State of Ohio

The State of Ohio falls under The Department of Agriculture.

Commercial Dog Breeders Act

Ohio Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill 130, a law regulating certain dog breeding kennels and dog retailers, into law on December 11, 2012. The Commercial Dog Breeders Act became effective on March 13, 2013.

The following information is publically available online at:

High Volume Dog Breeder and Dog Retailer Licensing

High volume dog breeders and dog retailers are required to submit an application no later than December 31st each year for a license to operate for the following year.

Ohio’s Standards of Care for High-Volume Dog Breeders
Brucella Canis Rule

Registered Dog Rescues

Animal rescues for dogs are required to register their establishment with the Ohio Department of Agriculture. The department maintains a database of all persons registered to operate an animal rescue for dogs in Ohio.

Search Registered Animal Rescues for Dogs
Register your Animal Rescue for Dogs

High-Volume Dog Breeders

  • High volume breeder means any establishment that keeps, houses, and maintains adult breeding dogs that produce at least nine litters of puppies in any given calendar year and sells 60 or more adult dogs or puppies per calendar year.
  • The law generally prohibits a person from operating as a high volume breeder in Ohio without a license issued by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA).
  • Anyone issued a license to operate as a high-volume dog breeder must adhere to standards of care developed and enforced by ODA and submit to regular (at least annual) inspections.
  • Veterinary care must be provided through an established veterinary-client-patient relationship.
  • Application fees for a high volume breeder license:
    • $150 sells 9 to 15 litters
    • $250 sells 16 to 25 litters
    • $350 sells 26 to 35 litters
    • $500 sells 36 to 45 litters
    • $750 sells 46 or more litters
  • Liability insurance or surety bond requirement:
    • $5,000 for keeping, housing and maintaining not more than 25 adult dogs
    • $10,000 for keeping, housing and maintaining 26 to 50 adult dogs
    • $50,000 for keeping, housing and maintaining more than 50 adult dogs
  • Dog Retailers

    • Dog retailer 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.
    • The law generally prohibits a person from acting as a dog retailer in Ohio without a dog retailer license issued by ODA.
    • Anyone issued a license to operate as a dog retailer must adhere to requirements and procedures developed and enforced by ODA and submit to inspections as deemed necessary.
    • The application fee for a dog retailer license is $500 regardless of the number of dogs kept or sold.

  • Animal Rescue for Dogs

    • Animal rescue for dogs means any individual or organization recognized by ODA that keeps, houses, and maintains dogs and that is dedicated to the welfare, health, safety, and protection of dogs,
      • An animal rescue for dogs will not be recognized by ODA if the individual or organization operates for profit, sells dogs for a profit (see next bullet), breeds dogs, or purchases more than nine dogs in any given calendar year unless the dogs are purchased from a dog warden, a humane society, or another animal rescue for dogs.
      • An animal rescue for dogs may offer spayed or neutered dogs for adoption and charge reasonable adoption fees to cover the costs such as costs related to spaying or neutering dogs.
    • To be recognized as an animal rescue for dogs, an individual or organization must register the rescue with ODA.
    • An animal rescue for dogs is not required to adhere to care and caging standards.
    • No registration fee shall be charged to an animal rescue for dogs.

Exemptions (From Registration and Licensing Requirements)

  • Medical kennels for dogs
  • Research kennels for dogs
  • Animal shelters for dogs that are operated by counties or municipal corporations (pounds)
  • Veterinarians


For more information regarding Ohio’s Commercial Dog Breeder Act, please contact:

Ohio Department of Agriculture
Division of Animal Health
8995 E. Main St.
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

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