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WISCONSIN PUPPY MILL PROJECT

Janesville Petland

Photos and report by F. Menish

Updated 7 September 2013
Germand Shepherd puppy huddled on tiny plastic pad in a "puppy aquarium" at the Petland store in Janesville, WI

What Is A Puppy Mill?   *   What Can I Do About It?   *   Laws/Legislation   *   ACTION ALERTS!

 

Please note: Most pet sellers in Wisconsin are now regulated by 2009 Wisconsin Act 90. If you have personally encountered any problems at a Petland (or with any other Wisconsin dog seller), please see our How To File a Complaint With the WI Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection page.

 
"Teddy Bear" puppy asking to be taken out of his "puppy aquarium" at Petland petstore in Janesville, WI.
 

       NOTE: Petland pet stores have been in the news since November 2008, when the Humane Society of the United States released the results of an investigation proving what we had known all along: Petland gets their puppies from puppy mills. Please see Where Does Petland Get Their Puppies? for more on the on-going Petland probe.

Two pups sharing a "pillow" at Petland in Janesville, WI.       On 17 July, I made a point of traveling to Janesville, WI, to visit Petland. Though I had been there before as a protester, I'd never before gone into the place. I arrived at about 3 PM and entered as a shopper looking for a puppy.

        I wasn’t quite ready for this scene. It was approximately the same as Pewaukee Petland but slightly bigger with more squawking birds and little furry creatures. The puppy wall seemed larger but that may have been an illusion caused by the 2 deep row of spectators, and the number of pups.

        It kind of reminded me of going to the Monkey house at the Milwaukee Zoo when I was a kid. The "visitation cubicles" had 3 potential ADOPTERS in them, all with dogs that were being switched out as if the people were trying on shoes. I tried to get an accurate count of the number of pups that were there but every time I thought I had the number a clerk would bring another out that I hadn’t seen!

Four labrador retriever puppies share a bin at the Janesville Petland.         The pups ranged in breeds/size from a Yorkie tea cup type to a litter of 4 labs. It was the labs that grabbed at my heart. The 4 "older" pups were all stretched out asleep in their display aquarium, overhanging their small pads onto the floor wire. The "pads" were like molded plastic snap together perforated flooring with sharp edges approx 1" thick. All the pads did is give the pups’ heads a little elevation and off the wire floor...... they certainly were not soft. It seemed criminal to me that this fun loving, romping, breed of pups were limited to the confines of the display cage...... no exercise, and hardly room for real play..... but apparently they weren’t in the mood for play, just sleeping.

A German shepherd puppy huddles on a plastic pad in its bin at Janesville Petland.       There were no prices posted, just names and "FREE FINANCING" signs everywhere, so I told the clerk I had $600 to spend. I asked for a list of what they had and she said she would bring me one between customer questions. I was hoping for a copy of their inventory sheet and maybe get lucky with supplier info. Instead she returned with a couple of small spiral note pad pages with 7 dogs listed -- so the remaining 18+ dogs were more than $600.

       I asked how old the pups were and she said they come in at about 8 weeks and the "owner" likes to have them to "Go Home" (a term used a lot there for SOLD) when they’re 3 ½ months old. The price drops the longer they are there. So, at 3 ½ months they’ve been in the aquarium for at least 6 weeks.... no exercise, no socialization, and obviously no house training. The list I was given featured a Chihuahua originally priced at $1099 now at $399 and a $999.99 Westie for $399.99. I didn't want to do the math on how long they had been cooped up here.

       Interestingly enough, while I was gazing at the pups a friendly lady and her teen daughter said Hi to me and I mentioned that I was shopping for my sis. We conversed and she said she comes in here to just look at the pups...she has a couple of dogs at home. She then went on to say that this isn’t a good place to buy, the dogs are high priced, don’t come from good places, and can be sick. I wondered if she'd talked to any of the Milwaukee Pet Store Protest Group when we'd been outside with our signs!

 pawprint bullet point   Where Do Petland Puppies REALLY Come From?   pawprint bullet point

       According to 2009 records from the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP), Janesville Petland obtained most of its puppies at that time from Conrad’s Cuddly Canines, located in Frankford, Missouri. This kennel was licensed as a Class B "dealer" after their preliminary inspection on 12 September 2008.

       Dealers / brokers obtain puppies from a variety of "commercial kennels" and other sources for resale to pet stores.

 pawprint bullet point   Pewaukee Petland   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   WPMP Position on PETLAND Pet Shops   pawprint bullet point

 pawprint bullet point   Calendar of Petstore Protests & Other Events   pawprint bullet point

 
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Photos & article Copyright © 2009, F. Menish. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

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