Saturday, October 15, 2011

BtC4A: Petland USA, Stop Selling Pets!

Blog the ChangeI'm going to assume you care. I'm going to assume you just don't know. I'm not going to cover this page with horrifying pictures of puppy mill dogs - I'm going to assume you've seen them. What I'm not going to assume is that you know where puppy mill puppies are sold.

Today is October's "Blog the Change for Animals" event and bloggers everywhere are banding together to ask you for one thing:

"Tell Petland USA to Stop Selling Pets!"

Do you know where that doggie in the window came from? Petland USA wants you to believe they come from responsible breeders who treat their dogs with care. They don't.

"Investigations have exposed that 95 percent of the puppies sold in Petland stores come from commercial breeders who treat their animals like crops -- stuck in appalling living conditions, often with inadequate vet care, deprived of exercise, socialization, and even protection from the elements."

(Read the original HSUS investigation from 2008 here:
and the follow up investigation from 2009 here:

In this Petland USA video describing where their puppies come from, they say repeatedly that their puppies come from "USDA Licensed and Approved" breeding facilities. That's nice but what does it mean?

According to this May 2010 report from the Office of the Inspector General who "conducted an audit of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s (APHIS) Animal Care (AC) unit...responsible for enforcing the Animal Welfare Act (AWA)" it means very, very little:

At a facility in Oklahoma with 83 adult dogs, AC cited the breeder for a total of 20 violations ...during 5 inspections from April 2006 to December 2007... Despite the continuing violations, AC did not take enforcement actions...

During our visit to the facility in July 2008, AC cited the breeder for another 11 violations (including 1 repeat and 3 directs). One of the direct violations involved a dog that had been bitten by another dog. The first dog was left untreated for at least 7 days, which resulted in the flesh around the wound rotting away to the bone. The breeder admitted the dog had been in this condition for at least 7 days. The inspector correctly required the dog to be taken to a local veterinarian who immediately euthanized it

AC did refer the case to IES for investigation, but only after another direct violation was documented in a subsequent inspection after our visit...However, as of early June 2009—11 months after our visit—the violator had not yet been fined. "

You can read the full report here. Note: Some images in this document are very disturbing:

Here's the point I want to make today:

Petland USA talks about using only "USDA Licensed and Approved Breeding facilities". Bully for them.

Did they read the report? Are we supposed to believe this means something?

It's a cop-out. It's like saying "I didn't do anything illegal" knowing full well what you did was morally indefensible.

The fact remains: Petland USA sells puppy mill puppies.

In a recent poll by the ASPCA , 75% of the respondents said "they knew about puppy mills and view them negatively" yet "78% were unaware that most pet-store doggies in the windows come from puppy mills". Now you know.

If you don't want to support puppy mills, don't buy puppies from Petland USA and ask Petland USA not to sell them. The only way to stop the devastation of puppy mills is to stop selling the puppies they produce.

Petland Canada vowed to do just that. Why won't Petland USA? Sign the petition below and you just might make that happen.

Other ways you can help:
  • Write to Petland USA on Facebook and Twitter and tell them to stop selling pets.
  • Use the following as your status update on Facebook and Twitter (and everywhere else!) today:
    Tell @Petland USA to Stop Selling Pets! Sign the Petition: #BTC4A #Change
  • Don't even shop at pet stores that sell puppies and tell the owners why. Sign and share the ASPCA's "No Pet Store Puppies" pledge.
  • Visit the blogs participating in today's Blog the Change for Animals event and share them with your friends.


  1. I signed the petition. Its time to put our money where our hearts are. Don't shop puppy mill stores!

  2.  I do think John Q Public is easily confused by pet store employees saying things like "USDA approved facilities" they think that means good breeder.... it's great to point out that USDA approved does not mean good breeder and really doesn't mean anything positive.

    Found you through BTC4A blog hop!

  3. Great post! I have signed the petition and will also share it on facebook and twitter.

  4. Yes, "now you know" - let's make it "everyone now knows" this weekend! You point out the most important facts that everyone should be aware of. Good riddance, puppy mills. Petland, please listen to us! 

    Thank you for blogging the change for animals!
    Kim Thomas

  5. Hi Kirby!  Thanks for visiting and for taking a moment to say hi.  And yes, mostly, thanks for signing the petition!  I've signed, too and hope to see a lot more people sign after this Blog the Change event!

  6. Hi Tena!  Thanks - since the recent polls show people don't like puppy mills but continue to shop at pet stores, I was looking to find a way to draw attention to the disconnect.  Glad you appreciated it.  

  7. Thanks Pip! The more we share, the more people will start to see the connection.

  8. Hi Kim!  Thanks for saying hi.  If my estimates are correct, we gained about 300+ signatures on the petition since yesterday - not bad for one day's work. :)

  9. Excellent post!  We do not have any Petland Stores in CT, but I did sign the petition.  I would NEVER, EVER buy a pet from a pet store but I do know people who did.  That was well before the issue of puppy mills was brought to light.

    It is a disgusting industry and one I wish the government would take a firmer position on.

  10. Hi Jodi - yeah, we don't have them here in MA either - although apparently there are a couple of stores here that sell pets - will be looking into that.

    I know a fair number of breeders and have had my share of purebred dogs but would also never get an animal from a pet store (there is a difference).  I think my dad did once upon a time (like 50 years ago) and even then the poor little thing was so sickly.  (My sister Donna may come along and correct me but I think that's the way it went.)

  11. Great post... it's awesome to see so many posting about this!

  12. Thanks - it was wonderful to participate.  I especially liked seeing the different angles everyone took.  Such a thoughtful and creative bunch.