Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Will Westland Dog Food Co Go Humane?

We send sent letters to the owners of Westland Dog Food Co. located at 37687 Ford Rd., asking them to stop selling puppies that come from puppy mills and instead to feature only rescued and adoptable dogs in their store.

We hope that Westland Dog Food Co. will join the ranks of so many other pet supply stores across the nation and adopt a policy to help stop pet overpopulation.

A formal invitation was sent to Westland Dog Food Co. to stop selling puppies and to take the Puppy Friendly Pet Store pledge through the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) initiative, along with an offer to support the store during its transition to adoption events only. Westland Dog Food Co. has yet to respond to the group’s requests.

We hope the store will take our request seriousl. 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. Six area stores that sell puppies have closed after such campaigns were launched.

Our investigation of Westland Dog Food Co. shows the puppy store has primarily worked with Missouri breeders and brokers going back to 2001. One such breeder—MAM Kennels in Lamar, Missouri—was featured in an HSUS investigation and was included in their “Missouri’s Dirty Dozen” list. United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspection reports show that MAM Kennels was cited for repeated violations of the Animal Welfare Act related to severe overcrowding, lack of shelter or bedding, dogs without the minimum space required, and no veterinary care for two years. One violation report read, “There are 2 dogs - a yellow lab in pen #6 and a rottweiler in pen #64 that have injuries and need to be see by a Veterinarian. The lab is limping on the left front paw. The rottweiler is walking with a humpbacked gait and is very thin. Both of these animals must be seen by a veterinarian to access their medical condition.”

Another breeder who shipped puppies to Westland Dog Food Co. in 2011, David Remey of Boonville, Arkansas, was inspected by the USDA in December 2010. The investigator found that the outside runs of the dog enclosures had a build-up of animal waste. There were areas of the enclosure where the animals could not move freely without coming into contact with feces.

This is disgusting. Michigan families care about their pets, while Westland Dog Food Co. has a history of working with out-of-state breeders who are mistreating their animals.

Over the years, Westland Dog Food Co. has worked with over 40 different out-of-state breeders and brokers, some of whom have also supplied puppies to Petland Novi. Those breeders’ kennel inventories range from 21 to 482 adult dogs.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture launched an investigation of Westland Dog Food Co.’s health certificates after finding that 44 % of its puppies were being imported illegally into the state. From June 2009 to December 2010, 25 of the puppies’ health certificates were rejected for not having the vaccinations required for import into Michigan.

An additional letter was sent to Westland Dog Food Co. this week, saying 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 letter ends with the request, “We would like you to pledge in writing to convert to a humane business model."

September 17, 2011 will mark Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan’s 4th Annual Puppy Mill Awareness Day event. Each year we focus our public education efforts on a store that works with large commercial dog breeders. This year, if this store does not decide to adopt a more humane business model, we may be doing such a campaign on Ford Road in Westland.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Puppy Sales End with Store Closer (Eastpointe, Mi)

On Friday, July 29, 2011 Paws-N-Claws posted their closer signs. Grand Closing 8/12 – 8/14.

Selling puppies does not save a business; it only brings on bad news.

Our Paws-N-Claws campaign started as one of several Holiday Round-A-Bouts, but turned into a 6-month boycott with strong local support. We held 36 protests from November 2010 - May 2011. From blizzards to gale force winds- we were out there! With multiple fume blowing snow blowers and lawn mowers - we were out there! Fowl smells, intimidation photos and frivolous police calls could not stop us.

I want to give a virtual pat the back to those who kept coming out with fierce determination and passion: Olivia, Pam W, Paula, Janet, Sharon, Akshay, Shannon, Christine, Cathy and many others who joined when they could.

Here are some of my personal campaign highlights:

More favorite photos.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pet Store Owner Serves Jail Time

Does everyone remember the Laura Springborn case from last spring? One of the headlines read “ Gregory Woman Charged With Animal Cruelty Turns Herself In”. Springborn opened Pet Paradise Plus store stocked with puppies in Stockbridge, Mi in 2010. It was soon surrounded by protesters and eventually raided by the Ingham County ACO in May 2010. An investigation led them to her home in Gregory (Livingston County). In her home, they found over twenty small breed dogs in unsanitary conditions. She soon faced felony charges.

Unsanitary conditions should have been written as “shockingly” unsanitary. I thought you all might want to see just went on behind the pet store’s displays.

Springborn was no stranger to local Animal Control. There were many complaints filed regarding her dogs housed in Gregory going back to 2006.

1.13 dogs, Newf, St. Bernards, Great Pyren. And St. B puppies. No shade, skinny, not good living conditions.
2. No dog licenses.
3. Running at large, attacking neighbors dog.
4.Animal abuse: Shade, food and water?
5. Abuse. Too many dogs. Over 10. Breeding dogs, not caring for them. Hearing horrible yelps and crying from home.

On April 9, 2010, Animal Control removed a total of 24 dogs/puppies from her property. Inside the home they observed several dogs, garbage, and fecal matter covering the entire floor of every room in the home. There was smeared fecal matter throughout the home, some spots were several inches thick. The ammonia smell was overwhelming causing eyes to burn. No food or water was observed. What food was available was mixed with urine and stool. Springborn was informed for the sake of the dogs they could not stay and they would be removed immediately. Some dogs were locked in the back room which they came back later for. When they returned for them, the floors had been scraped from some fecal matter. When they opened the locked doors to the bedrooms, the dogs began running out into the living room and kitchen scavenging for food.

While the Livingston County ACO was rescuing the breeding dogs from Springborns home, the Ingham County ACO was finishing up their lengthy report involving her pet store. They had numerous complaints over poor conditions of the facility and gravely ill puppies. Fourteen dogs were removed from the pet store, two had parvo and later died.

There was a Health Certificate for a female St. Bernard in July of 2009 from Dr. John Hermann. This mobile vet seems to work with all the shady pet stores. The address for Pet Paradise on the certificate showed 15525 Racho Road, Taylor Mi with a Jackson phone number (517-795-4126). This is the Gibraltar Trade Center address in Taylor. It appears she moved from the Trade Center to Gregory.

At the Springborn home:
None of the dogs were licensed.
There was not a sufficient amount of food available to the dogs.
There was not adequate water provided
The interior of the home was caked with fecal matter and urine some areas contained several inches of accumulated stool.
There were at least five space heaters on the floor in various rooms and the dogs were running into them. One had appeared to be burned on its rear quarters.
Laura claimed two days ago she had bought two 8 week old Chihuahua puppies from Ohio. She could not find the health certificate required by law.
Laura could not provide any proof of vet care for any of the 24 dogs in her home.
Many of the dogs were coated with fecal matter.
Many dogs had visible lesions and inflamed eyes.
Some of the dogs observed being bred repeatedly.
There were large amounts of mouse excrement observed in all r ooms.
Many of the windows had been covered in spray paint.
There were feces covered clothing and sheets scattered throughout the home.

The Livingston County prosecutor ensured that Springborn would not be allowed to have animals during her two year probation. The Ingham County prosecutor was able to get some jail time, community service and much needed counseling. She was sentence to 6 months probation on 7/26/11.

To view all photos, click here.

111 W. MAIN ST.

Livingston County Case Number: 10-19044
Ingham County Case Number: 11-00063SM