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brotymo
21st November 2008, 03:42 AM
Here was this article on the front (home) page of MSN.com
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27822309/?gt1=43001

Investigation ties Pet Chain to Puppy Mills
Many Petland Store Dogs Bred in poor conditions, Humane Society Says:

After an eight-month investigation, the Humane Society of the United States accused Petland, the national pet store chain, of selling dogs bred under appalling conditions at puppy mills around the country.
The animal protection group made the charges at a news conference in Washington Thursday. The investigation involved 21 Petland stores and dozens of breeders and brokers. The Petland stores are being supplied by large-scale puppy mills, although customers are routinely informed that the dogs come only from good breeders, the Humane Society said.
"They are buying from puppy mills where these dogs are not treated like pets," Michael Markarian, an executive vice president with the Humane Society, told a news conference. "They're treated like a cash crop, where mother dogs live in wire cages, sometimes stacked on top of each other in filthy, dirty, cramped conditions, where they receive little socialization or human interaction or exercise (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27822309/?gt1=43001#)."
Dogs from puppy mills are sold at Petland stores for as much as $3,500 each, according to the Humane Society.
Investigators reviewed interstate import records of an additional 322 breeders, U.S. Department of Agriculture reports and more than 17,000 individual puppies linked to Petland stores, according to a release on the group's Web site (http://www.hsus.org/pets/pets_related_news_and_events/petland_puppy_mill_112008.html).
Filthy cages, inadequate care
Among the poor conditions cited, investigators found puppies in commercial breeders "living in filthy cages reeking of urine, with inadequate care and socialization," according to the release. The Humane Society says dogs at the mills were found in cages with wire flooring so large that the puppies' paws and even the paws of the mother dogs would fall through.

The group said pet stores should not be buying puppies from "abusive puppy mills" and "should not be lying to consumers" about where they get their puppies.
A call to Petland corporate offices in Chillicothe, Ohio, was not immediately returned. In a statement, Petland said the company does not support substandard breeding facilities and provides each store with guidelines on humane care of animals.
A statement on the company's Web site (http://www.petland.com/) noted that "Petland stores are independently operated by qualified franchisees. Each is responsible for choosing healthy (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27822309/?gt1=43001#) pets offered to Petland customers. Petland, Inc. provides each Petland store with humane care guidelines to assist in this important task."
Individual Petland stores previously have been targeted by animal rights activists for reselling puppies supplied by commercial breeders.
Large commercial breeders are legal and regulated by the USDA, but enforcement of humane conditions is a low priority (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22100558/), according to a recent report on msnbc.com.
The Humane Society investigation comes as legislators recently have stepped up moves to crack down on the lucrative puppy mill industry. In October, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell signed a bill imposing stricter standards on commercial kennels (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27122919/), including regular veterinary exams, larger cages and exercise areas. At least three other states have issued laws this year placing restrictions on commercial breeders.

RodRussell
21st November 2008, 04:18 AM
Very likely there is a little more to this story that has gone unsaid, and maybe a lot. First of all, the Humane Society of the United States i(HSUS) is a front organ for the animal rights crowd. It gives these AR cretins the entree into polite society and focuses mainly on raising money from little old ladies who think it protects helpless dogs and cats. Truth is not in its moral code. Second, MSNBC is not a professional news organization; it is a horribly biased opinion-oriented cable television network. Truth is not in its moral code, either. Third, of all retail outlets for puppy sales, Petland is the one most careful about sanitary conditions and careful treatment of the puppies. Usually when the HSUS holds a big press conference taking credit for "exposing" this sort of thing, it is based on half-truths and is just an excuse to attract financial contributors.

JeanKC
21st November 2008, 09:41 AM
Not a big HSUS or MSNBC fan either... but the story about puppy mills can't be told enough.

brotymo
21st November 2008, 01:19 PM
Yes, I realize these things about the HSUS (who wants to bring on the extinction of domestic animals within one generation if possible, which is the true motivation behind their spay and neuter every dog and cat policy) and MSNBC, however millions of people (like me) have MSNBC as their home page. When they opened up internet explorer yesterday, it was right smack in the middle of the page.

