Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Eleven Plaintiffs File Lawsuit Against Trade Center Pet Store


Law firm seeks permanent injunction against Pollywood Pets/Little Dogz

PRESS RELEASE: April 14, 2015

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, pmamichinfo@yahoo.com, 734-718-7100

MT. CLEMENS, MICHIGAN – Eleven plaintiffs who purchased companion animals from Little Dogz, formally operating as Pollywood Pets located in the Gibralter Trade Center, have filed a lawsuit seeking monetary damages for multiple violations of the Consumer Protection Act in the Macomb County Circuit Court after purchasing puppies that were genetically defective, suffering from infections, and highly contagious diseases.

The complaint is also requesting a permanent injunction barring the store or its owners from selling animals.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney Jenifer Measel of Haas & Goldstein, P.C., a Farmington Hills based law firm. These animals were advertised by the store and its owners as healthy and suitable for family pets but the end result was that most of the animals had to be euthanized shortly after purchase. The animals that did survive cost the plaintiffs thousands of dollars in ongoing veterinary care.

The named defendants in the lawsuit are Pollywood Pets, Little Dogz, Shelley Myers, and David Myers. The complaint also alleges fraud, claiming the store and its owners knowingly sold animals to the plaintiffs that were genetically deformed and had deadly and highly contagious diseases.

Other lawsuits have been filed against the store and its owners in the past.

Last week, Myers claimed the store’s lease had not been renewed after twenty-four years of operation at the Trade Center after a local animal welfare group put pressure on the Trade Center. Myers was seeking funding to rebuild the business on a GoFundMe site that is no longer active. During the pet store’s tenure at the Trade Center, Shelley and David Myers sold dogs, cats, rabbits, small animals, and birds out of a storefront. Multiple complaints of sick and dying animals were reported to the local and county Animal Control Offices and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development who formally regulated pet stores.

Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan launched a public education campaign in front of the Trade Center and online warning patrons of the condition of the animals being sold. During weekly protests, the animal advocates collected testimony from families who had purchased ill or genetically defective animals and advised them to file complaints.

“During our sixteen-month campaign, twenty individuals stated they purchased a sick animal from the store during that timeframe.” Pam Sordyl, Founder of Puppy Mill Awareness. “We heard so many heartbreaking stories. One woman told us her new Yorkie was diagnosed with kennel cough and pneumonia a week after purchase. Her pet was suffering, almost died, and the pet store refused to help claiming the illness was brought to their attention after the 48-hour rule stated in the contract.”

A lack of funding ended the Pet Shop Program regulating pet stores in Michigan, however, many local agencies are now enforcing the pet store laws and regulations. Both Greenwood Pets & Plants located in Warren and Pet Station in Dearborn were shut down for violating these laws and selling sick animals. Mt. Clemens employs a part-time officer who also handles parking tickets.

Today’s lawsuit seeks to protect members of the general public from unknowingly purchasing over bred, genetically deformed, and diseased animals represented as “family pets.” Those wanting to add a pet to their household are encouraged to adopt from their local shelter or foster-based animal rescues organizations, many of whom specialize in specific breeds, or thoroughly research and personally visit the breeder from whom they intend to purchase an animal. T

o follow the progress of this case, click below http://courtpa.macombgov.org/eservices/?x=wxG5daYLjb7kQSzAUaWovzJeG7rtMufm0Qpu9pF1k0ynReXeT8XMSxJdMm-MIQjlKMtPKcWgs9BgzNvuRD*NPQ

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Reasons Why Petland Is Michigan's Worst Pet Store

 
 
Petland Novi has not only imported sick puppies from the “Puppy Mill Belt of America”, but the store has continuously brought unfavorable local and national media attention, including WXYZ’s The Investigators. Petland is the nation’s largest puppy retailer with over seventy (70) locations in the United States and only one store remaining in Michigan, located at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi.

#1 Petland Novi’s breeders have shocking inspection reports, photos and videos showing injured and untreated animals 
 
Contrary to Petland’s “front-yard” breeder photos provided to the Novi City Council, Puppy Mill Awareness collected 700 USDA photos taken during kennel inspections. The photos don’t lie. This enormous photo collection from twenty-four (24) different breeders who have supplied puppies over the last five years clearly shows the store has no standards and uses no discretion when choosing suppliers. The photos show underweight, injured and untreated animals in housing facilities with no primary shelter or access to shelter, some without shade, wind or rain breaks, overcrowding conditions, excessive feces, surrounded by grime and filth. Watch videos here.
 
