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March 31, 2009

Talk Back: Petland's Predicament

Two weeks ago we announced a class action lawsuit alleging that retail chain Petland Inc. and the Hunte Corporation, one of the country's largest commercial dog brokers, have conspired to sell unhealthy dogs to unsuspecting consumers. The lawsuit includes claims that these companies have been purchasing dogs from puppy mills and are selling sick and genetically compromised dogs to consumers who want a loving companion.

Since we announced the filing of the legal action, HSUS staff have been overwhelmed with hundreds of additional heartbreaking stories from Petland customers whose puppies either died shortly after purchase or required costly veterinary treatments because of parasites, viruses or hereditary ailments. Jonathan Lovvorn, our vice president and chief counsel for Animal Protection Litigation, has recorded a video update on the case, which I encourage you to watch.

And today I also wanted to post some of your responses.

These organizations like Petland should not be selling dogs from puppy mills. It encourages a horrible practice. There are already too many dogs in shelters, and they should be given great homes. —Richard Marranca

I am so happy that there is a class action lawsuit against Petland stores. They have been allowed to get away with the puppy mills way too long as it is. I bought my Persian cat from Petland 16 years ago, but did not know at the time about what I know now. If I had known then what I know now, I would have never bought my cat from them. I tell everyone I know to not buy a pet from them. I wish you all the luck and will be praying continually for this lawsuit. I would really like to see Petland shut down, and all the puppy mills stopped. Lots of fines and jail time would help a lot of these puppy mills to cease. I just can't stand the mistreatment of animals. —Tammy Saunders

I too have a Petland puppy mill puppy. She was about three months old when I got her. She had pneumonia that we knew of. After $6,000 dollars later and a lung biopsy all before she was a 1-year-old, it was determined that she had multifocal ateletasis, severely damaged lungs; her lung capacity is less than 50 percent. She is now 3 years old, but has never been able to play or run because she cannot breathe. She is always coughing and wheezing. And to top it off, she also has arthritis because her front legs were dislocated sometime before I got her. They finally did give me a refund, but they wanted me to return her and they would give me another puppy. Was that a stupid comment on their part or what? —Pam

"At Petland we care"? Apparently not. I hope the day comes when pet stores become pet supply stores. There is too much economic pressure to cut corners and mishandle critters in the animal trade. —James Burnette

Thank you so much HSUS for exposing Petland! They should have known this was coming. You have to go humane or go out of business! —Kelly Strusky

Hurrah!!! —Beatrice Heveran

They just opened a Petland in my neighborhood and, surprisingly, it seems clean but I have listened to what their staff tells customers and I have to bite my tongue—I heard a staff member tell a customer that a Rottweiler puppy would not get to be more than 60 pounds and I nearly fell through the floor! These stores should all be closed down! I flat out asked a staff member where they got their puppies and was told "only the finest breeders" to which I told him, "No breeder worth its' salt would bother to sell to a chain store—and I should know because I show dogs and I'm around top breeders every day!" He just walked away from me. I won't step foot in that store ever again—I just feel so sorry for those poor puppies in there! I wish there were something I could do for them. —Julie

Finally someone is calling Hunte Corp to atone for their actions! They are nothing but a middle man for puppy mills. They saw a profit stream and decided to jump in the middle of it and then try to pass themselves off as some sort of quality control. Thanks so much! My donations will continue to come in so you can do such important work on behalf of innocent animals. —Daethian

What kind of person could be so cruel and ungodly to operate a puppy mill? This is one of the lowest things a person could do to one of God's creatures. My granddaughter purchased a puppy from a puppy mill. Luckily he was not sick, but has no social skills. He is still afraid of everyone but her and won't go outside without her going out with him and staying close to him. Thus, it is hard to housebreak the poor little thing. I, with the help of the humane society, was able to get that puppy mill investigated, but those investigations are not what they should be. This is a major problem and we need to get more people involved to stop this puppy mill business. —Dolores

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