Your average citizen won't go looking for information on puppy mills, and many (like my own mom and sister until a year ago) had no clue what they were or that they even exist. An article like that on a frequently read venue will reach a lot of people. I don't care HOW it gets out, as long as it gets out! Thankfully, they weren't showing links to "send donations to the HSUS" in the article.

Puppy Mills biggest asset is people's ignorance. Articles and reports from widely read news sources is badly and frequently needed.

redhare
21st November 2008, 03:57 PM
Watching that video made me so sad, and it is just another in a long line of investigations about pet stores. For more information on Petland and where they get their puppies, visit:

http://www.petstorecruelty.org/boycottpetland.htm

(Hope it is OK to post this link)

The stories written and submitted by pet owners and former Petland employees in the Pet Store hall of Shame section are very disheartening :(

RodRussell
21st November 2008, 06:53 PM
Puppy Mills biggest asset is people's ignorance. Articles and reports from widely read news sources is badly and frequently needed.

But when the articles are false -- with made up quotes from customers and ex-employees -- and they impune an innocent retailer, they aren't needed at all. I could fill up a whole website with true stories about puppy mill abuse, and Petland would not be mentioned once. I've been keeping copies of such reports since the Philadelphia Inquirer published an expose of eastern Pennsylvania puppy millers in, I think, 1996. But HSUS is not to be believed, and MSNBC is a notorious puppet for outfits like HSUS.

Karlin
21st November 2008, 07:42 PM
Personally I find believing the HSUS have a dramatic evil agenda is as silly as believing the propaganda on the other side. I will believe the HSUS are seeking the demise of all pets when I also see proof that the kennel clubs are fully dedicated to health over cosmetic appearance in dogs. :rolleyes:

The truth as always is somewhere in between.

And having just seen someone involved with the breed clubs argue against California's compassion in farming legislation on the basis that chickens just are indifferent to bring crammed in a cage because they dont care to roam anyway, and it is all a slippery slope on the way to banning pets... (:sl*p: -- how stupid are these people?) -- you wonder what this idiot's argument is then against puppy farms, as any fool can tell you that dogs too will be quite 'indifferent' and will learn to accept a cage, even fear being put outside on grass in an open space, if that is all they know (ask anyone who rescue puppy mill dogs). Or a crate for that matter -- hence the people who argue a dog is delighted to be crated all day and all night, just being allowed out at the convenience of the owner in the small period when the owner is home on weekends and in the evening. THAT to me is cruelty yet it is written off by many breeders and pet owners as the convenience they need to own a dog and they argue they have a 'right' to own a dog, regardless of how limited the dog's life becomes. And I won't even start on the cavalier breeders who breed on a medium to large scale and kennel all their dogs, yet would not home a puppy to a home that would say they intended to kennel their dog! Go figure. Those 'humane' ways of owning dogs to me are far worse than anything anyone has come up with as fodder against the HSUS.

RodRussell
22nd November 2008, 01:10 AM
Here is Petland's initial response to the HSUS accusations:

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio, Nov 21, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- At Petland, healthy, happy, well-socialized pets within our care are our number one priority as they have been for 41 years.

We do not support substandard breeding facilities and we provide each Petland store with "Humane Care Guidelines," that were developed in conjunction with the U.S.D.A. to assist with breeder facility inspections as it pertains to pet selection.

Reports such as those posted on the HSUS web site surface every year around the holiday season in conjunction with their annual fundraising efforts. Unfortunately, we were not interviewed or consulted nor were we a part of any of the editing process. This is sensationalism at its best. HSUS has a history of publicizing false information in an effort to raise money. They do not operate a single pet shelter or pet adoption facility anywhere in the U.S. To the contrary, over the last 10 years, Petland has adopted out more than 270,000 homeless puppies and kittens nationwide.