#2 Petland Novi uses mega-sized kennels, some with over 500 adult dogs 
 
The puppies sold at Petland Novi are often unhealthy because they are over-bred in mega-sized commercial kennels in unsanitary conditions without consideration of genetic quality. This results in generations of dogs with unchecked hereditary defects. Mass production of puppies in unsanitary kennels harbor diseases and illnesses that travel with the puppy to the pet store and can be shared among other puppies from other puppy farms on the broker transport truck. One supplier, Opal Featherston (Whiting KS) topped the charts with 773 adult dogs during a USDA inspection. Petland Novi has continued to work with large breeders over the last several years including:
°         La Nae and Justin Jackson (340 dogs)
°         Daniel Schlabach, Evergreen Designers LLC (298 dogs)
°         Philip M. Hoover LLC (295 dogs)
°         Mark Landers (275 dogs)
°         Freeman Raber (239 dogs)
°         Julie Snidow (214 dogs)

#3 Petland Novi ships 60-160 puppies per month from out-of-state commercial breeders where families can not meet the parents

Petland Novi is considered a high-volume “box” puppy retail store averaging 88 new puppies per month – this is no “mom and pop shop”! The store is part of our nation’s largest puppy-selling franchise with a corporate office in Ohio. Petland Novi shipped puppies from over 100 different out-of-state breeders over the last five years. Puppies are shipped from the Midwest “puppy mill belt” including Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma where families can not easily check conditions or meet the parents. Petland Novi’s out-of-state breeders are not helping Michigan’s economy; in fact, they are hurting families who have to cover expensive and sometimes long-term veterinary care.  Complaint Report
 
#4 Petland Novi has a history of working with bad breeders
 
The conditions of dogs housed at Petland Novi’s kennels have been consistently documented as appalling. Puppy Mill Awareness’ 2009-2010 Petland Supplier Study showed most of Petland Novi’s breeders (11 of the 16) had non-compliances to the Animal Welfare Act including excessive feces, no heat, performing surgeries, unattended bite wounds, excessive hair mats, low voltage fencing, minimum floor space, cats with backbone and ribs showing, dirty dogs, lack of bedding and shade, accumulated grime and lack of veterinary care. Petland Novi management has access to USDA inspection reports online prior to ordering puppies, yet the store continues to use breeders with violations including direct, indirect and repeat violations. Four of Petland Novi’s 2014 breeders had violations related to veterinary care and Petland Novi still purchased puppies from these breeders:
 
(1)   Julie Snidow (Missouri) Mar-13 a female Maltese has a left eye that is a light cloudy blue color with no visible pupil
(2)   La Donna Dailey (Missouri) Aug-14 one adult female French Bulldog displayed patchy area of hair loss over the shoulders and back and two smaller areas of open lesions on the face.
(3)   Michelle Houck (Kansas) Mar-13 a Chihuahua on wire flooring is in need of foot care.
(4)   Evergreen Designer (Ohio) Mar-2011 one dog was missing it’s left eye and the right eye had a 2-3 mm attached mass with a thick discharge.  Other observations included dog limping; a dog with a cloudy eye; dogs with diarrhea; a dog with runny nose and coughing; a dog with thick, hairless skin covering her tail and around her rear end and a walnut sized firm mass in her left rear mammary gland; a dog with scabs and ulcerations on his muzzle; a dog that was underweight. The licensee stated the underweight dog had weaned puppies about three weeks ago, but hasn’t gained much weight as she fights with other dog over food.
 
 
 
#5 Enforcement Actions were filed against fourteen (14) of Petland Novi’s suppliers
 
The USDA has filed Enforcement Actions against fourteen (14) of Petland Novi’s breeders within the last five years. The violations included failure to provide adequate veterinary care, outdoor housing facilities, health certification and identification, access to records and property, feeding, water, shelter from the elements, adequate primary enclosures, adequate cleaning and pest control. Petland Novi shipped puppies from six (6) of these kennels after Enforcement Actions were issued. One of these violator’s USDA license was revoked.
 
