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Commercial Dog Breeders

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The Ohio General Assembly has passed several laws regarding the breeding, sale and care of dogs in the State of Ohio. Regulatory authority in these areas rests with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health. The Commercial Dog Breeders (CDB) office consists of veterinarians, inspectors and support staff who work to help Ohio individuals and businesses comply with Ohio law and raise healthy dogs who ultimately enter the marketplace and find forever homes.

Who is regulated by these laws?

Ohio law defines and applies certain regulations for high volume dog breeders, pet stores and dog brokers. These individuals or businesses have inspection and/or record-keeping requirements to meet; applications to fulfill; and licenses to obtain. Ohio law also defines an animal rescue for dogs. An animal rescue for dogs must register with ODA. The CDB office coordinates all of these efforts.


Animal rescue for dogs means an individual or organization recognized by the director of agriculture that keeps, houses, and maintains dogs and that is dedicated to the welfare, health, safety, and protection of dogs, provided that the individual or organization does not operate for profit, does not sell dogs for a profit, does not breed dogs, does not sell dogs to a dogbroker or pet store, and does not purchase more than nine dogs in any given calendar year unless the dogs are purchased from a dog warden appointed under Chapter 955. of the Revised Code, a humane society, or another animal rescue for dogs. Animal rescue for dogs includes an individual or organization that offers spayed or neutered dogs for adoption and charges reasonable adoption fees to cover the costs of the individual or organization, including, but not limited to, costs related to spaying or neutering dogs.
Dog broker means a person who buys, sells, or offers to sell dogs at wholesale for resale to another or who sells or gives one or more dogs to a pet store annually. Dog broker does not include an animal rescue for dogs, an animal shelter for dogs, a humane society, a medical kennel for dogs, a research kennel for dogs, a pet store, or a veterinarian. 
High volume breeder means an establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains six or more breeding dogs and does at least one of the following: 
  • In return for a fee or other consideration, sells five or more adult dogs or puppies in any calendar year to dog brokers or pet stores;
  • In return for a fee or other consideration, sells forty or more puppies in any calendar year to the public; or
  • Keeps, houses, and maintains, at any given time in a calendar year, more than forty puppies that are under four months of age, that have been bred on the premises of the establishment, and that have been primarily kept, housed, and maintained from birth on the premises of the establishment.
Pet store means an individual retail store to which both of the following apply: the store sells dogs to the public; and with regard to the sale of a dog from the store, the sales person, the buyer of a dog, and the dog for sale are physically present during the sales transaction so that the buyer may personally observe the dog and help ensure its health prior to taking custody. Pet store does not include an animal rescue for dogs, an animal shelter for dogs, a humane society, a medical kennel for dogs, or a research kennel for dogs. 


Dog Broker Application

Pet Store Application

High Volume Dog Breeder Application

Standards of Care Compliance Verification

Animal Rescue Registration

Additional Resources

Canine Brucellosis Testing - ODA's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory will perform Canine Brucellosis testing.

Ohio Canine Certificate of Veterinary Inspection  (OCCVI) - Obtain a uniquely numbered OCCVI form. 

Ohio Revised Code Chapter 956: Regulation and Licensing of Dog Kennels

Ohio Administrative Code 901:1-5-12 Brucella canis

Ohio Administrative Code 901:1-5-13 Designating a kennel brucella canis free status

Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 901:1-6 High Volume Dog Breeders

Commercial Dog Breeding Advisory Board

Board Member Position
 Dr. Dennis Summers, DVM  State Veterinarian
 Ms. April Burnside  Representative of Dog Rescues
 Dr. Patricia Haines  Member of a Professional Dog Breeding Association
 Ms. Loraine Carlson  Representative of a Humane Society
 Mr. Matt Granito  County Dog Warden
 Dr. Suzanne Wilcox  Veterinarian
 Ms. Linda Stickney  Representative of the public
 Ms. Heidi Allen  Representative of ODA

Applying for a License or Permit — Disqualifying Offenses

The Ohio Department of Agriculture adopts the following list of criminal offenses, the conviction of which may disqualify an individual from obtaining the specific license issued or conferred by ODA.  In addition to the offenses specifically provided herein, ODA includes any existing or former municipal ordinance or law of this or any other state or the United States that is substantially equivalent to any section or offense. (ORC 9.78 and 9.79)

The conviction of a disqualifying offense may be overcome if the individual applying for the license, or if applicable, the individual’s employee, holds a certificate of disqualification for employment issued under section 2953.25 of the Revised Code or a certificate of achievement and employability issued under section 2961.22 of the Revised Code.

The certificate of qualification for employment website is maintained by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction at Certificate of Qualification for Employment (CQE).