Additional information to understand about HSUS:

1. During 2006, HSUS contributed only 4.2 percent of its budget to organizations that operate hands-on dog and cat shelters. In reality, HSUS is a wealthy animal-rights lobbying organization (the largest and richest) that agitates for the same goals as PETA and other radical groups.

2. HSUS raised money online with the false promise that it would "care for the dogs in the Michael Vick case." The New York Times later reported HSUS wasn't caring for Vick's dogs at all. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle told the Times that his group recommended that government officials "put down" the dogs rather than try to adopt them out.

3. HSUS senior management team includes a former spokesman for the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), a criminal group designated as "terrorists" by the FBI.

4. Less than 12 percent of money raised for HSUS by California telemarketers actually ends up in HSUS's bank account. The rest is kept by professional fundraisers.

5. HSUS raised a reported $34 million in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, supposedly to help reunite lost pets with their owners. Little of that money was spent for its intended purpose. Public disclosures of the disposition of the $34 million in Katrina-related donations add up to less than $7 million.

As reported by Center for Consumer Freedom, http://www.consumerfreedom.com

About Petland

Petland is the retail pet industry leader in the area of animal care with ongoing staff training programs, in-store animal husbandry systems and community service programs aimed at placing homeless pets and promoting the spaying and neutering of pets in the community. At Petland, our pet counselors are experts at matching the right pet with the right person. We carry a wide range of pets including mixed breed and register-able puppies and kittens, tropical fish and birds, reptiles and small animals. Some of our puppies and kittens come from local animal shelters, pet rescue groups and from members of the community. Petland also offers upwards of 6,000 pet supplies. For more information, visit http://www.petland.com.

brotymo
22nd November 2008, 03:03 AM
Personally I find believing the HSUS have a dramatic evil agenda is as silly as believing the propaganda on the other side. I will believe the HSUS are seeking the demise of all pets when I also see proof that the kennel clubs are fully dedicated to health over cosmetic appearance in dogs. :rolleyes:



Here is a direct quote from the VP (now president) of HSUS:

“We have no ethical obligation to preserve the different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding. One generation and out. We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding.” Wayne Pacelle, Senior VP of Humane Society of the US, formerly of Friends of Animals and Fund for Animals, Animal People, May, 1993.

And here is a link to many more very disturbing quotes from animal rights activists...in case we forget their agenda, and how determined they are:

Animal Rights Activist Quotes (http://www.nopitbullbans.com/?page_id=7)

Here is a very comprehensive list (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2117412/posts)of information on HSUS, things they have funded and affiliations that might shock you PETA, ALF (designated a terrorist group by the FBI, etc. I receive MANY of the mailings mentioned in this article. They all are very misleading and make you think you are helping an animal shelter and sponsoring a pet in need.

Daisy's Mom
23rd November 2008, 04:21 AM
I don't know too much about the HSUS, but this is all pretty surprising and disturbing. However, saying you provide your breeders with information on ethical standards means absolutely nothing other than you may give them a handout. Big whoop.

And I've never seen a Petland adopt out homeless animals other than the poor homeless animals they are selling for exorbitant prices from questionable breeders. Petsmart and Petco, yes, Petland, no.

It's hard to know what to think. I am definitely going to do some research on the HSUS. I get their mailings regularly and have contributed to them in the past, but I will make sure I agree with their stances in the future before doing so again.

KingstonsMom
23rd November 2008, 09:09 AM
Third, of all retail outlets for puppy sales, Petland is the one most careful about sanitary conditions and careful treatment of the puppies.