Enforcement Actions were filed against fourteen (14) of Petland Novi’s suppliers over the last five years:

(1)    Shauna Engelken (Kansas), agreed to a settlement 9-Aug-13 which required her to sell or transfer ownership of any dogs on the premises within 12 weeks. Engelken’s license was revoked. Engelken supplied Petland Novi 20 puppies during 2010-2011.

(2)    Kimberly Coleman/TLC’s Kennel (Missouri) was fined $8,250 by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. 30-May-2010

The following Petland Novi suppliers received an Official Warning Letter.  
(3)     Angelia Kochs, MO 2-Jan-14
(4)     Linda Baker, OK 5-Nov-14
(5)     Mid-America, MO 5-Jun-13
(6)     Judy Raney, KS 26-Jun-13
(7)     Justin & La Nae Jackson, KS 29-Jul-13
(8)     Marla & Roger Campbell, KS 26-Sep-12
(9)     Phyllis Disque, IA 2-Feb-11
(10)   Mark Landers, MO 24-May-11
(11)   Daniel Schlabach, Evergreen Designer, OH 10-Jan-12
(12)   Orus Mast, OH 15-Dec-10
(13)   KimberlyColeman, MO 12-May-14
(14)   Lori Fedders, IA 19-Apr-11
(15)   Hallie Ade, KS 30-Nov-12
 
#6 Petland Novi breeders have been exposed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
 
Petland Novi breeders have been repeatedly exposed by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Petland’s large breeder in Missouri - MAM Kennel, was featured in the HSUS’s 2008 eight-month investigation shown on Animal Planet. The kennel was cited for “no vet care for two years…, dogs without even the required minimum of cage space…and several rusted cages with sharp protruding wire. In 2013, four of Petland Novi’s breeders were listed on the HSUS’s “Horrible Hundred” Breeder List. — HSUS Petland Study
 
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) bolstered its campaign against puppy mills by showing over 10,000 photos of sick puppies and harsh kennel conditions taken by the federal agency that licenses commercial breeders. The press release for this website included Rod and Lindsey Rebhan heartbreaking story after purchasing a puppy from Petland Novi.
  
#7 Petland Novi uses puppy brokers or “middlemen”
 
Petland Novi claims to know their breeders well through regular kennel visits; however the store primarily uses brokers who supply puppies from a collection of breeders. Petland Novi uses two brokers: Abe N. Miller/House of Pets/D M L Kennel/Quail Creek Kennel, (Fresno OH) and Patrick Fulton/Fulton Enterprises (Alden MN). Miller supplied 75% of the puppies during the 2014 holiday season - approximately 60 per month. USDA inspection reports showed Miller was not only working with unlicensed breeders, but as a breeder himself, he was also cited for non-compliances to the Animal Welfare Act in the regulated areas of housing, primary enclosures, cleaning, veterinary care, records, compatible grouping, feeding and identification.
 
Linda Baker/Okie Pets (Ketchum, OK) another 2014 broker, was cited for veterinary care in 2012, 2014 and 2015! Enforcement Actions were taken against Baker in 2014 for repeat violations related to veterinary care including English Bulldogs with swollen lesions between their paws, a Pekingese with issues in her eye and Poodles with dental issues.
 
#8 Over 100 complaints have been logged related to Petland Novi
 
Complaints have been reported to local Animal Control, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, PetShopPuppies.org, Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan, and the Better Business Bureau. Many complaints are related to sick puppies sold. Some illnesses, such as Coccidia and Guardia, can be passed to humans. Luxating Patella issue is almost always seen in poor breeding, especially in toy breeds. PetShopPuppies.org revealed the following problems noted by customers who had purchased puppies from Petland Novi. Petland Novi Complaint Log

o    Allergies
o    Severe vomiting & diarrhea
o    Bloody Diarrhea
o    Bowed Legs
o    Breathing problems
o    Cataracts
o    Coccidia
o    Congenital Megaesophagus
o    Crystals in urine
o    Cysts
o    Demodectic Mange
o    Diarrhea
o    Brain Tumor, died at age 5.
o    Ear infections due to allergies.
o    Ear Mites
o    Giardia
o    Heart Murmur
o    Hermivertebrae
o    Intestinal Parasites          
o    Kennel Cough
o    Kidney failure
o    Luxating Patella
o    Misaligned teeth
o    Probable Tracheal collapse
o    Regurgitation
o    Runny nose
o    Seizures
o    Severe underbite.
o    Sneezing
o    Stomach problems
o    Tooth resorption.
o    Treated for URI while in pet store
o    Underweight
o    Upper respiratory illness
o    URI
o    UTI