Section 2151.421 | Reporting child abuse or neglect
Section 2903.01 | Aggravated murder.
Section 2903.02 | Murder.
Section 2903.03 | Voluntary manslaughter.
Section 2903.04 | Involuntary manslaughter.
Section 2903.041 | Reckless homicide.
Section 2903.05 | Negligent homicide.
Section 2903.06 | Aggravated vehicular homicide - vehicular homicide - vehicular manslaughter.
Section 2903.08 | Aggravated vehicular assault; vehicular assault.
Section 2903.09 | Unlawful termination of another's pregnancy.
Section 2903.10 | Functionally impaired person, caretaker defined.
Section 2903.11 | Felonious assault.
Section 2903.12 | Aggravated assault.
Section 2903.13 | Assault.
Section 2903.15 | Permitting child abuse.
Section 2903.16 | Failing to provide for a functionally impaired person.
Section 2903.32 | Female genital mutilation.
Section 2903.33 | Patient abuse and neglect in care facilities definitions.
Section 2903.34 | Patient abuse or neglect.
Section 2903.341 | Patient endangerment.
Section 2903.41 | Definitions related to violent offender database.
Section 2903.42 | Enrollment in violent offender database; presumption.
Section 2903.421 | Qualifying out-of-state offenders.
Section 2903.43 | Offenders who have VOD duties; enrollment.
Section 2903.44 | Out-of-state offenders with VOD duties; enrollment.
Section 2905.01 | Kidnapping.
Section 2905.02 | Abduction.
Section 2905.05 | Criminal child enticement.
Section 2905.32 | Trafficking in persons.
Section 2907.01 | Sex offenses general definitions.
Section 2907.02 | Rape.
Section 2907.03 | Sexual battery.
Section 2907.04 | Unlawful sexual conduct with minor.
Section 2907.05 | Gross sexual imposition.
Section 2907.06 | Sexual imposition.
Section 2907.07 | Importuning.
Section 2907.08 | Voyeurism.
Section 2907.10 | Preliminary polygraph test of sex offense victim.
Section 2907.11 | Suppression of names of victim and offender and details of the alleged offense.
Section 2907.17 | Notice of indictment of mental health professional sent to regulatory or licensing board or agency.
Section 2907.18 | Notice of conviction of mental health professional sent to regulatory or licensing board or agency.
Section 2907.19 | Commercial sexual exploitation of a minor.
Section 2907.31 | Disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.
Section 2907.311 | Displaying matter harmful to juveniles.
Section 2907.321 | Pandering obscenity involving a minor or impaired person.
Section 2907.322 | Pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor or impaired person.
Section 2907.323 | Illegal use of minor or impaired person in nudity-oriented material or performance.
Section 2907.39 | Permitting juvenile on premises of adult entertainment establishment - use of false information to gain entry.
Section 2907.41 | Person charged with subsequent sexual offense - setting of bail.
Section 2909.04 | Disrupting public services.
Section 2909.22 | Soliciting or providing support for act of terrorism.
Section 2909.23 | Making terroristic threat.
Section 2909.24 | Terrorism.
Section 2909.25 | Expenses of investigation, prosecution, response costs of terrorism.
Section 2909.26 | Criminal possession of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon or explosive device.
Section 2909.27 | Criminal use of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon or explosive device.
Section 2909.29 | Money laundering in support if terrorism.
Section 2917.47 | Improperly handling infectious agents.
Section 2919.12 | Unlawful abortion.
Section 2919.121 | Unlawful abortion upon minor.
Section 2919.122 | Application of unlawful abortion on a minor law.
Section 2919.123 | Unlawful distribution of an abortion-inducing drug.
Section 2919.124 | Unlawful performance of a drug-induced abortion.
Section 2919.13 | Abortion manslaughter.
Section 2919.14 | Abortion trafficking.
Section 2919.15 | Dismemberment abortion.
Section 2919.151 | Partial birth feticide.
Section 2919.16 | Post-viability abortion definitions.
Section 2919.17 | Terminating or attempting to terminate human pregnancy after viability.
Section 2919.195 | Performance of abortion after detection of fetal heartbeat; penalty.
Section 2919.201 | Abortion after gestational age of 20 weeks.
Section 2919.22 | Endangering children.
Section 2919.222 | Parental education neglect.
Section 2919.223 | Child and family day-care facilities - definitions.
Section 2919.224 | Misrepresentation relating to provision of child care.
Section 2919.225 | Disclosure and notice regarding death or injury of child in facility.
Section 2919.226 | Child day-care disclosure form - immunity from prosecution.
Section 2919.227 | Information to be provided to prospective users - notice of death of child.
Section 2919.25 | Domestic violence.
Section 2921.03 | Intimidation.
Section 2921.04 | Intimidation of attorney, victim or witness in criminal case or delinquent child action proceeding.
Section 2921.05 | Retaliation.
Section 2921.14 | Making or causing false report of child abuse or neglect.
Section 2921.31 | Obstructing official business.
Section 2921.321 | Assaulting or harassing police dog or horse or service dog.
Section 2923.21 | Improperly furnishing firearms to minor.
Section 2925.09 | Unapproved drugs - dangerous drug offenses involving livestock.
Section 2927.01 | Abuse of a corpse.
Section 5101.63 | Reporting abuse, neglect, or exploitation of adult
Section 959.02 | Injuring animals
Section 959.03 | Poisoning animals
Section 959.05 | Drugging animal prior to competition
Section 959.13 | Cruelty to animals
Section 959.131 | Prohibitions concerning companion animals
Section 959.15 | Animal fights
Section 959.16 | Dogfighting offenses
Section 959.21 | Sexual conduct with an animal