and other contaminants that may cause disease. Dogs shall be removed from an enclosure when the enclosure is being cleaned and sanitized.
(6) Maintain fencing in good repair, ensuring that it is free from rot and sharp or dangerous edges and defects;
(7) Provide a dog that is eight weeks of age or older with exercise for at least one hour each day in an area that is large enough for the dog to reach a running stride without being tethered;
(8) Restrain a dog outside of an enclosure only with a leash, cord, or other device that is of sufficient length for the size of the dog and is attached to a well-fitting collar or harness. Two fingers shall be able to fit between the collar or harness and the body of the dog. If a dog is tethered or chained as a means of restraint, the tether or chain shall be at least fifteen feet long in order to prevent the dog from becoming entangled or injured and to allow access to food, water, and shelter. The tether or chain shall have a swivel on each end. Pinch, prong, or shock collars shall not be used except when the dog is being trained or while the dog is hunting or participating in an exhibition, show, contest, or other event in which the skill, breeding, or stamina of the dog is being evaluated.
(9) Ensure that a dog has access to adequate food, water, and shelter when confined in an enclosure or restrained outside of an enclosure;
(10) Provide veterinary care, including a vaccination schedule that has been recommended by a veterinarian, pest or parasite management, disease prevention and control, nutrition management, emergency care and treatment, and treatment for injuries, neglect, illness, and disease;
(11) Provide grooming that is necessary to maintain the health of a dog, including brushing the hair of the dog to prevent clumping and matting and trimming the nails of the dog to prevent them from curling;
(12) Provide at least two hours per day of interaction with compatible dogs and people;
(13) Maintain not more than fifty intact dogs over the age of eight months at any time;
(14) Breed a female dog only when all of the following conditions are met:
(a) A veterinarian annually certifies that the dog is in suitable health for breeding.
(b) The dog is at least eighteen months of age.
(c) The dog is younger than six years of age.
(d) The dog has not been bred in the preceding twelve months.
(15) Breed dogs with each other only if the dogs have different parents;
(16) House a dog that is less than ten weeks of age with the mother of the dog;
(17) Provide for the removal of a dog from the kennel only by gift, sale, transfer, barter, or humane euthanasia that is performed by a person who has completed a euthanasia technician certification course as described in section 4729.532 of the Revised Code or a veterinarian.
(B) Divisions (A)(3)(b) to (g) and (A)(3)(i) of this section do not apply to a dog that lives in a commercial breeder's primary residence.
(C) Division (A)(3)(a) of this section does not apply to an enclosure in which a dog is confined for the purpose of transport for a time period that does not exceed ten hours in a twenty-four-hour day.
(D) Divisions (A)(3)(h), (A)(7), (A)(8), and (A)(12) of this section do not apply to any of the following:
(1) A dog that is tethered, chained, restrained, or placed in a pen or enclosure by a veterinarian while the dog is receiving veterinary care or treatment or a dog for which a veterinarian has issued a signed certificate stating that the dog should not be exercised because of a specified medical reason and the dates during which the dog should not be exercised;
(2) A dog that is receiving field or obedience training, water training, or training to hunt a species of wildlife;
(3) A dog that is participating in lawful hunting of wildlife;
(4) A dog that is participating in an exhibition, show, contest, or other event in which the skill, breeding, or stamina of the dog is being evaluated.