#9 Petland Novi has been the subject of local investigations including (WXYZ Detroit) The Investigators 

Not only has the Humane Society of The United States included Petland Novi’s breeders in their investigative reports, but locally, Petland Novi has been exposed on Channel 7 (WXYZ Detroit) twice for selling sick animals. In 2009, a couple purchased a bulldog that later died from pneumonia. One month later, The Investigators were called about more allegations of sick animals. Several attempts had been made to talk to the owners of both of the local Petland stores. They have refused to do an on-camera interview with The Investigators. In 2011, the Michigan Department of Agriculture found that Petland Novi was importing puppies without proper vaccinations and missing certificates (Work Orders 6901 and 7049).  Rocky’s Story (WXYZ Detroit) and Laci’s Story (WXYZ Detroit)

#10 Petland Novi offers discounts for favorable online reviews.   

Petland Novi increased their favorable YELP reviews by 67% over last year by offering discounts to potential customers. The store claims these are real reviews, but some of these reviews are from shoppers that have not visited the store - Jessica Y. posted “Love them! Can’t wait to adopt a puppy!!! We are planning to go today. I hope this place is more promising than these reviews. I ‘loved’ them on yelp for $200 off.” This is considered unethical by YELP. Most of the favorable reviews were posted recently after the animal advocacy event, Human Chain Rally, was announced in 2014. Many unfavorable can be found online (11 total on Yelp).

Thursday, November 20, 2014

How holiday pet seekers can avoid puppy mills


Getting a new puppy or kitten for the holidays? Puppy Mill Awareness says
be on the lookout for unscrupulous puppy mill resellers and sick pets

Metro Detroit, Mich -- If a new puppy or kitten is on your family’s gift list this holiday, be sure to ask lots of questions about the pet’s health and history before you bring him or her home. Otherwise you could be at risk of costly veterinary bills, holiday disappointment or the heartbreak of having to return a sick pet.

“The holidays put families at risk,” said Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan. “There are more bad sellers advertising. The commercial pet trade actually times litters for the holidays.” Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan seeks to educate the public about the pet store/puppy mill connection and to end the sale of massed produced or “puppy mill” dogs in retail stores.

Puppy mills are high production commercial breeding facilities that confine large numbers of dogs together, often in unsanitary conditions, in wire cages, and without heat or human interaction. Due to the large volume of dogs, and the desire to keep costs low and profits high, dogs in these facilities often go without veterinary care and quality food. As a result, puppy mill puppies often suffer from any number of genetic defects and serious health issues.

Photo: Chelsea VonFintel with Magglio

When Chelsea VonFintel of Royal Oak bought her Lhasa Apso puppy from Petland of Novi, she was told that the dog, named Magglio, did not come from a puppy mill. For $1,399 she was given a pedigree from Royale Kennel owned by Richard and Opal Featherston, Whiting KS. During a Novi City Council Meeting in May, VonFintel shared her long list of health issues Magglio has suffered since then (video testimony http://youtu.be/PMfPALv4CZA). Magglio has developed severe allergies, a herniated a disc, bladder stones and now a failed liver requiring a prescription diet ($100/bag) and daily supplements. “I have spent nearly $6,000 in caring for his genetic disorders. My vet believes that he is the product of in-breeding,” said VonFintel. “My heart breaks for my sweet boy every time he has to see the veterinarian for another procedure or medication.”

About two dozen pet stores in Metro Detroit and surrounding areas still sell puppies; see the list at http://michiganpuppymills.com/shameful-pet-stores.php. Since 2008, many stores have closed or have been shut down by local authorities related to animal care. Some owners were prosecuted for animal cruelty. Around the United States, the number of stores selling live pets is significantly down as ordinances are being passed to prohibit retail sales of pets, and consumers become better informed and opt instead to adopt from shelters or go to reputable breeders.

