Like any other retailer, Petland USA relies on the holidays to bring in profits -- but the pet store chain makes its holiday profits by encouraging cruelty to puppies.
Mary Haight started a petition on Change.org to get Petland USA to stop selling puppies from puppy mills -- those breeding factories that churn out scores of puppies from the same mothers, over and over again. But rather than engaging in a real dialogue with Mary, Petland USA threatened to sue her.
December is a huge month for puppy sales. Some industry sources report that puppy sales go up as much as 60% in December, compared to monthly averages from throughout the year.
Cruel conditions within puppy mills remain the same, despite the holiday sales -- dogs are bred again and again while living in cramped and unsanitary conditions, and without adequate vet care. When mothers reach five years of age, they're killed. And although the puppies from mills may arrive with a bow around their necks for the holidays, they are as likely to carry congenital defects from generations of forced breeding, as well.
When tens of thousands of people signed on to support her petition, Petland USA executives agreed to a dialog with Mary -- a hopeful sign, as Petland Canada stopped selling puppies last year after engagement by animal protection advocates. But hope for a real conversation with Petland USA quickly fell apart when the only answers Mary got to her questions about the franchise's puppy sales were either copied and pasted from the company's website -- or were personal attacks against her.
“More than 50,000 have joined this campaign since I started it,” Mary says. “This is great proof that people want the suffering of puppy mill dogs to stop. Petland's response? They're proud of their cruel business model.”
Petland USA has heard enough national outcry about its support for puppy mills to take offense. But it needs to hear an even louder chorus of concerned voices in order to take positive action. Please sign Mary's petition calling on Petland USA to stop selling puppies from puppy mills now:
P.S. I've included an earlier email we sent out about Petland USA's puppy sales in October below. You can forward it to friends and family to build support for ending Petland USA's support for puppy mills.
-------Forwarded message:-------- From: Cristina Moon, Change.org Date: October 26, 2011, 11:08 AM Subject: The sad life of Petland Puppies
While the puppies in Petland USA stores may look cute in their cages, chances are the puppies have led miserable lives that threaten their health from the day they're born.
Petland USA is the country's largest chain of stores that sell puppies. Most of Petland's animals come from puppy mills, where thousands of dogs are bred again and again to supply the pet trade. Dogs are kept in cramped, unsanitary conditions, and they often lack adequate vet care.
Walk into any major pet store like Petco or PetSmart, and you won't find puppies for sale. Those stores work with local animal shelters to find homes for the countless animals waiting to be adopted across the country. Yet Petland stores prioritize profit by selling animals from puppy mills, propping up this cruel business.
Puppies bred in puppy mills are often plagued with poor health. Kept in cramped conditions and often housed outside in all types of weather, animals in puppy mills lead a pitiful existence. Puppy mill operators are also known to in-breed puppies, leading to other health and behavior problems.
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.
Please join Mary Haight in calling on Petland USA to support adoption and speak out against its stores doing business with puppy mills. Sign the petition: