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"Petland bill" regulates statewide sale of dogs to pet stores

The bill was designed to create a statewide standard for selling dogs in Ohio, but some critics said the bill went too far to help one company: Petland. (WSYX/WTTE)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Governor John Kasich signed the controversial "Petland Bill" into law Monday. The bill was designed to create a statewide standard for selling dogs in Ohio, but some critics said the bill went too far to help one company.

Animal rights groups protested the bill. It was supported by the pet retailer Petland.

"There are so many loopholes in this law. It only benefits one company only and that's Petland," said Mary O'Connor-Shaver with Ohio Voters for Companion Animals. "Money talks and unfortunately Petland can talk with their dollars."

Grove City tried to stop Petland from moving in because of concerns about puppy mill puppies. The new law also strips some power away from local municipalities.

Petland representatives said the company doesn't buy dogs from puppy mills and the actions of Grove City went too far to attack one company. The company said the law now requires them to play by the same rules as everyone else.

"Outside of Grove City, there is no other city in Ohio that would require that," said Mike Gonidakis, an attorney for Petland. "Now it's a statewide standard. Wherever you open your pet store, you have to follow this new Ohio law. We want every animal rights activist, and we're animal rights activists, to hold Petland and every pet store accountable. We have a new law which now requires transparency."

O'Connor-Shaver said there were a few parts of the bill she liked. The new law targets extreme animal abuse by banning bestiality and stiffening penalties for cockfighting.

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