Sec. 956.03.  No commercial breeder who operates a kennel that is registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code shall do any of the following:
(A) Register more than one kennel at an address;
(B) Fail to obtain and maintain a vendor's license or any applicable local business license or zoning permit, or comply with any applicable requirements established by the United States department of agriculture;
(C) Tether or chain a dog, including using a pulley, in lieu of housing the dog in a primary indoor enclosure or an exercise enclosure or while the breeder is not in the presence of the dog;
(D) Surgically silence, crop the ears of, or dock the tail of a dog except when medically necessary, as determined and performed by a veterinarian using anesthesia, in order to treat an injury, disease, or congenital abnormality;
(E) House or exercise a female dog in heat in the same enclosure with sexually mature male dogs except for breeding;
(F) House or exercise a female dog and the dog's litter in the same enclosure with another adult dog;
(G) House or exercise puppies that are less than twelve weeks of age in the same enclosure with an adult dog that is not the puppies' dam or foster dam;
(H) Perform surgical births unless performed by a veterinarian using anesthesia;
(I) Advertise a dog for sale, barter, trade, or distribution without listing any applicable local business licenses, the commercial breeder's vendor license number, and any applicable zoning permit numbers in the advertisement;
(J) Sell, barter, trade, or distribute a dog that is less than four months of age from or at a location other than the location that is registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code;
(K) Buy, sell, barter, trade, exchange, distribute, or acquire dogs at an auction or raffle, or on public property, including along public highways or roads, or rent a dog;
(L) Knowingly breed, raise, sell, purchase, trade, barter, auction, distribute, transport, deliver, or possess a dog for the purpose of human consumption;
(M) Operate or maintain an interest in an animal shelter.
Sec. 956.04.  The county auditor of each county in this state shall notify the attorney general, tax commissioner, state veterinarian, county dog warden, and board of directors of the county humane society of each commercial breeder that is operating within the county.
Sec. 956.05.  A person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to violating this chapter or section 959.13 of the Revised Code or abuse, neglect, or cruelty to animals in any jurisdiction shall not sell, trade, barter, or distribute a dog or offer to do so.
Sec. 956.06.  (A) An inspector shall investigate an alleged violation of section 956.02 or 956.03 of the Revised Code upon receiving a complaint or upon the inspector's own initiative. The inspector may request the assistance of a law enforcement agency in the county in which the investigation is to occur or the assistance of the applicable county dog warden or county humane society established under Chapter 1717. of the Revised Code if the inspector is not the county dog warden or a humane society agent from that humane society. Additionally, the inspector may request the assistance of a law enforcement agency, county dog warden, or county humane society from another county in this state.
An investigation may include the inspection of any of the following:
(1) Records that are maintained in accordance with division (A)(2) of section 956.02 of the Revised Code;
(2) Any companion animal, as defined in section 959.131 of the Revised Code, that is owned by the commercial breeder;
(3) An area that the commercial breeder uses to operate a kennel that is registered under section 955.04 of the Revised Code. For purposes of an inspection, any area that is used to breed or house a dog may be entered during business hours.
(B) A commercial breeder who is investigated under this section may be present during an inspection and shall provide any information that the investigator requests.
(C)(1) A county humane society board of directors elected under section 1717.05 of the Revised Code shall prescribe and make available to an inspector in the applicable county a form that lists the requirements established by sections 956.02 and 956.03 of the Revised Code. During an inspection, the inspector shall indicate on the form whether the commercial breeder is in compliance with each requirement.
(2) If the inspector determines that the commercial breeder is not in compliance, the inspector may seize and cause to be impounded at an animal shelter or a humane society established under Chapter 1717. of the Revised Code any dog that the inspector has probable cause to believe is involved in a violation. If the inspector seizes and impounds a dog, the commercial breeder shall cease and desist functioning as a commercial breeder and conducting any activities associated with functioning as a commercial breeder. The inspector shall give written notice of the seizure and impoundment and the requirement to cease and desist to the commercial breeder. If the inspector is unable to give the notice to the commercial breeder, the inspector shall post the notice on the door of the commercial breeder's kennel or in another conspicuous place on the premises at which the dog was seized. The inspector also may report a violation in accordance with division (D) of this section.
(D) An inspector may report a violation of section 956.02 or 956.03 of the Revised Code to the attorney general or the applicable prosecuting attorney of a county, city director of law, or village solicitor for the purposes of section 956.07 of the Revised Code.
