Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › The Family Puppy/Family of Pets (Exposed)

The Family Puppy/Family of Pets (Exposed)

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,479

A malti-poo, or maltese-poodle mix, puppy takes a
drink in a kennel in Noble County in this photo
taken during a USDA inspection. Making sure
an animal has adequate water is one concern
the USDA looks for during inspections.

Inspections called key to preventing puppy mills

Posted: Monday, February 11, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 6:20 am, Mon Feb 11, 2013.

By Bob Braley

Second of two parts

In a campaign against what she call puppy mills, Pam Sordyl said more localized inspections are needed for dog breeding kennels.

Sordyl is the founder and leader of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan. The group has raised complaints about breeding kennels in northeast Indiana.

Breeding kennels in Indiana must be licensed by the Indiana Board of Animal Health, Sordyl said. Some kennels licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture aren’t yet licensed by the state, she contends.
Sordyl also believes that county animal health inspectors are needed. Noble County has no local person in that role, she said.

A majority of people who care about their pets would not consider keeping them only to meet the minimum USDA standards, said Lori Gagen, executive director of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion
“Most people desire and strive (knowingly or not) to far exceed those minimum standards when keeping man’s best friend, and others,” she said. Gagen compared the conditions in kennels that barely meet USDA standards to a prison.

Sordyl also expressed concern about dogs being kept in cages their whole lives and animals with dental diseases or eye problems. “Puppy mills” often don’t provide care for the illnesses and medical conditions some breeds develop, she said.

An Amish dog breeding kennel owner in LaGrange County, who requested anonymity because he fears harassment, said he focuses on only a couple of breeds to make sure he can address both those concerns and those of breeding organizations.

“I feel that if I specifically breed certain breeds, I can focus more on breed standards,” he said. All of his dogs are American Kennel Club-registered, and they are certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals Inc. for heart and knee health. Any dogs with health issues are adopted directly to homeowners as pets, he said.

Sordyl said the USDA is cracking down “a bit more” in the last few years. More direct violations are being cited, and more kennel owners are having licenses revoked, she said.

“The system of regulating kennels works,” Sacks said. “Most of them do what they need to do and address what they need to address.”

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary has proposed creating a task force to review Noble County’s ordinances related to the keeping of animals and dog kennels, to make recommendations to address the types of concerns mentioned, Gagen said.

“We hope to have recommendations to present this summer and plan to adhere to the appropriate procedures in place to submit our recommendations for consideration,” Gagen said.

Bad apples

The problem, said USDA spokesman David Sacks and kennel owners, is people who don’t follow the rules and give all other kennel owners a bad reputation, which they say is undeserved.

“There’s a lot of misconceptions about what a kennel is,” said a second anonymous kennel owner in LaGrange County. “There’s a lot of bad in every industry.”

The first anonymous kennel owner said he is frustrated by what he called substandard kennels, which he said he opposes as much as anyone else.

“We have done a lot of work to get those people to come up to standards or get out of the business,” he said.

Kennel owners’ groups have set up a kennel management assistance program for breeders who want to get started or work to improve what they do. That program doesn’t benefit those leading it, except that getting people on the program betters the industry, he said.

The problem is that other owners can’t tell someone what they must do, he said.

“We’ve taken steps to do everything in our power to eliminate those bad kennels,” he said. The percentage of them is lower, but they’re still there, he added.

Sacks disagreed with using the term “substandard kennel,” but he said the problem is that bad kennels profiled on television programs have provoked strong reactions.

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,480

The first kennel owner said he asked for anonymity because he knows of threats made against others simply for operating kennels. He said he didn’t want to risk harm to himself or his family by having his name publicized.

He also said he is aware of threats against kennel owners in Noble County after news coverage of a January meeting of the Noble County Board of Zoning Appeals, at which Sordyl, Gagen and others sought to block zoning variances for six kennels.

Sordyl confirmed that kennel owners in Noble County were threatened. “I think that’s unfortunate,” she said.

