Stiffer penalty for puppy mills

For years, Ohio had a bad name among animal lovers because it was a good place to operate a ”puppy mill” – an operation churning out puppies for sale, in sometimes inhumane environments. That has changed with a law that went into effect Jan. 1.

Under the statute, dog breeders who produce at least nine litters of puppies and 60 or more animals a year will be required to comply with several requirements intended to ensure their canines are not mistreated. Buckeye State residents can help by tipping the authorities off to illegal puppy mills.

Unfortunately, the penalty for noncompliance is just $100.

At least it’s a start. State officials should enforce the law strictly. Then, a year from now, if it appears stiffer fines are needed, they should be enacted.