AKC recognizes four members of Ohio general assembly as legislators of the year



(PHOTO: Daniel Cartier for ShowSight). New York, NYThe American Kennel Club® (AKC), the world’s largest purebred dog registry and leading advocate for dogs, is pleased to announce that four members of the Ohio General Assembly have been awarded the 2018 AKC Legislator of the Year Award for their significant positive impact on Ohio dogs, dog owners, and breeders during that legislative session.


Three of the recipients were recognized for their work and leadership on House Bill 506 – a bill that regulates professional breeders and ensures the humane treatment of dogs in the state. As a result of this bill’s passage, a dangerous proposed constitutional amendment that could have harmed some dogs was withdrawn.


Representative Brian Hill, Chairman of the House Agriculture and Rural Development Committee, was the lead sponsor of HB 506. As a farmer, Zanesville, OH-based Hill understands the importance of developing laws that promote animal welfare based on science, rather than emotion and assumptions which characterized the proposed amendment. Chairman Hill established a stakeholder group of experts including the AKC to develop a comprehensive law to protect dogs in the state. Throughout the process, Hill was responsive to all breeders and stakeholders who contacted his office with questions, concerns, and comments.


“Chairman Hill’s leadership was essential to ensuring the continued protection of dogs and responsible breeders in Ohio. Without his sponsorship of House Bill 506, Ohioans would have been forced to fight a dangerous ballot measure that would have harmed dogs and punished responsible, humane breeders. We thank him for his outspoken dedication and leadership on this important issue that will ensure dogs bred in Ohio are protected now and for generations to come,” said Jennifer Clark, AKC’s Director of Legislative Outreach.


Senate President Pro Tempore Bob Peterson was instrumental in advancing HB 506 in the Senate and in ensuring the subsequent agreement with animal rights groups supporting the constitutional amendment to halt future irresponsible, non-scientific proposals. Sen. Peterson, a farmer in Fayette County, OH, has been a good friend to responsible dog owners and breeders for years in Ohio, valuing AKC’s input on legislation impacting dogs and dog owners.


“Over the past few years, AKC has been pleased to work with Senator Peterson on legislation protecting responsible dog owners, breeders and sellers,” Clark stated. “We greatly appreciate his continued commitment and leadership in support of Ohio dogs and dog owners. Without his leadership, House Bill 506 would not have become law.”

In addition to serving as Ohio Senate President Pro Tempore, during the 2018 session Peterson served as Vice Chair of the Rules and Reference Committee, and a member of the Agriculture; Government Oversight and Reform; Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs; and Ways and Means Committees.


Senator Bob Hackett, Chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, worked closely with the AKC and helped ensure remaining policy concerns were addressed before the bill advanced from his committee. He also worked closely with both members of the General Assembly and the stakeholder group on strategy to ensure the ultimate success of HB 506.


“The AKC appreciates Chairman Hackett’s work on House Bill 506, including sponsoring amendments to protect Ohio hobby breeders,” said Jennifer Clark. “His leadership and assistance helped ensure a more fair, effective law. We appreciate his dedication to Ohio dogs and breeders.”


During the 2018 legislative session, Sen. Hackett served as Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture and of the Finance Health and Medicaid Subcommittee. He additionally serves as Vice Chairman of the Insurance and Financial Institutions Committee; and as a member of the Health, Human Services and Medicaid, Local Government, Public Safety and Veterans Affairs and Ways and Means Committees.


Senator William B. Coley, II, was the lead sponsor this session of Senate Bill 182, which allows owners to bring their dogs on outdoor patios at restaurants if the business wishes to allow them. The AKC was proud to support this bill that expands opportunities for both responsible dog owners and for businesses who wish to encourage dog owners and their pets to dine at their restaurants.


“As a dedicated and passionate purebred dog owner, Senator Coley has continued to show his commitment to promoting responsible dog ownership in Ohio,” remarked Jennifer Clark. “We thank Senator Coley for his leadership on Senate Bill 182, which allows dog owners more opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities with their pets while also allowing Ohio restaurants the opportunity to welcome customers and their dogs as patrons.”


Senator Coley, who served as Chairman of the Senate Government Oversight and Reform Committee during the 2018 legislative session, is the proud owner of two AKC-registered Old English Sheepdogs named Wilby and Ellwood.


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