(E) Procedures, requirements, and other provisions that are established in divisions (C), (D), (E), (F), and (G) of section 959.132 of the Revised Code shall apply to the seizure, impoundment, and disposition of a dog under this section. For purposes of that application, references in those divisions of section 959.132 of the Revised Code to "companion animal," "officer," and "offense" shall be deemed to be replaced, respectively, with references to "dog," "inspector," and "violation". Likewise, references in those divisions of section 959.132 of the Revised Code to "section 959.131 of the Revised Code" shall be deemed to be replaced with references to section 956.02 or 956.03 of the Revised Code, as applicable.
Sec. 956.07.  If the attorney general or a prosecuting attorney of a county, city director of law, or village solicitor receives a report of a violation of section 956.02 or 956.03 of the Revised Code from an inspector under section 956.06 of the Revised Code, the attorney general, prosecuting attorney, city director of law, or village solicitor, upon the request of the inspector, shall criminally prosecute to termination or bring an action for a civil penalty, pursuant to division (A) of section 956.10 of the Revised Code, or for injunction against the person who is committing the violation. The court of common pleas in which an action for a civil penalty is brought has jurisdiction to and shall impose the civil penalty in accordance with division (A) of section 956.10 of the Revised Code upon a showing that the person against whom the action is brought is violating section 956.02 or 956.03 of the Revised Code. The court of common pleas in which an action for injunction is filed has jurisdiction to and shall grant preliminary and permanent injunctive relief upon a showing that the person against whom the action is brought is violating section 956.02 or 956.03 of the Revised Code.
Sec. 956.08. (A)(1) At the time of the sale of a dog, the seller shall provide the buyer with all of the following:
(a) A dated receipt, bill of sale, or contract containing the buyer's name and home address or business address, the seller's name and business address, and the purchase price of the dog;
(b) Information regarding any congenital defect, common hereditary disorder, disease, illness, or injury in or of the dog. In lieu of that information, the seller may provide a certificate of medical health that has been completed and attested to by a veterinarian stating that the veterinarian has examined the dog and has not found evidence of any congenital defect, common heredity disorder, disease, illness, or injury at the time of the examination.
(c) The names and addresses of all commercial breeders that have had possession of the dog, and the vendor license number and any applicable local business license numbers and zoning permit numbers of each such commercial breeder;
(d) The lineage of the dog of which the seller is aware;
(e) A record containing the dates and types of inoculations, deworming treatments, and all other veterinary care administered to the dog;
(f) The dog's name, breed, sex, color, coat length, date of birth, age, distinctive markings, if any, and microchip or tattoo identification number, if present, and the registration or eligibility of the dog for registration with a pedigree organization.
The receipt, bill of sale, or contract shall contain information about the benefits and importance of spaying and neutering and places that are available for low-cost spaying and neutering in this state.
(2) At the time of the transfer of physical possession of a dog from a seller to a buyer, the seller shall present for the buyer's signature a receipt signed by the seller and containing the date of transfer and an acknowledgement of the buyer's receipt of the information required by division (A)(1) of this section. The seller then shall provide the buyer with the signed original receipt or a copy of it. The receipt required by division (A)(2) of this section may be contained within the receipt, bill of sale, or contract that is required by division (A)(1) of this section.
(B)(1) In order to obtain a remedy under division (C) of this section, a buyer shall do whichever of the following applies:
(a) In the case of a dog that is not older than fifteen months of age that is discovered to have an injury, illness, or disease that was in existence at the time of sale, present a statement to the pet store, commercial breeder, or seller from a veterinarian who has examined the dog within fourteen days of the purchase of the dog indicating that the dog has or had a disease, illness, or injury at the time of the purchase of the dog that requires or required veterinary treatment and care;
(b) In the case of a dog that is not older than fifteen months of age and that dies due to an injury, illness, or disease that was in existence at the time of sale, request a veterinarian chosen by the buyer to issue a necropsy report and statement in accordance with division (E) of this section certifying that the dog died due to the injury, illness, or disease. The veterinarian shall send the statement containing the report to the buyer.
