A message from Helping Animals on ASPCA Online Community!
HSUS Petland Update and More Action to Take:
HSUS Petland Update and More Action to Take: Write a letter to Petland's President and also ask friends and family to help by sending them the link for an easy action to take. (do this one too if you didn't do it a few months ago, then write the letter)
What has Petland done for puppies since our investigation broke?
Two months ago, you joined tens of thousands of people in asking Petland, the largest retail supporter of puppy mills, to stop selling puppies. Unfortunately, unlike major competitors such as PETCO and PetSmart, Petland continues to sell puppies rather than implement a policy of only having dogs from shelters and rescue groups available at its stores.
Two More Things You Can Do
Help us keep the pressure on Petland. Please take one of these two additional actions today, if you haven't already:
1. Write a personal letter to ask Petland to stop selling puppies.
Tell them you won’t support their business as long as they’re selling puppies:
Frank Difatta, President
Petland Corporate Offices
250 Riverside St.
Chillicothe, OH 45601
2. Tell as many friends and family members as possible to email Petland to ask them to stop selling puppies. Petland needs to hear from as many concerned consumers as possible that they need to get out of the puppy-selling business.
America's largest chain of puppy-selling pet stores, Petland Inc., is also the nation's largest retail supporter of puppy mills. An eight-month investigation by The HSUS reveals that many Petland stores across the country are marketing puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers.
Watch our video; then tell Petland to get out of the puppy-selling business.
Contact Petland's corporate headquarters to express your concern for puppy mills and ask Petland to stop selling puppies. Fill in and submit the form on the right to send a message. Because Petland has chosen not to accept emails from the public, The HSUS Stop Puppy Mills campaign will ensure that your message will reach Petland.
Remember to personalize the email message below by expressing your opinion in your own words so your message stands out.
» Tell A Friend | » Tell Me More
Dear [ Decision Maker ],
The HSUS's investigation reveals that many Petland stores across the country are marketing puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers. Don't support the cruel puppy mill business!
Please don't support puppy mills! Adopt a business model that doesn't include selling puppies.
Nov. 20, 2008—Today, during a news conference, The Humane Society of the United States reveals the results of an eight-month investigation into Petland Inc., the country's largest chain of puppy-selling pet stores. The results show that many Petland stores across the country are supporting cruel puppy mills, even while telling unsuspecting customers that the dogs only come from good breeders.
There are approximately 140 Petland stores in the U.S., selling tens of thousands of puppies each year. In the largest ever puppy mill investigation, HSUS investigators visited 21 Petland stores and 35 breeders and brokers who sold puppies to Petland stores. Investigators also reviewed records of an additional 322 breeders, tracking more than 17,000 individual puppies linked to 76 Petland stores.
According to Stephanie Shain, director of The HSUS Stop Puppy Mills Campaign, "Petland is perpetuating the abusive puppy mill industry, where dogs are treated not like pets, but like a cash crop. They know that consumers won't stand for the cruelty inherent in mass-breeding facilities, so they make outrageous claims to hide the reality that the dogs came from puppy mills. People have a right to know exactly what they are buying, but the real victims are the breeding dogs who are confined to life in a cage for as long as people are duped into buying their puppies."
This is the latest in a series of HSUS investigations exposing abuses at puppy mills, dog auctions, and pet stores around the country. The new Petland investigation revealed:
• Despite assurances by Petland staff and on their corporate website that the company knows its breeders and deals only with those who have "the highest standards of pet care," many Petland puppies come from massive commercial breeders in Missouri and other Midwestern states, where hundreds of breeding dogs are packed into cramped, barren cages—often for their entire lives, with no socialization, exercise, or human interaction.
• When HSUS investigators visited 35 of the large-scale breeding operations linked to Petland stores, they witnessed puppy mills where puppies are factory-farmed in large numbers. At many, investigators saw appalling conditions: puppies living in filthy, barren cages reeking of urine, with inadequate care and socialization.
• Many of Petland's puppies are not supplied directly by breeders but are purchased from a "middle man"—large-scale "pet distributors," otherwise known as brokers—showing that the company may not even know who the breeders are or what their standards of care may be like. The investigation revealed that some of Petland's brokers are also buying from puppy mills.
• Some of Petland's puppies are ordered online via a pet auction website called the Pet Board of Trade—demonstrating that many Petland stores are not screening breeders as the company's website claims. In fact, in some cases it may not even know the breeder's name until after purchase.
• One of the most common sales pitches made by Petland staff is that the company uses "USDA licensed" breeders. However, investigators reviewed publicly available state and USDA inspection reports for more than 100 Petland breeders and found more than 60 percent of the reports listed serious violations of basic animal care regulations. Many USDA breeders exhibit a long history of substandard care and yet remained licensed. While USDA regulations are minimal, some of the Petland breeders are not even complying with these basic animal welfare standards.