Some people who got involved after news coverage of the meeting decided they should take the approach of threats as a way to help the animals, Sordyl said. They even had a Facebook page up until Gagen told them to stop, Sordyl said.

“I do not condone anyone making or carrying out personal threats,” Gagen said. “Anything less than respectful discussion and fact-finding is pointless and only diminishes the credibility of a real effort to help.

“Raising awareness so people can make informed decisions is key. I believe people have their hearts in the right place,” Gagen said. “They do, however, get very emotional and feel helpless, and lash out.

“Many of us donate time, money, and support an overall effort to teach humane treatment of animals to our children, to value life, and to ensure that every animal receives some reasonable definition of quality of life. I support those intentions,” Gagen said.

“They tried to make a difference in their own way,” Sordyl said about those who made threats. “I think that’s a bad approach,” as well as ineffective, she added.

The Amish kennel owner said he is concerned that the majority of kennel owners, Amish or not, who are not part of the problem are getting lumped in with others and getting targeted as a result.
“They’re putting everybody on the same level,” he said.

My Comments (Pam Sordyl)

Mr. Bradley, Thank you for another story on this issue. We need to keep talking about commercial breeding and what can be done to end animal neglect and suffering. My organization does not want breeders to get better at “puppy farming”, we want to end commercial breeding as an ‘industry’. When ever animals are used for profits, it is never good for the animal as money always comes first. If they were properly vetting their animals, there would be no profits.

Clarification: This article states that I confirmed threats were made to breeders in Noble County. I was not aware of any threats. I agree that often when stories make the news and the general public is alerted, some people feel like writing letters to the breeders directly. I disagree with sending letters to a breeders personal residence or calling directly. If someone has a problem with a breeder, they need to reach out to local law enforcement or their commissions, mayor…etc.

The photo used for this article showing a white puppywas taken on June-19-2012 by a USDA inspector. The report reads as follows: Veterinary Care Direct USDA Violation - "There is one puppy, a malti-poo with ID # 2-150 that was found weak. The owner said the puppy was hypoglycemic. The veterinarian had not been contacted. There was no care plan to manage the illness in this puppy. Appropriate care for all sick animals should include complete diagnosis and compliance with veterinary care plan as developed by the veterinarian." Breeder: Marlin Bontrager, Rome City, IN
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,523

Michigan Pet Stores Linked to “Horrible Hundred” Breeder List

Five on the HSUS’s list of problem puppy mills
sold puppies to Petland and The Family Puppy


CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, (734) 718-7100, pmamichinfo@yahoo.com

Novi, Mich. – Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan announced today that two Michigan pet stores receive puppies from substandard breeding facilities listed in a recent report by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in May. In May, The HSUS’s “Horrible Hundred” report lists 100 problem puppy mills, based on the conditions documented in publicly available inspection reports and on evidence obtained during HSUS research and investigations. According to interstate transport records, Petland in Novi and The Family Puppy in several east Michigan locations received puppies from five of the breeders on that list between 2009 and 2012.

“Michigan consumers need to know where these puppies are coming from,” said Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan. “The cute displays in pet stores don’t tell the whole story—that those sweet puppies may have come from horrific conditions in a puppy mill far away.”

Petland is located in The Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi. The Family Puppy pet store operates five locations in the Detroit Metro area: Genesee Valley Center in Flint, Fountain Walk in Novi, Green Oak Village Place in Brighton, Macomb Mall in Roseville, and Oakland Mall in Troy.

The Family Puppy received shipments of puppies from Marlin Bontrager of Rome City, Indiana a large-scale breeder. Shipping almost 250 puppies to The Family Puppy stores in 2011, made him the largest single supplier to the pet store chain. Bontrager made the Horrible Hundred list after multiple violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act, including repeat veterinary violations.