The following metro Detroit stores have been linked to out-of-state commercial kennels through interstate health certificates:

Petland, Novi, Mi
The Family Puppy, Troy
The Family Puppy, Novi
The Family Puppy, Flint
The Little Pet Shop, Utica
Westland Dog Food Co., Westland
Critter Pet Shop, Allen Park
House of Pets, Garden City
Pet City Pets, Wyandotte
Pet City Pets, Ypsilanti

How can you tell if a dog has come from a puppy mill? “If a store sells puppies, they are likely coming from a puppy mill or back-yard breeder since responsible breeders never sell wholesale to a store,” said Sordyl. “In Michigan, stores are not required to provide information about the pet’s origins. Even if this information is provided, many puppy mills are out of state making a visit to the facility difficult. While the State of Michigan requires all dogs sold to have a 30-day health certificate signed by a veterinarian, some vets fail to identify serious health problems for fear they will lose the store as a client.”

If you are shopping for a puppy or kitten at a pet store that sells pets, Sordyl says to watch out for:

Misleading Ads

• Advertisements promoting tiny, teacup, micro and toy puppies. They are often simply underage dogs
• Designer dogs are really overpriced mixed breeds.

Genetic Defects

• deformed paws
• under bite or over bite
• hernias
• inverted eyelids
• retained testicles
• loose knee caps
• abnormally small nostrils

Signs of Illness

• lethargic or lacking energy
• skinny
• runny nose or eyes
• scratching at ears
• red or inflamed ears
• coughing
• diarrhea
• vomiting

Stores that sell dogs, and in some cases, cats, are different than those that collaborate with rescue groups to offer homeless pets for adoption. Most national chain pet supplies stores like PetSmart, Petco and Pet Supplies Plus do not sell puppies or kittens. Instead, they may have rescue groups set up adoption events at the store.

So how should I find a pet? Families looking for a holiday puppy or kitten can also go to their local animal shelter, to animal rescue groups and to Pet Finder which is a comprehensive website with thousands of animals up for adoption. Sordyl recommends rescue groups that are certified for best practices by the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. Many of these groups offer a “foster to adopt “program that allows families to make sure the pet is right for them before adopting. See pet adoption resources, upcoming adoption events and a list of certified animal rescue groups at http://michiganpuppymills.com/puppy-buyers.php.

Have your heart set on a new holiday puppy or kitten? Sordyl says that while families love the excitement of the new furry family member, the holidays are often not the best time of year to bring home a new pet. “Pets do not make great gifts or surprises,” she says. “This is a long-term commitment, so please make sure you have matched the right pet with the right person or family.”


 
Photo Credit: USDA Inspector 2011. Lorilee Thomas and Featherston, Opal (Whiting, KS)
Shuh tzu # 0A01472763 has hair loss along the sides, chest and legs.


Photo Credit: USDA Inspector 2011.Lorilee Thomas and Featherston, Opal (Whiting, KS)
Broken wire mesh with sharp points by dog feeder.

Photo Credit: USDA Inspector 2011.Lorilee Thomas and Featherston, Opal (Whiting, KS)
Chihuahua # 068827636 had excessively long toe nails. There were hair loss and thinning hair along the side. The skin was also reddened.

See more at: http://nopetstorepuppies.com/dog-breeder/thomas-lorilee-chris-and-featherston-opal#sthash.3z70b1Ns.dpuf

 
 
Puppy Mill Awareness to form human chain on “Black Friday” on November 28, in Novi Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan will form a human chain in Novi to raise awareness of puppy mills on “Black Friday,” November 28 at 11:00 a.m. The chain will begin at the entrance of the Twelve Oaks Mall on Novi Road. Petland, the nation’s largest puppy retailer is located in the Twelve Oaks Mall and The Family Puppy, Michigan’s largest chain puppy retailer, is located in Fountain Walk across the street. For information on joining this event, go to https://www.facebook.com/events/700369750046794/.

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan 734-718-7100 / pmamichinfo@yahoo.com

Monday, July 14, 2014

Human Chain Through Novi



Let’s tell Novi to stop selling puppies from puppy mills! Join us to form a Puppy Mill Awareness Human Chain through Novi 

Novi is Michigan’s “Puppy Retail Capital” with two big box puppy stores. Petland is located in the Twelve Oaks Mall and is our nation’s largest retail chain importing an average of 80 puppies a month. The Family Puppy is located in Fountain Walk across the street and is our state’s largest retailer of puppies with three remaining stores. Learn more about their suppliers on our website. http://michiganpuppymills.com/shameful-pet-stores.php
 
Join us on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm to form a Human Chain through Novi. Wear a red bandana. Rain or shine, so consider bringing a rain coat as it will be hard to hold an umbrella and hold hands.
 
