Bill restricting puppy mills passes Ohio House

Could cracking down on puppy mills help dogs like this one from having to be rescued from harsh conditions?

A bill that would crack down on high-volume dog breeding operations, also know as puppy mills, has cleared the Ohio House.

The bill passed on a 91-5 vote Wednesday.

The measure would add regulations on the care and treatment of animals housed in large-scale establishments and would distinguish the facilities from traditional smaller kennels.

"I feel that this is a strong bill, and it removes that black eye that Ohio has had on the issue they call puppy mills in this state," Rep. Dave Hall, a Republican from Millersburg told Vindy News. He added later, "I think we got it right â?¦ itâ??s a beginning."

Those considered "dog retailers" would have to be licensed by the state.

The bill also creates an advisory board to provide guidance on animal care standards for the facilities. It also allows the director of the state's agriculture department to contract with local veterinarians to conduct inspections. Annual inspections would be required and animal rescues would have to register with the Department of Agriculture.

The bill has been sent back to the Senate to sign off on House changes before approval.