Marlin Bontrager's commerical kennel, in Rome City Indiana
2012 taken by a Noble County Zoning Inspector

Petland Novi received shipments from four of the Horrible Hundred puppy mills between 2009 and 2012:

o Darlene and Charlene Koster/Rainbow Ranch Kennel in Minneapolis, Kansas: Received an official warning from the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.
o Kimberly Coleman/TLC’s Kennel in Clinton, Missouri: Fined $8,250 by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act
o Ervin Raber/Golden View Kennels of Baltic, Ohio: Cited for “Potentially Devastating” violations of the Animal Welfare Act for the presence of zoonotic disease and sick and injured dogs.
o Daniel Schlabach/Evergreen Designer LLC in Charm, Ohio: Cited for several violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

The case of a puppy from the last breeder on the above list, Daniel Schlabach/Evergreen Designer LLC of Charm, Ohio, demonstrates the hereditary health problems often associated with puppy mill dogs. In 2011, newlyweds Rod and Lindsey Rebhan purchased an Australian shepherd puppy named “Jack” for $1,000 from Petland Novi. “We considered Jack to be our first baby, our little boy," said Lindsey Rebhan. About a month after being purchased, Jack had his first seizure. After 25 seizures over the next four months, the Rebhans made the difficult decision to have him euthanized. Because Jack's epilepsy was so severe, his veterinarian said that the condition was probably hereditary. Petland Novi eventually refunded the sale price of the dog, but did not reimburse the Rebhans for the veterinary bills.

A dog photographed by a USDA inspector on May 2011 at facility
of Daniel Schlabach (Evergreen Designers LLC) in Charm,

Lindsey Rebhan said that if they had seen the “Horrible Hundred” report they would not have gone to the pet store to purchase him. Photos of the kennel taken on November 2, 2011, show a dog with scabs and ulcerations on his muzzle; an underweight dog; four dogs with diarrhea; dirt and hair buildup in den boxes; two dogs with raw skin on their paws; a dog with a cloudy left eye; and a dog with a runny nose and a cough.

In the May 9, 2013 press release about the “Horrible Hundred” report The HSUS called on authorities to more closely monitor these and the thousands of other facilities across the country, and urged state legislators to pass stronger laws to protect dogs in puppy mills. Most of the 100 facilities on the list have been cited repeatedly by federal or state inspectors for violations such as injured and sick dogs who had not been treated by a veterinarian, animals left in the freezing cold or blistering heat without protection, filthy conditions, and, in some cases, operators who performed surgeries on dogs without a veterinary license or shot and killed unwanted dogs.

There is currently no state law to regulate dog breeding facilities in Michigan or to protect consumers who purchase sick animals from pet stores or breeders. To address this oversight, Senator Steve Bieda (D-Warren) and Senator Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge) have introduced the “Puppy Protection Act,” S.B. 117 and 118, to establish guidelines for housing, sanitary conditions, enclosure space, exercise, and veterinary care of dogs in all large-scale breeding kennels in Michigan, including those who sell puppies to pet stores and directly to the public. Senators Jones and Bieda have also introduced the “Pet Lemon Law,” S.B. 348, to alleviate burdening veterinary bills for dogs purchased from pet stores or breeders who turn out to have health problems. Both pieces of legislation are awaiting their first hearing in the Senate Agriculture Committee.

To learn more about the Horrible Hundred report, visit

Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan is working to end the mass production of dogs in commercial kennels, or "puppy mills.” Our mission is to educate the public about the cruel cycle of commercial dog breeding and the pet store link. Read more at www.meetup.com/puppymillawareness.

More photos available on request.

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,589

Now Open: The Family Puppy

If you're looking to add a member to your family, a new pet store is headed to Franklin Park Mall.

"The Family Puppy" is opening its first store in Ohio sometime next month. It's five other stores are all in Michigan.

The store works with area breeders and also sells rescue animals.

For more information, visit thefamilypuppy.com.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,590

Mall puppy store causing controversy
Posted: Sep 20, 2013 9:14 PM EDT
By Steven Jackson - email

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -A new puppy store is expected to open at the Westfield Franklin Park Mall in Toledo next month.