What about the treatment of those puppies' parents? Does Petland care about that? The ethics of HSUS isn't the issue here. It still stands that Petland sells sick puppies to the ignorant public for exhorbitant prices. They will hand over a puppy to anyone with money in their pocket. How is Petland "sanitary" when everytime I go in there I see dogs sitting in tiny cages surrounded by their own feces? How does Petland provide "careful treatment" when they encourage you to have your kid's next birthday party there? Either you're an employee of this disgusting "puppy as cash crop" establishment or you haven't done your research. I'm sorry, I don't get get worked up often on this board but this time I can't hold my tongue.

brotymo
23rd November 2008, 02:27 PM
What about the treatment of those puppies' parents? Does Petland care about that? The ethics of HSUS isn't the issue here. It still stands that Petland sells sick puppies to the ignorant public for exhorbitant prices. They will hand over a puppy to anyone with money in their pocket. How is Petland "sanitary" when everytime I go in there I see dogs sitting in tiny cages surrounded by their own feces? How does Petland provide "careful treatment" when they encourage you to have your kid's next birthday party there? Either you're an employee of this disgusting "puppy as cash crop" establishment or you haven't done your research. I'm sorry, I don't get get worked up often on this board but this time I can't hold my tongue.


I am in total agreement with you, which is why I posted this original thread. My vizsla, Odin, came from Petland. We got him at a year old from the people who bought him as a puppy from Petland. He has many residual issues from his time as a pet store and puppy mill dog. He didn't get purchased from Petland until he was 18 weeks old. I am guessing he was confined to small cased for his entire life up until then. He to this day has sanitation issues. (He will soil his area, urinate when nervous, etc.) He definitely has problems. None of the issues involve agression, but he is not the dog my other dogs are, nor is he like the three other vizslas I have owned (with my ex when we were married) so I know it isn't just "breed" specific behavior.

Yes, I don't agree with the HSUS, I won't support them, and they are a downright troubling organization. They weren't the issue here, but since they came up mentioned as a positive force by someone, I felt it was important to shed some light on their very misleading agenda. They are becoming very much like PETA, just without the reputation yet. My intention was simply to share how, fortunately, an article on Petland was posted somewhere millions would see it, and maybe it would help somewhat to change the fate of dogs in puppy mills. I only wish the article had followed up with advise for people who are looking for a puppy. Most folks will just turn to the newspaper. Very few people think to look to the breed club for advice on selecting a breeder (and that, yes, isn't foolproof, I know)

RodRussell
23rd November 2008, 09:58 PM
What about the treatment of those puppies' parents? Does Petland care about that? The ethics of HSUS isn't the issue here. It still stands that Petland sells sick puppies to the ignorant public for exhorbitant prices. They will hand over a puppy to anyone with money in their pocket. How is Petland "sanitary" when everytime I go in there I see dogs sitting in tiny cages surrounded by their own feces? How does Petland provide "careful treatment" when they encourage you to have your kid's next birthday party there? Either you're an employee of this disgusting "puppy as cash crop" establishment or you haven't done your research. I'm sorry, I don't get get worked up often on this board but this time I can't hold my tongue.

I am not an advocate of commercial puppy sales at any level, be it producer, dealer, or retailer. I would never recommend that anyone consider buying a Cavalier from a pet shop. But, I recognize that the commercial puppy sales industry is huge, at least on this side of the Atlantic, and nothing that any of us try to do will shut it down. It has flourished for the past 60 years, and it keeps getting bigger every year no matter how much we all wish it would go away.

So, a feasible goal is to encourage responsible commercial puppy breeding and sales ("responsible" in the sense that that the sire and dam are healthy and well treated, and their puppies likewise are well treated and are examined by a veterinarian prior to shipment and are treated for any infections or other disorders which are diagnosed) and to discourage the truly reprehensible puppy mills where no care is given to the parents or the puppies.

I have done some research into Petland over the past year, in conjunction with a couple of articles I have written for an AKC internal publication, and I have found that, as a matter of principle, Petland's puppy procurement and sales policies are far superior to nearly all other retail outlets of puppies in the US. This includes periodic inspections of Petland facilities by AKC inspectors, who report any mistreatment of poor care or untreated diseases which are uncovered. So, relatively speaking, Petland at least tries to be a superior retail outlet for commercially bred puppies.

