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.
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 wasnt 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 hadnt seen!
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 werent in the mood for
play, just sleeping.
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.
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 theyre 3 ½ months old. The price drops the
longer they are there. So, at 3 ½ months theyve 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 isnt a good place to buy, the dogs are high
priced, dont 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!
Where Do Petland Puppies REALLY Come
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
Conrads Cuddly Canines, located in Frankford, Missouri. This kennel was
licensed as a Class B "dealer" after their preliminary inspection on
12 September 2008.
/ brokers obtain puppies from a variety of "commercial kennels" and
other sources for resale to pet stores.
WPMP Position on PETLAND Pet Shops
Calendar of Petstore Protests & Other