• Documented USDA violations at some of Petland's breeders and suppliers included dirty, unkempt enclosures; inadequate shelter from the cold; dogs kept in too small cages; and inadequate veterinary care. Some of the breeders were found with sick or dead dogs in their cages.
Puppy mills are a source of unbearable cruelty where breeding animals are kept in tiny cages without any socialization for the sole purpose of supplying pet stores and the Internet market with puppies. The HSUS urges all of its members and supporters to spread the word about the great suffering associated with these mills, which also contribute to tragic pet overpopulation.
Former Petland Kennel Manager Speaks Out
November 20, 2008
Former Petland kennel manager Denise Jenke recently spoke to The HSUS about what she says she saw while working at the Wheaton, Ill., Petland: truckloads of puppies shipped to the store by brokers, many of them sick—and customers being regularly misled about their origins.
Although Jenke brought her Chihuahua home from the store during her employment, she agrees with The HSUS that the best way to stop puppy mills is to stop supporting pet stores that sell puppies. The following are edited excerpts from an unrecorded telephone interview with Ms. Jenke.
HSUS: When did you work at Petland?
Jenke: From October 2006 through January 2007.
Did you have any idea about puppy mills before?
No, no idea. I had never heard of them.
How did you learn about where the puppies at your store came from?
When I first started, they [the sales manager and store owner] said the puppies came from 'USDA-approved breeders.' Me, being naïve, thought, "Well, USDA. That must be fine." Then when the puppies came in on trucks, they were in such poor condition. They came in with runny eyes, some were kinda lethargic and nervous, a lot of them were sick, many had upper respiratory infections and had to be put in nebulizer before sale.
When I was trained to put [the puppies'] information into the computer I had to put in the names of the breeders into the computer. That is when I noticed that the guys who brought the dogs in from the trucks were not the breeders! I asked the sales manager, "Do these dogs come from puppy mills?" The sales manager told me, "Yes, these puppies are from puppy mills, but we don't tell our customers that. We just tell them that they are from 'USDA approved breeders.'" That is when I did my own research on the Internet and learned all about puppy mills.
What were your expectations for the job when you started?
It is a business, and they are there to make money. My position was kennel manager, so I thought I would take care of the dogs, make sure they were clean, healthy, and socialized. My job was the wellbeing of the animals. But it didn’t quite turn out that way. Instead of helping the animals, I was working to promote puppy mills.
Did you have any idea how widespread the use of puppy mills was at Petland and other pet stores?
During my interview for the position I asked where the puppies came from. They told me USDA. Since I didn’t know much about it I thought, if they were approved by the USDA then it must be OK.
What about the dog you brought home while you were working there?
He is a 15-pound Chihuahua named Chico. He has a Grade 1 luxating patella in one rear leg. [A luxating patella is a knee problem that can cause lameness in dogs.] He is really big for a Chihuahua! The breed standard is like 4-6 pounds. He obviously was not bred to fit that standard. But he is my world, and I love him to pieces.
What is his story?
Well, he came in off the truck. When the puppies first arrived on the truck, it was my job to do a quick exam of each dog to see if they were OK. If they looked bad, the owner would send them back on the truck. When Chico came in on the truck, the sales manager was showing me how to do the exams. We are not vets, though! She inspected Chico and said that he had a Grade 3 to Grade 4 luxating patella and that he should be sent back to the breeder. She then talked to the owner who agreed to send him back. I decided to take him home instead.
My personal vet says that Chico only has a Grade 1 luxating patella, not a Grade 3 or 4. The sales manager who examined him was not a vet, and she gave a wrong diagnosis. They should have had a vet check him instead of us, with no medical experience.
After the interview, Denise said that although she took Chico home during her employment at Petland, now that she knows the truth of the industry she was indirectly supporting, she encourages others to choose adoption.
Is there a message you would like to send to people thinking of buying a puppy from a pet store?
Yes, you go into a puppy store and you see the puppies, and a lot of people know they come from puppy mills, and they feel sorry for them and want to buy them. Or people buy on impulse. Bottom line is, puppy mills are never going to stop until people stop buying puppies from these stores! People need to be more educated about rescuing or finding a reputable breeder.
I think customers who go in to these stores are getting ripped off. The pet store pays like $100 each for the puppies! People think they are getting a "purebred" but then the puppies have congenital defects and other problems. I just wish more people would think more about shelters and rescues ... People need to see what goes on in a puppy mill. When you see it, then it hits you.