Many animal lovers know that Petland buys puppies from puppy mills and sells them in its chain stores throughout the country. Petland has recently successfully lobbied state legislatures in Ohio and Arizona to pass legislation enabling the company to do business basically as it sees fit, exempting it from any and all local ordinances designed to protect animal welfare:
When 10News reached out to Petland corporate, Mike Gonidakis, president of Citizens for Responsible Ownership, responded and said he can speak for Petland.
He said Petland works to be transparent in their practices, and only sources animals from USDA licensed breeders.
“We want our customers to have the peace of mind that we’re not coming from a puppy mill,” he said.
As a reminder, the inspection records for USDA licensed breeders have been removed from public view by the Trump administration. No one can find out which USDA licensed breeders are meeting the bare bones requirements for things like cage size and veterinary care and which ones are chronic animal abusers. And to be clear, USDA licensed breeders are exactly what most Americans think of when they hear the words “puppy mill.”
Riding the wave of rampant deregulation nationwide, Petland has moved on to TN where the company convinced state legislators to write a bill favoring its business in the state:
The bill is co-sponsored by state Sen. Becky Massey (R-Knoxville):
“I personally wouldn’t buy a dog in a pet store. And I would not do anything I feel would be detrimental to dogs,” she said. “But let’s say a single mom, her kids wanted a purebred dog and she didn’t feel comfortable going to somebody’s home. You take them to a pet store and let them pick out a dog. I would want that single mom to have protections that they weren’t going to be sold a puppy mill puppy.”
Nice single mom story but again, Petland sells puppy mill puppies soooooooo….
One TN county is already looking into potential conflicts the bill’s passage could create:
“The House Bill HB0568 and companion Senate Bill 0519 currently in the Tennessee State Legislature may adversely impact current local government’s ability to enforce a law, regulation or ordinances addressing the sell and wellbeing of dogs in retail commerce in the State of Tennessee,” said Bud Armstrong, Knox County Law Director.
“Any and all state laws related to the health and cares of dogs could be affected,” he added, pointing to existing ordinances on Rabies vaccinations, animal care and keeping and bite investigations/quarantines.”
This sounds like the legislation could affect shelters and rescue groups. And it would seem that ACOs would be unable to enforce cruelty laws against any Petland within its jurisdiction. But I guess that’s part of the reason Petland requested the legislation.
If you live in TN, contact your state legislators and ask them to oppose the Petland bill (House Bill 0568 and Senate Bill 0519).
(Thanks Ona for the tip.)