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Fight continues to end Ohio dog auctions

December 28, 2010
By Kathleen Palumbo
Approaching the end of what she referred to as “a very challenging year for people and animals," Mary O’Connor Shaver, of Columbus Top Dogs, shared the final results of the 2010 Phase 2 signature drive for the Ohio Dog Auctions Act and the plans for 2011.

Offering her thanks to the 698 volunteer petition circulators who helped raise awareness of the Ohio Dog Auctions Act by assisting in the collection of 77,355 signatures from 87 of the 88 Ohio counties, O’Connor Shaver said, “We are incredibly grateful to each and every one of these dedicated animal advocates, many of whom work full-time jobs, are raising families as single parents and/or contribute time and energy to various humane organizations and causes across the state.”

Sharing highlights for the grassroots effort, according to O’Connor Shaver, Ohio citizens' efforts included 15 counties exceeding their signature goals by 105 percent, coverage of the ballot initiative campaign in 54 media distribution channels, including USA Today, and endorsement from three nationally recognized animal welfare groups: Animal Law Coalition, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Best Friends and Animal Society.

With a total of 77,355 signatures of the minimum 120,700 needed to successfully complete Phase two of their drive, leaving them to miss their signature goal set to put the proposed law before the ;egislature in January 2011, O’Connor Shaver shared that efforts still represented a very strong showing and that plans for 2011 include the relaunch of their campaign on January 17, 2011, to which all signatures will carry over and remain valid.

“With your continued support, we will finish our goal of collecting a minimum of 120,700 signatures in 2011,” said O’Connor Shaver, inviting the public to join the more than 2,200 voices who have become members of their Facebook group, Ohio Voters against Puppy Mills and Dog Auctions, to which membership is free.

“Despite many good faith promises and agreements, 2010 was a challenging year for Ohio’s animals,” said O’Connor Shaver, adding that as of this date, no action has been taken on the sale and/or possession of wild and dangerous animals, and all pending bills relating to the welfare of companion animals and cockfighting will need to be reintroduced to the Ohio Legislature in 2011.”

“The opposition (stakeholders who profit from Ohio dog auctions and puppy mill breeding) are betting that we (as a humane community) will become discouraged and defeated by the obstacles to meeting our goal,” said O’Connor Shaver, who went on to offer encouragement through the words of Henry Ford, "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”

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