They're concerned about where those dogs are being bred and what will happen to them after they are purchased.

Close to two thousand people have signed an online petition trying to stop the Family Puppy store from moving into Westfield Franklin Park Mall.

"I think the real issue is that we already have a surplus of dogs in our area and when you bring in a store like that, it's going to appeal to the impulse buyer," said Jean Keating, co-founder of the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates.

Ms. Keating started the petition.

She says because the dogs are likely to be impulse buys, they are more than likely to end up in a shelter.

John Stottele, owner of the Family Puppy, disagrees.

"So for them to say the dogs that we sell are found at shelters just can't be true because we would get a call from the shelter to know that," said Mr. Stottele.

Mr. Stottele says that is because a micro-chip is planted in all the pups.

Dog advocates also have great concern about where and how the dogs are bred.

"They're not bred for love of the breed, there's no real oversight like you would have with a reputable breeder," said Ms. Keating.

Stottele says the store has an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau and guarantees only family friendly breeds.

"Our goal is to have every single puppy to meet and greet a hundred different people or animals before they're adopted," said Mr. Stottele.

But dog advocates disagree.

"We're very strongly going to encourage people this Christmas to boycott that mall," said Ms. Keating.

Mall officials did say the store is moving in but they didn't comment further.

The store is expected to open by mid-October.

Mobile users, click on the "Video" button in the app to watch this story. Download our app here.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,591

Chain’s planned move to Toledo riles activists
Store coming to mall accused of buying from puppy mills

Published: 9/27/2013 - Updated: 3 days ago

The Family Puppy Store, a pet shop that sells only dogs, is accused by animal rights groups of buying animals from ‘puppy mills.’

A pet store chain that plans to open its first Ohio store next month in Westfield Franklin Park mall will be opening with a little something extra. Controversy.

The Family Puppy, a southeast Michigan chain that sells puppies, plans to open a store in mid-October after being courted by the mall’s ownership for a year.

John Stottele, who co-owns The Family Puppy with his wife, Deb, said he often goes to Indiana to pick up puppies from about 20 primarily Amish breeders who provide him with dogs to sell, and the route he travels made Franklin Park a good fit.

“Toledo is kind of on the way. We get our puppies from Indiana. ... Geographically, it works,” Mr. Stottele said.

The company has five stores in Michigan malls. He signed a long-term lease with Westfield that is expected to be honored by Starwood Retail Partners, which has agreed to buy the mall.

However, the impending opening of The Family Puppy, which only sells dogs, has alarmed local animal rights activists who allege that the chain is supplied by commercial breeders who run so-called “puppy mills.”

Puppy mills are generally characterized as kennels where dogs are bred in cages with little or no human contact, unsanitary conditions, and improper health care.

Mr. Stottele, who has been in the pet store business 35 years, said The Family Puppy does not do business with puppy mills.

“The bulk of our business is finding great breeders that will sell to us, and then we sell to the public. We know what to look for with breeders. I know how to screen a breeder because I’ve been working with breeders for 35 years,” he said.

He declined to provide a list of the breeders he gets dogs from, but he said information on each puppy — including information about the breeder — is available to customers in his stores.

Mr. Stottele has clashed with animal activists in Michigan.

Locally, a group called the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates started an online petition asking signers to stop shopping at the mall as long as The Family Puppy is there. The petition is being sent to both Westfield and Starwood, and as of noon Thursday it had more than 6,100 signers.

Jean Keating of Toledo, the coalition’s co-founder, said the local effort was to make the mall owners aware of the chain’s history and business practices in an attempt to end their relationship with The Family Puppy.

“They’re business people, they’re not animal welfare people,” Ms. Keating said of the mall owners. “We want to make them aware to how many people in this area object to this company and how many won’t be shopping at that mall anymore.”

Ms. Keating said The Family Puppy stores in Michigan “have a track record of buying puppies from local puppy mill operations. They have numerous violations from the [U.S. Department of Agriculture] and repeated violations,” she said.

