MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has found some of your neighbors taking action to save dogs in so-called puppy mills and they are even taking their push to the governor.

Nancy Davis, of Medina, believes more needs to be done to protect dogs that are kept in large volume dog breeding facilities in Ohio. She is starting a letter writing campaign and is hoping to get others to follow her lead.

“We need help,” Davis said. “The more letters, the better. Letters are powerful stuff.”

Davis said year after year Ohio is near the top of the Humane Society of the United States “Horrible Hundred” report, which calls attention to problem breeders.

This year, the report showed 13 problem breeders in Ohio. The breeders named in the Horrible Hundred list faced several violations.

The violations ranged from keeping dogs in cramped cages to performing euthanasia and surgery on dogs without being a veterinarian.

“I am just so upset about what goes on and these violations happen over and over again,” Davis said.

The Ohio Department of Agriculture overseas large volume breeders in Ohio. ODA officials say there are more than 540 large volume breeders in the state.

“I am extremely concerned,” Davis said. “We have a problem here that needs addressed. We need stricter penalties for license breeders that have serious violations over and over again.”

Five years ago, the FOX 8 I-Team exposed some of Ohio’s large volume dog breeders. We showed that many breeders have been cited numerous times.

Dr. Dennis Summers, chief of the Division of Animal Health of the Ohio Department of Agriculture, tells the I-Team he believe the agency has made improvements to the commercial dog breeder program.

“We made great strides to make sure we are enforcing those rules and regulations as tight as we can and as fairly and consistently as we can,” Summers said. “We have had cases were licenses were revoked. There have not been that many. Again, our goal is to not immediately revoke a license. It is to give them the opportunity to come back in compliance and work to maintain compliance.”

Dr. Summers added that each large volume dog breeder is inspected at least once a year.

Davis, however, believes it should be more often. She is hoping the letters sent to the governor will bring about change.

“It can be a very simple letter. Tell him we want these laws enforced,” Davis said. “We want the suffering to stop.”