(c) In the case of a dog that is not older than fifteen months of age and that is discovered to have a congenital defect or common hereditary disorder, request a veterinarian chosen by the buyer to issue a statement in accordance with division (E) of this section certifying that the defect or disorder exists in the dog. The veterinarian shall send the statement to the buyer.
(d) In the case of a dog that is not older than fifteen months of age and that dies due to a congenital defect or common hereditary disorder, request a veterinarian chosen by the buyer to issue a necropsy report and statement in accordance with division (E) of this section certifying that the dog died due to the defect or disorder. The veterinarian shall send the statement containing the report to the buyer.
(e) In the case of a buyer who, not later than twelve months after obtaining physical possession of a dog, discovers that the seller misrepresented the dog's registration or eligibility for registration with a pedigree organization, obtain a written statement from the pedigree organization containing the buyer's name and address, the organization's name and address, the date on which the statement was prepared, and the reason why the dog is not registered or is not eligible for registration with the organization.
(2) Not later than ten days after a veterinarian prepares the veterinarian's statement or thirty days after the pedigree organization prepares its statement, the buyer shall deliver it to the seller in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(C) Not later than ten days after delivering a veterinarian's or pedigree organization's statement in accordance with division (B) of this section, a buyer may do one of the following, as applicable:
(1) In the case of a dog with a congenital defect or common hereditary disorder, do one of the following:
(a) Return the dog with the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. The seller shall provide the buyer with a full refund of the purchase price of the dog less any sales tax, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the defect or disorder.
(b) If the buyer wants to keep the dog, request reimbursement from the seller in an amount not to exceed the purchase price of the dog less any sales tax, plus the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the defect. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall reimburse the buyer for the purchase price of the dog, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the defect or disorder.
(c) If the buyer wishes to obtain a dog of the same pedigree and one is available from the seller, exchange the dog. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall exchange the dog with the congenital defect or common hereditary disorder for a healthy dog of the same pedigree if such a dog is available. The seller shall furnish the documents required by division (A) of this section for the new dog and pay to the buyer the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the defect or disorder.
(2) In the case of a dog that died due to a congenital defect or common hereditary disorder, do either of the following:
(a) Request the seller to provide a full refund of the purchase price of the dog less any sales tax, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the defect or disorder. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall provide a full refund of the purchase price of the dog, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the defect or disorder.
(b) If a healthy dog of the same pedigree is available, request the seller to provide such a dog. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall provide a healthy dog of the same pedigree if one is available. The seller shall furnish the documents required by division (A) of this section for the new dog and pay to the buyer the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the defect or disorder.
(3) In the case of a dog that has an injury, illness, or disease that was in existence at the time of the sale:
(a) Return the dog with the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. The seller shall provide the buyer with a full refund of the purchase price of the dog less any sales tax, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the injury, illness, or disease.
(b) If the buyer wants to keep the dog, request reimbursement from the seller in an amount not to exceed the purchase price of the dog less any sales tax, plus the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the injury, illness, or disease. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall reimburse the buyer for the purchase price of the dog, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the injury, illness, or disease.
(c) If the buyer wishes to obtain a dog of the same pedigree and one is available from the seller, exchange the dog. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall exchange the dog with the injury, illness, or disease for a healthy dog of the same pedigree if such a dog is available. The seller shall furnish the documents required by division (A) of this section for the new dog and pay to the buyer the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the injury, illness, or disease.
(4) In the case of a dog that died due to an injury, illness, or disease in existence at the time of sale, do either of the following:
(a) Request the seller to provide a full refund of the purchase price of the dog less any sales tax, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the injury, illness, or disease. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall provide a full refund of the purchase price of the dog, plus the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the injury, illness, or disease.