That doesn't mean that no puppies sold by any Petland outlet will have any infection or other health problem. But I have found that even those Cavalier breeders who consider themselves to be the most responsible and most caring sometimes also place puppies which are less than totally healthy.

As for HSUS and its fellow-traveler PETA, I have found no redeeming social or moral value in either of them, and I have been looking into those outfits for a long time, too. So, when HSUS chooses to focus on one particular retail establishment, I default to being highly suspicious that they are lying about their "evidence", in order to attract the attention of people inclined to contribute funds to outfits they think want to protect helpless animals. Unfortunately, Protecting helpless animals is not what HSUS and PETA are about.

KingstonsMom
24th November 2008, 01:45 AM
I apologize if I was rude, but Petland has been a sore subject for me for a while now. Petland may in fact be superior to other puppy "retailers" but, unfortunately, that isn't saying much. I'll never forget holding a little black-and-tan Cavalier at a Petland once and seeing the sniffles running down her nose. This company simply doesn't care.

brotymo
24th November 2008, 02:02 AM
I apologize if I was rude, but Petland has been a sore subject for me for a while now. Petland may in fact be superior to other puppy "retailers" but, unfortunately, that isn't saying much. I'll never forget holding a little black-and-tan Cavalier at a Petland once and seeing the sniffles running down her nose. This company simply doesn't care.


I agree. Odin, my vizsla who came from Petland (before we got him at a year old from the people who purchased him from Petland) was bred at a Missouri puppy mill, and he is registered with the "United Allbreed Registry" :rolleyes:. The breeder had been banned from the AKC for 5 years a couple of years before he bred Odin. I can't remember what his violation was.

frecklesmom
24th November 2008, 02:28 AM
Doesn't matter to me who takes Petland down as long as someone does it. Anyone who would speak for Petland hasn't been greatly in touch with puppy mill survivors and hasn't attempted to rehab one. The sooner Petland goes down (as far as selling animals) the sooner puppy mills feel the loss of a cash cow.

RodRussell
24th November 2008, 03:17 AM
Anyone who would speak for Petland hasn't been greatly in touch with puppy mill survivors and hasn't attempted to rehab one.

I cannot agree with you there, at all. I've been involved with rescuing puppy mill dogs since 1969. Prior to AKC recognition of the breed in 1995, I often visited Petland outlets just to see if any Cavaliers were caged there. When I found them, I had the CKCSC,USA investigate whether club members were selling the puppies in violation of the code of ethics, and I had the CKCSC,USA write letters to the Petland managers explaining why Cavaliers should not be sold commercially.

When AKC decided to recognize the breed, I campaigned against having the CKCSC,USA serve as its AKC parent club, because I knew that AKC recognition would result in commercial breeders and many more puppy mills adding the Cavalier to their inventories. Once AKC recognized the breed, that is what happened, and the battle was lost.

As I wrote previously, commercial sales of puppies are not going to go away. They have been increasing every year for the past 60 years. Therefore, the goal needs to be getting better care and conditions for the dogs, at the breeders' kennels, and at the dealers and at the retailers. One way of doing that is through AKC inspections, which take place frequently as long as the parents are AKC-registered. So, we are trying to get retailers like Petland to procure only AKC-registerable puppies. Petland has been more responsive to AKC initiatives than any other retailer.

brotymo
24th November 2008, 12:23 PM
One way of doing that is through AKC inspections, which take place frequently as long as the parents are AKC-registered. So, we are trying to get retailers like Petland to procure only AKC-registerable puppies. Petland has been more responsive to AKC initiatives than any other retailer.


Most puppy mills don't sell AKC registered dogs. There is one around here and all they sell is CKC registered. Shutting down petland likely won't put much of a dent in the puppy mill business. Legislation changing the status of dogs from "livestock" to some other status that protects them from living like pigs or cattle is what needs to happen. That, and severely limiting the number of dogs that can be kept REGARDLESS of the registry. Make it so it isn't profitable to be a full-time breeder.

