Puppy Mills and Petland, Bloggers Converge on a Cause

by Mary Haight on October 15, 2011

puppy mill dogsOn Monday I wrote a post on BTC4Animals, asking for help petitioning Petland USA to stop selling pets and fire puppy mills, especially after Petland Canada announced in September that they would be winding down this part of their operations.  And what a great response – there are now nearly 30 bloggers who will be writing about puppy mills and Petland today!  Stephanie Feldstein of Change.org kicked it off with her post late yesterday, followed shortly thereafter by Kim Clune, Lorie Huston, and Amy Burkert . That means more people will be made aware of what they are doing when they buy a pet from Petland, and how it contributes to great cruelty. It’s no small thing to keep dogs in a cage all their short lives – if you did not know, females are kept pregnant all the time, year after year, so they only last about five years. Then they are killed. When you discover these ugly things, you can’t go back, you can’t forget that you know, and knowing changes everything.

Debbie Jacobs, well-known certified trainer of fearful dogs,  passed this news along: according to a new study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School of Medicine in conjunction with Best Friends Animal Society,  “dogs in puppy mills suffer long-lasting, severe psychological harm.”  The study worked with 1,100 dogs and the findings will be published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science. It’s not just unauthoritative opinion now, although those who work in the industry have known this to be true.  And if you want a great definition of a puppy mill, it’s in that document – being a clean well-lit facility doesn’t change the facts.

Petland USA turns a blind eye to what their puppy mill centric business model is costing the animals, used as no more than commodities.  They are in business only for profit, not for good customer relations.  I am not damning the entire franchise, only corporate leadership.  If you read what Canadian Jen K, writer of Back Alley Soap Box, has to say about her experience testing Petland Canada’s recent announcement, you will not come away with the idea that corporate Petland is concerned about animals.

There are plenty of individual franchisees I am sure who wonder if it would create too much hardship to change their business model.  They only need ask Eric and Marcie Caplan who converted their Petland PA store not quite a year ago and have adopted out more than 240 animals and are pleased with all the community support they get.  I am sure there are more examples out there.

Late tonight I got an update from Kim Clune, co-founder of BTC4Animals. It seems that Lucy Postins, Founder and President of The Honest Kitchen has pulled advertising dollars from Pet Age, an industry magazine, after an editorial asking the industry to “ban together” to fight for their right to sell pets at retail stores – in other words they want the right to perpetuate the cruelty of puppy mills.  The Honest Kitchen takes a strong stance against puppy mills, and her letter to the editor will make you want to jump out of your seat and cheer!  I was so gratified that she took the time to refer people to BTC4Animals to sign the petition.

If you’ve written something about puppy mills and Petland for this campaign, please sign into the Linky List Below the petition with your permalink – and you have my deep regard and great thanks for your participation in this effort!

Share and sign this petition!

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23 comments
Pup Fan
Pup Fan

Mary, you are amazing. Thank you so much for leading the way on this!

MaryHaight
MaryHaight

Wow Amy, thanks, I'm excited that you said that! I have no dog idea how to measure impact on petitioning as this is my first. I do know that the response from the pet blogging community and BTC4Animals has been so generous. I feel so proud to be part of it!

Kim Thomas
Kim Thomas

I can't believe ... I missed yours! Mary, thank you so much for taking the lead on this, creating the petition to pave the way for the voices to be heard. It truly is awe-inspiring to see the involvement!

Amy@GoPetFriendly
Amy@GoPetFriendly

Thanks so much for all the work you've put into this, Mary. The impact you've had this week is truly incredible.

Lorie Huston, DVM
Lorie Huston, DVM

Mary, thank you for getting this petition up and getting some momentum behind it. It's an uphill battle but this is a good start.

Kim Clune
Kim Clune

Kudos to Eric and Marcie Caplan! What a lovely example of what could be. They are living it out loud, proving that compassion works and that good is felt by the clientele. Kudos to you too, Mary, for all the light you've shed (and inspired others to shed) on this subject. I'm so hugely proud to support your campaign!

MyBrownNewfies
MyBrownNewfies

This is a wonderful post. I am so touched to see all of the blogger unite for such a well deserved cause. we signed the petition earlier this week.

Pamela
Pamela

I'm reading about Petland all over the web. You've done a great job of focusing our attention in one very important place to have the greatest impact. Thank you. And thank you for the link to Jen k's post. Her message that Canadian Petland's announcement is not all good news is an important one.

Pip
Pip

Thanks for starting this campaign! We have signed the petition and will encourage others to as well!

thatjenk
thatjenk

Great post, Mary! I'm so happy you have spearheaded this "theme" for this round of BtC4A (and the petition) - here's hoping that - collectively - we can open some eyes and prompt some real action and change.

@vscook
@vscook

Mary - thanks for leading the charge on this Blog the Change Day! #BtC4A

melf
melf

Thanks for being the one who truly kicked this whole thing off Mary. You truly started a movement that I hope continues on after today. I agree with you that Petland is only looking at this from a financial perspective. What a shame. I wonder how their staff and leaders would feel if they knew they were helping dogs versus hurting them? Imagine the morale boost that would be! I hope more people will walk past the Petlands that sell pups and support the ones who don't. When Petland sees the stores not selling puppies and kitties making more money than the ones who do sell them, then they will take notice. Until then, we have to continue to educate people so they will send them that message. I also say Kudos to The Honest Kitchen. I only learned that they had pulled their marketing dollars recently. Yes! They are my heroes! Thanks again for being the impetus to start the conversation. Mel Freer BTC4animals.com NoDogAboutIt.Wordpress.com

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