(b) If a healthy dog of the same pedigree is available, request the seller to provide such a dog. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall provide a healthy dog of the same pedigree if one is available. The seller shall furnish the documents required by division (A) of this section for the new dog and pay to the buyer the amount of the buyer's veterinary fees for diagnosis and treatment of the injury, illness, or disease.
(5) In the case of a seller who misrepresented a dog's registration or eligibility for registration with a pedigree organization, do either of the following:
(a) Return the dog with the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall provide the buyer with a full refund of the purchase price of the dog less any sales tax.
(b) If the buyer wants to keep the dog, request the seller to provide a refund in an amount equal to one-half of the dog's purchase price. The buyer shall present to the seller the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, the seller shall provide a refund in an amount equal to one-half of the dog's purchase price.
(D) In the case of a dog that has a congenital defect, common hereditary disorder, injury, illness, or disease that existed at the time of sale or has died from a congenital defect, common hereditary disorder, injury, illness, or disease that existed at the time of sale, the seller shall not be required to accept the return of the dog, replace the dog with a healthy dog of the same pedigree if one is available, or provide the buyer with a refund or reimbursement for veterinary fees in any of the following situations:
(1) The seller informed the buyer, both orally and through a statement contained in the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section, that the congenital defect, common hereditary disorder, injury, illness, or disease existed in the dog at the time of sale.
(2) The injury, illness, disease, or death resulted from maltreatment, neglect, illness, or an injury that occurred after the buyer obtained physical possession of the dog.
(3) Following the seller's request that the buyer return to the seller copies of all documents provided, if any, for the purpose of registering the dog with a pedigree organization, the buyer fails to return the documents or provide the seller with a statement certifying that the documents have been inadvertently lost or destroyed.
(4) The buyer failed to carry out a treatment protocol, if any, that was recommended by the veterinarian who examined the dog and confirmed the defect, disorder, injury, illness, or disease, and veterinary fees plus the cost of the treatment, if it had been carried out, would be equal to or less than the dog's purchase price and would have corrected the defect or disorder or remedied the injury, illness, or disease.
(5) If the receipt, bill of sale, or contract required by division (A) of this section included recommended care instructions for the dog, the buyer failed to carry out those instructions.
(6) In the case of a dog that has died from a congenital defect or common hereditary disorder, the seller provided the buyer with documentation certifying that available noninvasive genetic testing and certification of the dog's parentage were performed to detect the defect or disorder and failed to reveal its existence in the dog.
(E) A veterinarian's statement shall be in writing and contain all of the following:
(1) The buyer's name and home address or business address, if applicable;
(2) The veterinarian's name and office address;
(3) A statement that the veterinarian examined the dog;
(4) The date on which the veterinarian examined the dog;
(5) The dog's name, breed, sex, color, coat length, date of birth, age, distinctive markings, if any, and microchip or tattoo identification number, if present;
(6) The precise findings of the examination;
(7) In the case of a dog that dies, a necropsy report;
(8) The veterinarian's signature;
(9) The date on which the veterinarian prepared the statement.
In the case of a buyer who wants to keep the dog and receive reimbursement for veterinary fees, an itemized bill of the charges necessary for diagnosis and an estimate of the cost of any necessary treatment also shall be included in the veterinarian's statement.
(F) A seller shall post written notice of the requirements established in this section in a conspicuous location that is visible to a buyer. A seller also shall include notice of those requirements in any advertisement that describes the sale of a dog.
Sec. 956.09. (A) At the time of the sale of a dog, a seller shall present for a buyer's signature and allow the buyer to keep written notice of the buyer's rights under section 956.08 of the Revised Code. The seller shall retain a copy of the notice signed by the buyer to acknowledge that the buyer reviewed it.
