#We are Not a Pet Store

Fort St. Clair Kennel Club presents Breeder Forum on “Pet Store License” issue

In January, something strange started happening to Ohio dog breeders. People we know. Handlers. Preservation breeders. Hobbyists. They started getting letters in the mail from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, informing them that under Ohio Revised Code statute 956, they were now considered to be “pet stores” and they were obligated by law to apply for a “pet store license.”

“Our office has received notification that you may be operating as a high volume dog  breeder, a dog broker or a pet store in violation of ORC 956.04, ORC 956.05 or 956.21” . . . the letter begins. It goes on to define “High Volume Breeder”, “Dog Broker” and “Pet Store.” Those of you who envision rows of pet toys and fish tanks, dog kibble and kitty litter when you think of “pet store” may be very surprised by the State’s encompassing definition: “an individual retail store to which both of the following apply: the stores sells dogs to the public; and  with regard to the sale of the dog from the store, the sales person, the buyer of the 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.”

They go on to say that animal rescue, animal shelters and humane societies are not pet stores, but some of us might beg to differ.

It’s a funny thing, you can find a list of exact physical maladies you might possess that would compel shopkeepers to provide you with the use of their restroom whether they consider that facility public or not– but you cannot find in the Ohio Revised Code the exact definition of a “store.”  Nevertheless the Ohio Department of Agriculture had determined that if you sold a single puppy your house, regardless of its zoning, HOA or other factors constituted a retail establishment. In signing the application, you agree that your “premises” will be open for inspection at any time, without notice. Oh, wait, did we forget to mention that an annual pet store  license has a fee of $500? And that failure to comply can result in a fine of ten grand?

Then inspectors started arriving unannounced on the front porches of people who’d bred a litter or two last year.

After a whirlwind campaign of letter writing and telephone calls, and with the considerable assistance of the Government Relations department of the American Kennel Club, it all came to a halt, albeit a temporary one. On Friday, March 8th, the AKC announced that the ODA had agreed to suspend pet store license applications and enforcement while the legislature worked out a solution to the language in the statute.

In a matter of days, many breeders and exhibitors became aware of how vulnerable they are, and how vulnerable they could be again with the stroke of a pen.

On Wednesday, March 13th, Fort St. Clair Kennel Club is hosting a Breeder’s Forum to discuss the limbo in which we all live, to exchange ideas as to how to best make our voices heard in helping the legislature come to a sensible solution that would prevent this kind of wild misinterpretation in the future. Attorney (and longtime Labrador breeder) Chris Wincek and his legal partner (and son) Chris “Chap” Wincek will be on hand to offer some insight into the process of clarifying the legislation and with suggestions of what to do next. We will have an “up to the last minute” report from Jennifer Clark, director of the AKC’s government relations office and we have invited local legislators from Hamilton, Warren, Clermont, Greene, Clark, Montgomery, Butler, Preble and Darke counties to join us.

The meeting is open to everyone and is being held at The Grange, 501 Nation Ave in Eaton. We will have postcards to mail to your legislators, contact information, printed advice from the AKC on meeting with your legislator, and letter templates to help you craft your own input on how to re-shape the law.  Come on out and help us make history.

We’ll also have pie and coffee for you.


Four Fast CAT Tests One Weekend!

Be sure to mark the last weekend in September for Fast CAT fun at Fort St. Clair Kennel Club! We’ll have two AKC Fast CAT tests on Saturday and two tests on Sunday. We expect all four tests to fill, and there will be “Day of” Entries ONLY if there are spaces left. If you want to be sure your dog runs, get your entries in as soon as you can. Each test is limited to 100 dogs. Pre-entries close September 26th, and the entry fee  is $20.  (In the event that there is space for day of entries, those will be $25.)

The Fast CAT trials will be held at Preble County Fairgrounds, 722 S. Franklin St. in Eaton, OH. On-site RV camping is available through the Fairgrounds office, but you must arrive before 4 p.m. on Friday to arrange that. (Call Beth the Fairgrounds for more information, (937) 456-3748.  There are pet-friendly hotels located in nearby Richmond, Indiana.

During the Trial, there will be access to shade and shelter in the Rabbit barn, but please bring your own chairs. There is potable water on the Fairgrounds, but we recommend you bring some with you as well. Food concessions will be available.

FSCKC September 2018 Fast CAT Premium

Puppy Match Friday Night Before the Show

What better way to practice before the show than to participate in our annual AKC Sanctioned “B” Match? (And if your pup is still too young for an official show, this is still a great way to get your feet wet.)

The match is open to puppies 3 to 6 months, 6 to 9 months, 9 to 12 months and adult dogs. Dogs who have major wins should only be entered for exhibition only. Puppies must be registered in the AKC, or eligible for registration in order to participate.

There is an entry blank in the menu on the left, or if you enter at the match, we’ll have forms there.

Our matches are relaxed and light-hearted, and yet they are held on our official show site, with regulation rings and mats, a nearly identical setting for the next day’s show.

Entries are only $4 for pre-entry and $5 for day of match entry. If you are brand new to showing dogs, there are plenty of people on hand who are happy to offer help and advice.

In addition, we’ll have some snacks and beverages for participants and spectators, so come on by and have some fun.



On the back page of the Premium List for our upcoming show, there is an ad for our Fast Cat trials being held at the same show site on Sunday, April 29. We used the same ad last year, and this year, we forgot to update the price of the test. As per AKC regulations, the Fast Cat tests will be charged the fee stipulated in the Fast CAT Premium List: $20 for pre-entry and $25 for day-of-trial entry, which will only be available if the tests have not filled with pre-entries. We apologize for any confusion and inconvenience.