“People in our area, if they’re looking to get a family dog, they need to get a dog with a sound temperament and good health, and puppy mill dogs have neither,” she said.

More importantly, Ms. Keating said, pet stores lead to impulse buys. People buy dogs without realizing how much of a commitment they are, and the result is often bad for the animal.

Mr. Stottele said he ended a relationship with a Missouri breeder after he and his wife visited there.

“We were disgusted with what we saw,” he said.

So Mr. Stottele began relationships with a group of Amish breeders in Indiana and now travels to the state to obtain dogs. He said that allows him to monitor the conditions the breeders employ, and if he has qualms he can and has stopped doing business with that breeder.

“We only use breeders that will meet our standards, and those standards are above those of the Animal Welfare Act,” Mr. Stottele said.

Amish breeders have a reputation among animal welfare groups of raising dogs in poor conditions. Mr. Stottele agreed “that there are some bad” Amish breeders.

“But we handpick them,” he said.

Mr. Stottele said many of his breeders have, upon his insistence, retrofitted kennels and begun regular health testing of their dogs.

Puppy Mill Awareness, an activist group in Michigan, provided information to Ms. Keating’s group noting that in 2009-2010, 13 of the 16 primary suppliers used by The Family Puppy had been cited by the USDA for noncompliance with the Animal Welfare Act.

Mr. Stottele said he monitors the citations, and says that nearly all were “indirect” violations, not “direct” violations where a dog needs veterinary treatment.

In 2012, Marlin Bontrager, an Indiana breeder used by Mr. Stottele, did have two “direct” violations cited by the USDA during an inspection. A follow-up inspection two days later showed that Mr. Bontrager had remedied the two problems, but Mr. Stottele said he quit doing business with Mr. Bontrager as a result of the incident.

Puppy Mill Awareness, which has picketed The Family Puppy stores nearly 150 times according to Mr. Stottele, says that customers have filed 33 complaints with the Michigan Department of Agriculture, and 29 various problems have been noted with puppies purchased from The Family Puppy stores.

Mr. Stottele said most of the 33 complaints were filed between 1998 and 2009, the year Gov. Jennifer Granholm cut the state agriculture department’s budget, which eliminated inspections of commercial pet stores.

The Blade found only two complaints against The Family Puppy since 2009.

In one, the Michigan Agriculture Department investigated a complaint that The Family Puppy store in Flint bought an underaged puppy to sell, but investigators found that the puppy was older than the paperwork indicated.

Another complaint, filed by Puppy Mill Awareness, alleged that two puppies who became ill at the Flint store had contracted canine parvovirus, a highly contagious disease. A state investigation concluded that one of the dogs had parvovirus, and both puppies were euthanized.

Dr. James Averill, Michigan Department of Agriculture veterinarian and director of its animal industry division, said the department has no violations on record for any of The Family Puppy’s stores.

“We do know they have five stores, but we have not received any active complaints against them. There has been no need for us to go out and do an investigation of them, and there has been nothing else about them that has been brought to our attention,” Dr. Averill said.

Julie Heigel, a spokesman for Westfield Franklin Park, said the mall knows The Family Puppy is controversial, but its policy is not to permit protests on mall property.

“We are private property, and we recognize that everybody has an opinion and passions and we totally take seriously the right of people to express their opinion but in a lawful way. But that means in designated areas on the public property sides of the mall. That would be the sidewalk all the way around,” Ms. Heigel said.

Contact Jon Chavez at: jchavez@theblade.com or 419-724-6128.

Read more at http://www.toledoblad...­
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,592

Local pet store draws protest
Activists say The Family Puppy buys from ‘mills’


Protesters, including Lindsey Reed of Toledo, right, hold signs on Talmadge and Monroe as they demonstrate against The Family Puppy store that is coming to Westfield Franklin Park.