(B) The notice required by division (A) of this section shall be printed in type of the minimum size of ten points and contain the following statement:
"A STATEMENT OF OHIO LAW GOVERNING THE SALE OF DOGS
If you purchase a dog in Ohio from a seller who sells dogs to pet stores, kennel owners, or the public, other than a humane society, a nonprofit organization that performs the functions of a humane society, or an animal control agency, you have the following rights under section 956.08 of the Revised Code:
DOG WITH A CONGENITAL DEFECT OR COMMON HEREDITARY DISORDER OR THAT HAS AN INJURY, ILLNESS, OR DISEASE AT THE TIME OF SALE: REIMBURSEMENT FOR VETERINARY FEES, EXCHANGE, OR RETURN AND REFUND If you purchase a dog that is not older than fifteen months of age and a veterinarian who is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Ohio states in writing that the dog has a congenital defect, common hereditary disorder, injury, illness, or disease that adversely affects the dog's health or that requires, or is likely to require in the future, veterinary care including hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures, you have ten days after the veterinarian's statement is prepared in which you may give the statement to the seller in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within ten days after delivering the veterinarian's statement, you may return the dog and receive a full refund of the dog's purchase price less any sales tax, plus the amount of any veterinary fees for diagnosing and treating the defect, disorder, injury, illness, or disease, return the dog and receive a healthy dog of the same pedigree if one is available, and receive payment for any veterinary fees for diagnosing and treating the defect, disorder, injury, illness, or disease, or, if you want to keep the dog, receive reimbursement in an amount up to the dog's purchase price for veterinary fees for diagnosing and treating the defect, disorder, injury, illness, or disease.
DOG THAT DIES: REFUND OR REPLACEMENT If you purchase a dog that is not older than fifteen months of age and it dies, and a veterinarian who is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Ohio provides you with a necropsy report and states in writing that the death was due to a congenital defect or common hereditary disorder, or an injury, illness, or disease that existed at the time of sale, you have ten days after the veterinarian's statement is prepared in which you may give the statement to the seller in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within ten days after delivering the veterinarian's statement, you may either receive a full refund of the dog's purchase price less any sales tax and receive payment for any veterinary fees for diagnosing and treating the defect, disorder, injury, illness, or disease or, if a healthy dog of the same pedigree is available, replace the dog with the healthy dog and receive payment for any veterinary fees for diagnosing and treating the defect, disorder, injury, illness, or disease.
SELLER'S MISREPRESENTATION OF DOG'S REGISTRATION OR ELIGIBILITY FOR REGISTRATION WITH A PEDIGREE ORGANIZATION: RETURN OR REFUND If you purchase a dog from a seller who states that the dog is registered or eligible for registration with a pedigree organization and, within one year after you receive the dog, you discover that the statement is false, you may obtain a written statement from the pedigree organization that contains your name and home address or business address, if applicable, the organization's name and address, the date on which the statement was prepared, and the reason why the dog is not registered or is not eligible for registration with the organization. You have thirty days after the organization's statement is prepared in which you may give the statement to the seller in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Within ten days after delivering the organization's statement, you may either return the dog and receive a full refund of the dog's purchase price less any sales tax or keep the dog and receive a refund in an amount equal to one-half of the dog's purchase price.
On the sale of a dog, a seller is required to give you a dated receipt, bill of sale, or contract containing all of the following:
Your name and home address or business address, if applicable;
The seller's name and business address;
The price you paid for the dog;
Disclosure of any congenital defect, common hereditary disorder, injury, illness, or disease in or of the dog at the time of sale or a certificate of medical health that has been completed and attested to by a veterinarian licensed in this state that states that the veterinarian has examined the dog and has not found evidence of any congenital defect, common hereditary disorder, injury, illness, or disease at the time of the examination;
The names and addresses of all commercial breeders that have had possession of the dog, and the vendor license number and any applicable local business license and zoning permit numbers of each such commercial breeder;
A record containing the veterinary care administered to the dog, including the dates and types of inoculations and deworming treatments;
The dog's name, breed, sex, color, coat length, date of birth, age, distinctive markings, if any, and microchip or tattoo identification number, if present;
The registration or eligibility of the dog for registration with a pedigree organization.
