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This week, the Ohio Department of Agriculture finalized rules regarding high volume dog breeders, dog brokers, and pet stores.  The American Kennel Club’s Government Relations Department (AKC GR) published and distributed information about the proposed rule changes in March 2022.

Summaries of the finalized rule changes are provided for readers’ convenience; however, impacted entities are encouraged to review the rules in full to ensure compliance.


901:1-6-01 Definitions and General Considerations – This section adds definitions of “access the outdoors” and “exercise”.  Amends definitions of “enrichment”, “outdoor housing”, “sheltered housing”, “solid flooring”, and “weaned”.  Deletes definition of “existing facility”. The section also includes housekeeping amendments.

901:1-6-02 Housing – This section amends requirements for primary enclosures, including size and spatial requirements, a prohibition on the stacking of primary enclosures, and flooring requirements.  It clarifies that outdoor housing may be used only if approved by a veterinarian, cannot be used for dogs that cannot tolerate the prevalent temperatures without stress or discomfort, and that outdoor runs used by sheltered housing facilities are to offer enough protection from the natural elements to accommodate all dogs housed in the primary enclosure in the event indoor access is denied.  It adds requirements for whelping areas, including that they must permit a dam to temporarily move away from the puppies as she chooses, ensures that only a dam and puppies inhabit the whelping area, and meets minimum floor space requirements.  The section also clarifies cleaning requirements.

901:1-6-03 Socialization and exercise – This section requires puppies to receive positive human physical contact, and adult dogs and puppies to receive a minimum of 15 minutes of daily positive human contact and socialization.  It also clarifies enrichment requirements and adds daily minimum thirty minimum exercise opportunities and requires outdoors access.

901:1-6-04 Food and Water – It clarifies that dogs must receive food at least twice a day and that potable water must be available on a continual basis.  It also states that water bottles with ball dispensers may be used as the sole source of water.

901:1-6-06 Transportation – This rescinds the rule regarding transportation of dogs by high volume dog breeders.

901:1-6-07 Recordkeeping and Identification – This section clarifies that all dogs six months of age or older shall be microchipped or wear a collar and tag.  It requires high volume breeders to microchip dogs prior to displaying, offering for sale, delivering, bartering, auctioning, brokering, giving away, or selling them.  The section alsoadds information that must be included in included in sales/transfer recordsand clarifies what constitutes accurate and complete records for dogs maintained in facilities.

901:1-6-08 Licensing – This section clarifies license application requirements for high volume breeders and dog brokers.

901:1-6-09 Inspections – This section is a housekeeping amendment.

901:1-6-10 Civil Penalties – This section details procedures for the assessment of civil penalties for both high volume dog breeders and pet stores/dog retailers, including fines up to $2,500 for a first violation, up to $5,000 for a second violation, and up to $10,000 for a third or subsequent violation.

901:1-8-01 Definitions – It clarifies the definition of “animal rescue for dogs”.  It also amends the definition of “pet store” by including a minimum sales threshold of 40 or more; and by clarifying that the definition does not include high volume breeders or any other dog breeder that maintains and sells dogs from the same premises where the dogs are bred and reared.

901:1-8-02 Licensing – It creates reference to statute that sets current license fee amount ($500).

901:1-8-03 Identification – This adds dog brokers to entities required to microchip dogs before displaying, offering for sale, delivering, bartering, auctioning, brokering, giving away, transferring, or selling.

901:1-8-05 Dog Broker Recordkeeping – This clarifies that dog brokers must document the physical location of sources of dogs.

Contact the American Kennel Club’s Government Relations Department at