I think if you get Petland to sell only AKC dogs, and then try to get AKC to monitor all these thousands of pet stores, they will wind up with the same beaurocratic mess that you already have with the USDA. It will doom the AKC to loose what status it has for being a reputable registry.

The commercial pet business can be changed with ongoing education to the public about puppy mills, changes in legislation and better inspections/prosecution of violators. There will always be an underground market, no matter what you do (as with everything) since greed will drive people, but I think if you condone any part of the practice, it then becomes a slippery slope down from there. It would be hard to raise the standard again if it suddenly became aware, as I fear it would, that the system is failing to protect dogs.

RodRussell
24th November 2008, 02:53 PM
I think if you get Petland to sell only AKC dogs, and then try to get AKC to monitor all these thousands of pet stores, they will wind up with the same beaurocratic mess that you already have with the USDA. It will doom the AKC to loose what status it has for being a reputable registry.

The commercial pet business can be changed with ongoing education to the public about puppy mills, changes in legislation and better inspections/prosecution of violators.

Another part of the AKC plan is to promote AKC registration to the people who are buying the dogs at the pet shops. That is a purpose of AKC trying to get these large chain pet stores to offer AKC registration to the puppy buyers at the time they check out of the store. Once these buyers register their new puppies, AKC begins its education campaign, targeted at these pet shop buyers, so that they will want to get their next dog from a reputable breeder. The pet store puppy buyer is an audience that is easily identified, and if they register their puppies with AKC, then they are in the AKC data base for education about what purebred dog ownership is supposed to be all about.

As for changes in legislation, that is very touchy, because of the HSUS and PETA goals of ending purebred dog breeding, which they are trying to attain through legislation. So, you have to be careful not to fall into that legislation trap.

Daisy's Mom
24th November 2008, 03:17 PM
As I posted a few months ago, the only Petland in our town closed down, which made me very happy. I personally know three people who bought their puppies there. All 3 were very sick and required immediate multi-visit vet bills the very first few days after they took them home. Their stories were almost identical. And they all used the vet who was associated with the store. One told me that the vet was a part owner in the store! I have no idea if that 's true, but it's quite a racket if it is. They all came with one free vet checkup from this vet's office.

One of the three, who bought a chihuahua puppy "on sale" because it was getting old, never got her AKC registration papers for her dog, despite calling, complaining, visiting the store several times, etc. At the last visit, the manager finally yelled at her saying "Look, you got this dog for only $1100, isn't that good enough?!!" Needless to say, that didn't make her feel better given that she thought she was buying an AKC registerable dog. She was ignorant to buy her dog there, of course, but their response to her asking for what was promised her was unbelievable. (And frankly, the thought of paying $1100 for a chihuahua is pretty incredible to me. You know what they say -- there's one born every minute.) She had her dog spayed, but she said she still wanted to register her. Now they've closed and she's out of luck.

As someone said earlier, I would just be happy to see one less national outlet for puppy farm dogs. It won't cure the problem by any means, but at least it cuts into profits for some unscrupulous, inhumane people.

I think the word is getting out on pet store puppies among the general public, but it takes a lot of time and media attention to reach everyone. So, whether I agree with the HSUS or not, I don't think calling attention to the source of Petland's puppies is a bad thing. Heaven knows when you ask them in the store where they get their puppies, it's all sunshine and roses you hear about.

RodRussell
26th November 2008, 10:50 PM
Petland has issued a press release today, in which it asserts that HSUS's "Petland Investigation" was a fraud, with phoney videos. A summary is quoted below. The entire release is at http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20081124006347/en

"After reviewing hours of footage on the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) Web site video archive, Petland, Inc. has discovered that numerous images and footage in the video HSUS released about Petland were actually taken from unrelated HSUS stories.

"Petland is outraged that HSUS would intentionally use video footage of unrelated kennels in the report to try to mislead the general public into believing these facilities have a connection to Petland.

"Petland produced screen images of many of the duplicated video clips, showing both the Petland video and videos of where many of the clips actually originated. Two screenshots follow this statement.**** ... ."