Thursday, May 19, 2011

What you should know about Petland, Novi

There is only one Petland store remaining in Michigan, located at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi. Petland is the nation’s largest puppy retailer who has been exposed locally by Channel 7, the Humane Society of the United States and Animal Planet. Now Michigan dog advocates from the Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup have been calling on the store to stop supporting puppy mills and start supporting rescue.

Join us every Saturday from 12-3 for peaceful demonstrations starting June 4th, 2011. See our calendar for details.

Protests at Twelve Oaks Mall began after Channel 7 exposed this store in October 2009 for selling a sick puppy. Heather Catallo, an Investigative Reporter, completed a second investigation in November 2009 after another sick dog allegation was discovered.

The store is selling sick dogs because they come from large commercial breeders and brokers. One regular supplier, Opal Featherston (Whiting KS), has inventory records listing 773 adult dogs!. This is considered a mega mill.

Just looking at Petland’s 2009-2010 breeder list, this store is not choosy. Puppies are shipped from a wide range of Missouri, Kansas, Minnesota, and Ohio breeders and brokers.

Abe Miller, House of Pets (Fresno OH) was the store’s primary 2010 supplier who delivered 68% of the puppies which equals approximately 57 per month. The United States Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) records show that this kennel housed 133 adult dogs and 110 puppies in June of 2008, which indicates it is a commercial breeding operation. With approximately 16 different breeds, the House of Pets provides the wide variety of dogs demanded by pet stores. Inspection reports show this broker was not only working with unlicensed breeders, but that it 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.

The pressure has been on all the Petland stores across the county to stop supporting. Beginning in March 2009, Bora Kim from Channel 4, covered the Class Action Lawsuit with ties to the Peltand Westland store. Animal Planet exposed the chain in May of 2010 after the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) completed a 8-month investigation. In addition, the courts are allowing a racketeering lawsuit to proceed against Petland.

Support the efforts of Puppy Mill Awareness by telling Petland Novi to stop selling puppies.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Puppy Mill Mothers Not Forgotten in Michigan

"Flint and Detroit area dog advocates share a moment of silence at local puppy pet stores"

On the eve of Mother’s Day local dog advocates came together in a moment of silence for the 130,000+ breeding mothers caged in Midwest puppy-factories. Vigils hosted by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan were held at The Family Puppy pet store in Flint and Paws-N-Claws pet store in Eastpointe.

“It was a time of reflection and about our devotion to man’s best friend” said Julieann Lotridge of Lapeer.

Among the participants were former breeding mothers. Freeda, a tiny Chihuahua, was bred for years in a plywood box with minimal human contact. “I wanted everyone to meet my survivor and see the scars from her multiple c-sections. That is all they needed her for – her babies. She had the scare tissue and old staples in her belly when she was rescued and spayed. You can even see that she lost her spirit” said Cathy Tingley of Rochester.

Puppy mills are mass-breeding facilities that raise dogs in shockingly poor conditions. They operate with an emphasis upon profits above animal welfare. Breeding mothers are often destroyed or discarded after their fertility wanes. Why is this legal? There is minimal supervision of puppy mills by the United States Department of Agriculture, whose investigators look for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Commercial breeders are supposed to be licensed and meet minimal standards of care. However, if a breeder operates without a license or fails to meet minimum standards, it is often not until he is reported that he gets inspected or cited. Penalties are substantially less than what would be required to encourage improvements.

“The best way to stop puppy mills is to refuse to buy from them and their distributors – the pet stores. If we take away their profits, they have no reason to continue.” said Pam Sordyl, the group’s founder.

“We are encouraging The Family Puppy and Paws-n-Claws pet stores to stop supporting the cruel puppy mill industry through puppy sales, and instead create an adoption program similar to other large pet supply retailers like PETCO and PetSmart” said Sordyl

Last fall Puppy Mill Awareness revealed the results of a five-month investigation of The Family Puppy chain store. The investigation revealed that The Family Puppy is Michigan’s retailer purchasing dogs from puppy mills. This spring, a boycott including weekly rallies and a petition were launched keeping the spotlight on the highest volume retailer.

Paws-n-Claws started stocking more than supplies in 2008 drawing concerns from dog advocates. Inspection reports show most of the out-of-state breeders that supply Paws-N-Claws have citations ranging from sanitation problems to inadequate veterinary care. In addition, the USDA inventory reports show that they are large commercial operations with hundreds of dogs.