About 70 people held homemade signs outside of Westfield Franklin Park Saturday afternoon and chanted, “Don’t shop, adopt,” and “Boycott The Family Puppy.”

One of the signs encouraged passers-by to “Google Amish Puppy Mills.”

Jean Keating, co-founder of the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates that helped to organize the event, said the goal was to educate Toledo residents about why they should not buy a puppy from The Family Puppy, a Michigan-based store that is opening a location at the mall in mid-October. The store will be located near BD’s Mongolian Grill, next to California Nails and across from Relax Magic.

John Stottele, owner of The Family Puppy who was at the mall Saturday inspecting the construction of the store, said he only obtains puppies from “reputable Amish breeders in Indiana.” He said he personally inspects them and that they “meet our specific standards in quality of kennel conditions and treatment of the animals.”

The “family friendly” puppies range in price from $700 to $1,500, he said. Breeds to be available include bichon frises, Shih Tzus, pugs, golden retrievers, German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, Siberian huskies, and so-called “designer” mixed breeds, such as the labradoodle. Breeds that the store chooses not to carry include “pit bull”-type dogs, Rottweilers, chow chows, Akitas, and Cane Corsos, which are breeds of dogs “that are commonly involved in mauling incidents,” Mr. Stottele said.

“If it was just about making money, I’d carry Rotts because I could sell a lot of Rotts,” Mr. Stottele said.

John and Debbie Stottele, co-owners of The Family Puppy, say they personally inspect all of their puppy suppliers. They plan to open their Toledo store in mid-October.

The store also will not carry beagles “because they often howl,” which is not an attribute that makes for a good dog in an apartment or in a yard with neighbors nearby. Weimaraners are off the table too because they don't like being in crates and sometimes will hurt themselves by ramming their heads into the top, said Debbie Stottele, the co-owner of the business with her husband.

Ms. Keating of Sylvania Township said nearly all of The Family Puppy’s primary suppliers have been cited for violations to the Animal Welfare Act, and many have been chronic offenders.

“Some violations include shelters with temps exceeding 87 degrees, excessive feces, no heat, unlicensed personnel performing surgeries, untended bite wounds, poor ventilation, feet dangling in wire floors, dirty dogs, accumulated grime, and lack of veterinary care,” she said.

According to recent inspection reports, three breeders in Indiana from which The Family Puppy obtains dogs have been cited for veterinary-care violations, including a “nonprofessional” surgically treating a dog with cherry eyes.

Mr. Stottele said he has stopped working with breeders that he discovers are not meeting his standards, which include providing an exercise area, teeth-cleaning of all breeding dogs yearly, and genetic testing.
Puppy stores are necessary because animal shelters and pounds don’t always have the breeds of dogs that people want, he said. Shelters are running out of dogs to sell, he added, citing the Michigan Humane Society’s claim that they find homes for 100 percent of all adoptable dogs that come into their three large shelters in the metro-Detroit area.

Julie Sanderson, a spokesman for Westfield Franklin Park, said the mall was aware of the demonstration, which took place off mall property on the public sidewalk.

“We welcome the retailer,” Ms. Sanderson said. “We only do business with retailers that follow state and local laws. We support them coming.”

Besides the demonstration, which Ms. Keating said is “the first of many,” the group is encouraging shoppers to boycott other businesses at the mall in protest of The Family Puppy, with the goal of encouraging business owners to ask Franklin Park’s new owners to not honor the store’s five-year lease, which was negotiated by the mall’s previous owners.

Susan Robinson of Woodville also helped organize the demonstration. She said her two rescue dogs originally came from Amish puppy mills, and both have many physical ailments because of bad breeding and the conditions in which they lived before they went into rescue.
“Because of them, I have learned a lot about Amish puppy mills,” she said. “It’s something that absolutely horrifies me.”
Contact Tanya Irwin at: tirwin@theblade.com or 419-724-6066 or @TanyaIrwin.

