Petland USA is the country’s largest chain of stores that sells puppies. Most of Petland’s animals come from puppy mills, where thousands of dogs are bred again and again to supply the pet trade. The breeding dogs are kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions, and lack adequate vet care. The puppies are ripped away from their mothers when they are barely old enough to be weened onto puppy food. The puppies are then shipped across the country in 18 wheelers stuffed with puppies. By the time the puppies arrive at the first stop along the route there are often dead puppies in the back of the trailer. Due to the stress of the situation puppies often contract pneumonia, kennel cough, injure themselves, and arrive at the stores to be sold in less then healthy condition.
Once at the store if the puppy is exhibiting signs of disease they are kept in the back so that customers can’t see that they are sick, injured, or deformed. Those “lucky” enough to be placed in cages for customers to look at live in their crates. They are not taken on walks, play in the grass, or have a place that is safe for them to go to when they just want to sleep. The really “lucky” ones are super small and cute so everyone wants to see them and play with them so in a way they at least have human contact. But that same contact can spell disaster for a small puppy who has not yet received all of their vaccinations. The unlucky ones in the front of the store are not as popular that season or aren’t as cute as the one in the next cage so they spend weeks waiting for someone to come and show them some attention and take them home.
There’s hope to stop puppy mill sales at Petland stores. Last month Petland Canada ordered its stores to stop selling puppies, in part due to continuous pressure from animal protection advocates. Mary Haight, a BlogPaws Community member and strong advocate of Be the Change, has created a Petition on Change.org. She wants Petland USA to do exactly what Petland Canada did stop the sale of Puppy Mill Puppies.
Mary started a petition on Change.org asking Petland USA to end puppy mill sales in its stores. Click here to sign her petition.
Each Petland store in the US is an individually-owned franchise, meaning Petland USA’s corporate headquarters can’t ban puppy sales in stores on its own. But Petland USA can stop any new stores from selling puppies, and a strong statement from the corporation would go a long way to putting a stop to its existing stores that buy animals from puppy mills.
For those of you who have already signed the petition please spread the word so we can reach even more people to sign it.