A meeting at Millersburg, Ohio, aimed at training and educating supporters of a possible bill that would ban dog auctions in Ohio was canceled Saturday after opponents disrupted the meeting.
Millersburg Police and Holmes County Sheriff's deputies were called to the Holmes County Library this past Saturday morning where a "town hall meeting" was being held by the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions to talk about possible legislation.
Opponents of the proposed legislation gathered outside the front entrance of the library to hand out literature titled "The Animal Rights Agenda," with one section highlighted in blue, stating: "You are attending today's "Town Hall Meeting" to discuss plans for a ballot initiative to shut down dog auctions in Ohio. There is only one such auction in Ohio. This initiative is a direct attack on that private business which is operated in Holmes County; and literally hundreds of your fellow citizens depend on this auction to either purchase or market their dogs and to obtain new bloodlines or offer new bloodlines to other breeders."
Mary O' Connor-Shaver, treasurer for the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions, said the group has organized meetings in more than 14 counties and never had it "disrupted" like it was Saturday. She said the information contained in the flier was "sensationalism."
"The auction is serving as a distribution channel for disreputable buyers and sellers, and we feel it's not been good for the state, whether it's Holmes County or any other county, Ohio suffers as a result of these auctions and it's not any good," she said.
The Ohio Dog Auctions Act would be similar to a Pennsylvania law and would establish a statute to the Ohio Dog Law making it illegal for anyone to auction or raffle a dog in Ohio. It also would prohibit bringing dogs into the state for sale or trade that were acquired by auction of raffle elsewhere. Supporters are hoping to get it on the November 2011 ballot.
O'Connor-Shaver said the Hamilton County - Coalition Meeting on Ohio Dog Auctions Act has been rescheduled for Saturday, April 3 at 10:00 a.m. at the SPCA Cincinnati, Sharonville.
For more information on the Ohio effort to ban puppy mills and dog auctions visit: http://www.banohiodogauctions.com/