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).