Pet store faces boycott for dealing with puppy mills
Animal rights activists are calling for the boycott of Pet City, a Los Angeles and Orange County chain of pet stores, for purchasing its dogs from abusive puppy mills.
According to activists, four of the store’s suppliers are on The Humane Society’s list of some of the 12 worst puppy mills in the country. The report is based on the number and severity of a breeder’s state and federal animal welfare violations.
Documents, which the Humane Society obtained from the USDA through a Freedom of Information Act request, tell of dogs kept in near zero temperatures without adequate protection, with untreated lesions, feces-encrusted fur, illness, injury and malnourishment.
A protest was held on Saturday, Jan. 8 in front of the Pet City in Torrance to call attention to the issue.
“We want them to stop doing business with puppy mills,” said campaign organizer Lisa Goetz. It was Goetz who sounded the alarm on Pet City and began the boycott.
“I did research to determine where Pet City’s puppies came from, and traced them back to some of the most deplorable puppy mills in the country,” she said in a news release. “Once I had this information, I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.”
On Nov. 21, 2010, Goetz and other activists began protesting Pet City. Nearly one month later an early victory seemed at hand. According to the campaign’s website, Boycott Pet City, the Torrance Pet City store manager signed a Humane Society-authored pledge to stop selling dogs from puppy mills within 90 days. The store further promised to sell only dogs from local animal shelters.
However, according to Boycott Pet City, the pledge was never received by the Humane Society and said the signing was “a ruse to interrupt their campaign during the busy holiday season.” The protests continued shortly thereafter.
Pet City did not reply to requests for an interview in time for publication. However, according to the store’s website, they say it is their “priority to provide the best companion puppies” for their customers.
“All our puppies come from personally known, licensed breeders,” the website states. “Each puppy receives a routine check-up by a veterinarian, is current on vaccines and de-worming, comes with a one year warranty with a complimentary vet exam.”
Approximately 25 activists attended Saturday’s demonstration. Protesters received much approval from passing motorists by way of horn honks, along with some derisive comments from the store’s manager and a few customers.
“These people who have puppy mills are in it for only one reason: the almighty dollar,” said protest-attendee Charmaine Namon, who has been active in animal rights issues since the late 1970s.
“People have to learn they can get wonderful animals from a shelter,” she added.