Our goal is to have 300 people holding hands from the south end of the 96 overpass to the entrance of the Twelve Oaks Mall.  Participants are asked to stand on east side of road. Check-in near Denny’s or Famous Daves.

HOSTS: Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

PRIMARY CONTACT:  Pam Sordyl 734-718-7100

CO-HOSTS:  If your organization, shelter or business would like to co-host this event, please send an email to pmamichinfo@yahoo.com, attention Pam Sordyl. Early notification requested by July 14th.  Co-hosting would only involve a few things:
  1. Your logo on our flyer and other event materials.
  2. Event promotion on your facebook, twitter and website. Very easy!
  3. Attend! Wear your organization’s t-shirt and a red bandanna.
The more organizations behind the event, the louder the message to the City Council and Mall Management. We want the mall to GO HUMANE and the city to prohibit the retail sales of puppies!

EVENT DO’S and DON’TS

  • DO wear a red bandana.
  • DO wear your animal welfare organization’s t-shirt. If independent, wear a black or white shirt.
  • DO bring a rain coat, umbrella’s won’t work if we are holding hands!
  • DO NOT Bring your dog. Novi road is too busy and dangerous.
  • DO NOT Bring your own sign. We will provide them.
  • DO Park in designated parking areas.
  • DO NOT walk or park in Twelve Oaks mall parking lots. We have to stay on public property. For this event we will not need to cut across the mall property. The easement is approximately 20 feet from the road.
  • DO NOT go into either puppy store, before, during or after the event.
  • DO NOT block the footpath, so please make sure that you stay up against the east-side railing of the overpass and allow free passage of cyclists and pedestrians.
  • DO NOT pass out flyers. We will have approved literature and can not interfere with traffic.
  • DO NOT interrupt the flow of traffic.  Tell people to pull around near one of the check-in areas if they have questions.
  • DO NOT approach cars exiting the mall at the light.
  • DO be peaceful and do not engage with any opposition.
  • DO NOT respond to any taunts, verbal abuse or insults coming from passerbys - YOUR ADVERSE REACTION is what they want. We usually just wave as if they were supporting us!
  • DO obey police officers, no questions asked. Always cooperate even if you feel like something is unfair. We can always handle issues at the police station the next day. Direct officers to an event coordinator.
  • NOTHING is permitted to be put into the ground. We may have pre-approved banners, but they will need to be held.
  • NOTHING is permitted to be affixed to any part of the overpass, railings, or municipal signs.
  • NOTHING is permitted to be dropped or thrown from the overpass.

 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Oakland County kennel listed on The HSUS “Horrible 101” Dog Breeder List

 
Oakland County kennel listed on The HSUS “Horrible 101” Dog Breeder List

Chien d’Or Kennel, a golden retriever breeding facility in Farmington Hills, Michigan, has failed many county inspections but remains open

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 6, 2014

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, (734) 718-7100, pmamichinfo@yahoo.com

Farmington Hills, Mich. – Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan is taking part in the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) eighth annual “Puppy Mill Action Week” by releasing photos from a Michigan dog breeding facility listed in an annual report of 100 of the nation’s problem puppy mills. Chien d'Or Kennel, a.k.a. “Gabriel’s Ark Kennel,” located in Farmington Hills, is featured in the report “101 Puppy Mills: A Sampling of Problem Puppy Mills in the United States,” released yesterday by The HSUS.

The operator of the kennel, Mary Kathryn Gabriel, breeds AKC-registered golden retrievers and sells puppies online directly to the public. Photographs taken during Oakland County Animal Control inspections in 2013 show dogs with patches of missing fur and confined to small, rusty cages, enduring dirty conditions and overcrowding. The kennel has failed many county inspections since 2008 and has been the subject of numerous complaints from buyers of the kennel’s puppies.