On the day you obtain physical possession of the dog, the seller is required to present you with a receipt for your signature that contains the seller's signature and that day's date. This receipt may be contained within the receipt, bill of sale, or contract that the seller is required to give you at the time of the sale of the dog. If you received all of the information that the seller is required to give you as discussed above, you must sign the receipt to acknowledge that you received it. The seller then is required to give you the original receipt or a copy of it.
A veterinarian's statement is required to be in writing and contain all of the following information:
Your name and home address or business address, if applicable;
The veterinarian's name and office address;
A statement that the veterinarian examined the dog;
The date on which the veterinarian examined the dog;
The dog's name, breed, sex, color, coat length, date of birth, age, distinctive markings, if any, and microchip or tattoo identification number, if present;
The precise findings of the examination;
In the case of a dog that dies, a necropsy report;
The veterinarian's signature;
The date on which the veterinarian prepared the statement.
If you want to keep the dog and receive reimbursement for veterinary fees, an itemized bill of the charges necessary for diagnosis and an estimate of the cost of any necessary treatment also are required to be included in the veterinarian's statement.
I have read and understand the above information.
.................................................
Your (buyer's) signature
.................................................
date"
Sec. 956.10.  (A) Whoever violates section 956.02 or 956.03 of the Revised Code shall pay a civil penalty of not more than five hundred dollars on a first offense and not more than five thousand dollars on a second or subsequent offense. Money collected as civil penalties under this division shall be deposited in the commercial dog breeder enforcement fund that is created in section 956.11 of the Revised Code.
(B) Whoever fails to comply with section 956.08 or 956.09 of the Revised Code is liable to the buyer for an amount that is equal to the purchase price of the dog, plus the amount of veterinary fees that are incurred by the buyer as provided in section 956.08 of the Revised Code within one year after the date of the sale of the dog, and any attorney fees or other costs related to the dog that are incurred by the buyer within one year after the date of the sale of the dog. Additionally, the buyer may keep the dog.
(C) The failure to comply with section 956.08 or 956.09 of the Revised Code is an unfair or deceptive act or practice in violation of section 1345.02 of the Revised Code. The remedies provided for in division (B) of this section are in addition to the remedies provided for in Chapter 1345. of the Revised Code.
Sec. 956.11. (A) There is hereby created the commercial dog breeder enforcement fund, which shall be in the custody of the treasurer of state, but shall not be a part of the state treasury. All civil penalties that are collected pursuant to division (A) of section 956.10 of the Revised Code shall be deposited into the fund. Money in the fund shall be used to make payments to inspectors for reimbursement of expenses associated with conducting investigations under section 956.06 of the Revised Code. The treasurer of state shall disburse money from the fund on order of the director of agriculture or the director's designee in accordance with this section.
(B) The director shall prescribe and make available a form to be used by an inspector to request reimbursement for expenses related to an investigation under section 956.06 of the Revised Code.
(C) If a civil penalty was imposed as a result of an investigation that an inspector conducted, the inspector may request reimbursement for expenses associated with the investigation. The inspector shall submit the form prescribed under division (B) of this section containing the appropriate information to the director. The director shall verify the information on the form and request the treasurer of state to disburse money to the inspector.
Sec. 956.99. (A) Whoever violates section 956.02 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree on a first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree on a second or subsequent offense. However, whoever violates that section at least three times within a five-year period is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.
(B) Whoever violates division (L) of section 956.03 of the Revised Code is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(C) Whoever violates division (K) of section 956.03 or section 956.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.
(D) Whoever violates any section of this chapter for which no penalty otherwise is provided is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.
Section 2.  That existing sections 955.04, 955.21, and 955.99 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
Please send questions and comments to the Webmaster.
© 2014 Legislative Information Systems | Disclaimer
Index of Legislative Web Sites