Read more at http://www.toledoblad...­
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,593

Activists protest puppy store at mall
Posted: Oct 05, 2013 9:43 PM EDT
Updated: Oct 05, 2013 10:47 PM EDT
By Dick Berry - email

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
The Westfield Franklin Park Mall was picketed Saturday by local animal rights activists.

The Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates claims a new store there, Family Puppy, will sell dogs bought from so-called 'puppy mills.'

The group says dogs in the mills are bred in cages with little or no human contact, filthy conditions and limited vet care.

"The majority of them have health problems, a lot of behavioral problems and they're coming from large scale operations that are for profit," said Jean Keating of the Coalition.

John Stottele owns Family Puppy.

He has five stores in Michigan malls and has just signed a long-term lease with Franklin Park.

Mr. Stottele says Family Puppy does not do business with mills.

"If we're buying from somebody that is not caring for their dogs, that's bad," said Mr. Stottele.

Mr. Stottele adds Family Puppy opponents only want people to adopt dogs, not buy them from a breeder.

He says the pooches in his store are healthy.

"For every puppy in the store we have a report here available for anybody to see. We're pretty transparent as to who the breeders are," said Mr. Stottele.

Meanwhile, the Coalition is asking people to boycott the mall because of its new tenant.

"And to have someone come in that's going to bring in a couple hundred dogs a year from a puppy mill is extremely disappointing," said Ms. Keatins.

Family Puppy will open by the end of the month.

Mobile users, click on the "Video" button in the app to watch this story. Download our app here.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,594

Demonstrators speak out against new store in mall
by Michael Woodward
Posted: 10.05.2013 at 9:33 PM

TOLEDO -- "Puppies are not Merchandise," "How sick is that doggy in the window?" and "Adopt, Don’t Shop," were just some of the signs held by dog advocates who were protesting outside of the Westfield Franklin Park Mall, Saturday evening.

Demonstrators were protesting the opening of a new pet retailer "The Family Puppy," which will open inside the mall this month. The store owners, John and Debbie Stottele, say it gives people looking for dogs other options than shelters.

Jean Keating of The Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates spoke out as for what she would like to see happen. Keating said, "we would like the new owners of the mall to take a look at the leases that are currently in place when they take over on November 1, and hopefully cancel (The Family Puppy’s.)"

Keating also said, "A large number of people have worked very hard over the last four to five years to make significant changes at our dog warden and all over our community, with trying to be more humane in our treatment of animals, and this is going to be a major set back.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,595

"The Family Puppy" prepares to open at Westfield Franklin Park Mall
by Bryant Maddrick
Posted: 09.20.2013 at 5:53 PMUpdated: 09.21.2013 at 10:45 AM
Bryant Maddrick

The Family Puppy is set to open at Westfield Franklin Park Mall. / Family Puppy

TOLEDO -- A new business is moving into the Westfield Franklin Park Mall. It's a puppy store, but not everyone is happy, in fact some are hoping to stop the doors from opening.

In October, pet retailer "The Family Puppy" will open at Westfield Franklin Park Mall. But dog advocate Jean Keating - with "The Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates" - says potential shoppers aren't just getting a pet."They're supporting people who run puppy mills, which is nothing more than a large scale breeding facility where it's for money," explains Keating.

Dog advocates like Keating say people pay a fee at shelters, and those fees go towards vaccinations and spaying and neutering. Keating argues when people shop at pet stores, like "The Family Puppy," puppies held at area shelters don't get adopted.

"The Family Puppy" is owned by John and Debbie Stottele who own five stores in Michigan. John Stottele disagrees with advocates like Keating who call his business a puppy mill. He argues his store provides the consumer with more options than just a shelter. "We believe the consumer has a choice. We don't think it's right to say 'only adopt.' We think it's good to adopt and if you can do that, we want that to happen."

The store is expected to open in October. Advocates like Keating say a petition is being made to boycott the entire mall until the pet store is gone.

To get more information for about "The Family Puppy," visit their website.

If you want to get information about "The Ohio Coalition for Dog Advocates visit their website.

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