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February 14, 2019

The American Kennel Club (AKC) has recently been contacted by numerous hobby breeders in Ohio who have been told they should obtain a license as a pet store because they sell dogs in face-to-face transactions.

The AKC has grave concerns about this recent, expansive interpretation of licensing laws and believes they are in contravention of statutory language. An open letter submitted to the Director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) today expresses these concerns and asks the Department to cease practices requiring hobbyists and other breeders from being licensed as a “retail pet store”.

The letter, written in conjunction with AKC’s representative counsel, is also being delivered to key legislators who have committed to work with the AKC in addressing this issue as soon as possible.

AKC will also be meeting with the ODA and legislators in the near future to further communicate our concerns in person and work on a quick resolution to these concerns.  More information on this issue will be provided as it becomes available.  For questions, contact AKC Government Relations at