Pam Sordyl of Puppy Mill Awareness, who has gathered extensive documentation from public records, reports by visitors to the kennel, and dog buyers, stated, “Ms. Gabriel is a chronic offender with repeat violations of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s ‘Regulation 129’governing standard for dog kennels. The deplorable conditions of the kennels seem to have directly impacted the dogs’ health and may have even violated Michigan’s animal cruelty laws.”

Gabriel has been primarily breeding and showing AKC golden retrievers since 1999 and advertises them on her website www.chiendorgoldens.com.

Inspection reports by Oakland County Animal Control officers detail shocking conditions and include recommendations for removal of the animals. “The dogs standing had a mere few inches from the top of the cages,” wrote officer Sgt. Brzezinski in a report. “The cages themselves were caked with dirt, filth, rust and animal waste. Several of the dogs were itching, and biting themselves nonstop which is consistent with a flea infestation. The water buckets, clipped to the cages…also included dirt, hair and grime. It was difficult to breath from the smell and cloud of flies in the room.”

To address the problems associated with large-scale dog breeders in Michigan, Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) and Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) have introduced the “Breeder Registration Bill,” S.B. 560. Once registered, dog breeders with 15 or more animals would be required to meet minimum care standards and guidelines for the care of their animals. Concerned Michigan citizens are encouraged to call or send letters to their legislators to support S.B. 560, which the bill’s authors hope will receive a hearing this spring.

To see the HSUS’s 2014 report “101 Puppy Mills: A Sampling of Problem Puppy Mills in the United States,” visit www.humanesociety.org/101PuppyMills.

Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan is working to end the mass production of dogs in commercial kennels, or "puppy mills.” Our mission is to educate the public about the cruel cycle of commercial dog breeding and the pet store link. Read more at www.meetup.com/puppymillawareness.

More photos.

###

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Little Pet Shop Press Release





Group Asks New Pet Store to Adopt
Puppy-Friendly Practices
Detroit area dog advocates share information
about the pet store-puppy mill connection
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 11, 2014
CONTACT:  Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100, pmamichinfo@yahoo.com
An animal advocacy group sent an invitation to the new owners of The Little Pet Shop located at 45460 Van Dyke Road, Utica, asking them to become pet friendly by not selling puppies that come from puppy mills and instead to feature only rescued and adoptable dogs in their store.
Pam Sordyl, director of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan, said “We hope that The Little Pet Shop will join the ranks of so many other pet supply stores across the nation and adopt a policy to help stop pet overpopulation.”
Sordyl sent a formal invitation to The Little Pet Shop to stop selling puppies and to take the Puppy Friendly Pet Store pledge through the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) initiative. The Little Pet Shop has yet to respond to the group’s requests.
“We hope the store will take our request seriously,” said Sordyl. “We've worked with over 100 Michigan pet supply stores to sign them onto the Puppy Friendly Pet Store pledge. Unfortunately, some other stores have been reluctant to do so, and we then enacted a public campaign to educate the public about the stores’ puppy mill suppliers.” Nine area stores that sell puppies have closed after such campaigns were launched.
The group’s investigation of The Little Pet Shop shows the puppy store began working with two out-of-state brokers: Pinnacle Pets, Neosho MO and Fulton Enterprises, MN in March. These brokers are working with breeders located in Arkansa, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Oklahoma.
One such breeder—Gina Boer, Iowa —shipped a Havanese/Pomeranian mix puppy to the store via Pinnacle. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection reports show Boer was cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act related to barns with no insulation, no heat, no cooling and no shelter structures for the dogs. One violation report read, “The barn has holes in the roof where the rain can easily come through where the dogs are.”  Other violations indicate unsanitary and unsafe conditions: underneath the grated floors of the enclosures has a build up of old food and excreta, there is dust, dirt and a build of up grime throughout the building on the enclosures, light fixtures and objects.
“With 47 adult dogs living in unsanitary barns, this is certainly a puppy mill” said Sordyl.  
Michigan families care about their pets, while The Little Pet Shop is being irresponsible and working with out-of-state breeders who are mistreating their animals.”
Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan will be protesting Saturday, April 12th, and has stated that if the store does not opt to end its puppy mill connection, the group plans to conduct a public education campaign outside the store.
The group has also invited the store to attend the next City Council meeting scheduled for April 15th where they would like the owners to explain how they selected these breeders and how can they ensure families are not purchasing inhumanely breed pets with genetic defects.

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