Richland County, Ohio, Dog Owners
Stop Illegal Kennel License Denials
by JOHN YATES
American Sporting Dog Alliance
MANSFIELD, OH – When Richland County Dog Warden Dave Jordan tried to break the state law in order to deny kennel license applications, dog owners didn’t take it laying down.
They carried their fight to the county auditor, the county commissioners and the local newspaper, and they won.
We urge all Ohioans to read this report, as we have some evidence that the Ohio Dog Warden’s Association is encouraging other counties to break the law. We also have received an unconfirmed report that at least one other county is breaking the state kennel licensing law, and there may be more.
Application for annual licenses must be filed before January 31, and anyone without a license is subject to fines and the possible seizure of dogs.
For decades, Ohioans who raise dog have been permitted by law to purchase a kennel license for five or more dogs that is more economical than purchasing individual tags. In Richland County, the kennel license fee has been set at $80, and individual licenses are $16 apiece. For people who raise dogs, the cost savings is significant.
But Jordan tried to ignore the state law by issuing kennel licenses only to people who make at least 50-percent of their income from breeding dogs. Of the 25 county residents who have applied for their 2009 licenses thus far, Jordan granted only four and denied the rest. Last year, a reported 235 county residents received kennel licenses. Thus, it would appear that Jordan’s actions are discouraging law-abiding people from complying with the licensing law.
State law clearly allows people who raise dogs to qualify for a kennel license, and there is no requirement in the law for any income derived to be an applicant’s livelihood or even a substantial source of income. Most hobbyists, including hobby breeders, consider their kennels an avocation, and most of them lose a lot of money to pursue their love of dogs.
We can only speculate about Jordan’s motivations for attempting to rewrite the law.
At best, it can be seen as an attempt to fund animal control by soaking law-abiding dog owners for added costs. This is irrational as well as illegal, as law-abiding dog and kennel owners do not contribute significantly to animal control costs or burdens.
Instead of unfairly burdening law abiding dog owners, the American Sporting Dog Alliance suggests that Jordan work a little harder at enforcing existing laws, as a reported 60-percent of county dog owners don’t bother to buy a license of any kind. People who are guilty of breaking the law should be penalized and pay the costs, not law-abiding dog owners. Jordan should work harder at finding the scofflaws, and spend less time harassing the innocent.
At worst, Jordan’s actions could be interpreted as part of the animal rights agenda to try to gradually eliminate people who raise dogs by increasing costs and subjecting them to heavy-handed enforcement measures. This tactic is a cornerstone of the animal rights political strategy to gradually eliminate all private ownership of animals in America.
Jordan was quoted in an article in the Mansfield News-Journal as saying that his application process was meant to prevent situations where animals are abused. He referred to an elderly woman whose kennel was raided last June, and 80 dogs were seized because they were in very poor condition.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance simply doesn’t buy this explanation. While the June situation was tragic, existing laws already provide all of the tools that an animal control officer or humane society police officer needs to shut down any operation where dogs are treated inhumanely. The June incident was proof that existing laws work, and is not a justification for new laws.
Moreover, the questionnaire that Jordan gave to kennel license applicants did not address humane care issues, but was concerned only with finances.
Existing law already gives Jordan and other dog wardens the power to inspect every licensed kennel and to enforce humane standards of care.
Richland County dog owners began to protest Jordan’s actions as soon as their applications started to be denied, in violation of the law.
The law requires county auditor’s to issue the licenses when payment is received. Once the license is issued, a dog warden then is empowered to inspect kennels and enforce the law.
However, this year, reportedly at the request of Jordan, Auditor Patrick W. Dropsey, turned the entire process over to the dog warden. That is when Jordan began to rewrite the law and illegally deny applications.
Concerned dog owners approached Dropsey, who refused to help them by assuring compliance with the law. They then approached the county commissioners.
The commissioners should be commended for listening to the concerns of dog owners, and then acting promptly to assure compliance with the law and to stop Jordan from breaking it. Please contact County Commissioners Ed Olson, Gary Utt and Tim Wert to thank them for their help. They did a fine job. Here is a link to a form to send an email the commissioners: http://www.richlandcountyoh.us/comments.htm.
Please also thank Mansfield News-Journal Reporter Jami Kinton for her fine job of providing fair, balanced, accurate and thorough press coverage of this issue. Ms. Kinton’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a link to the report written by Ms. Kinton, and also readers’ comments about the article on an open blog: http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/article/20090101/NEWS01/3010100….
The American Sporting Dog Alliance assisted and supported local dog owners, and wish to commend them for taking action in the face of considerable risk.
We provided information and suggestions, but they carried the fight to the commissioners and won. Their courage and dedication are an inspiration to dog owners everywhere.
This report is archived at http://eaglerock814.proboards107.com/index.cgi?action=display&b….
The American Sporting Dog Alliance represents owners, breeders and professionals who work with breeds of dogs that are used for hunting. We also welcome people who work with other breeds, as legislative issues affect all of us. We are a grassroots movement working to protect the rights of dog owners, and to assure that the traditional relationships between dogs and humans maintains its rightful place in American society and life.
The American Sporting Dog Alliance also needs your help so that we can continue to work to protect the rights of dog owners. Your membership, participation and support are truly essential to the success of our mission. We are funded solely by your donations in order to maintain strict independence.
Please visit us on the web at http://www.americansportingdogalliance.org. Our email is email@example.com.