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MACOMB DAILY: Puppy mill awareness group holds demonstration at Gibraltar Trade Center

From: Pam
Sent on: Sunday, July 20, 2014 11:48 AM

Puppy mill awareness group holds demonstration at Gibraltar Trade Center

Ariana McNicol, 8, of Port Huron was among the demonstrators supporting efforts by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan to get city officials to quarantine the pet stores at Gibraltar Trade Center, because of reports of parvovirus (GINA JOSEPH - The Macomb Daily).

By Gina Joseph, The Macomb Daily

Posted: 07/19/14, 4:18 PM EDT|Updated: 8 secs ago
1 Comment

Despite Saturday’s rain, people showed up in support of a demonstration at the gates of Gibraltar Trade Center in Mount Clemens organized by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan (PMASM).

The demonstrators -- some who drove in from as far away as Port Huron -- hope to get Macomb County animal control officers to quarantine the puppy stores at Gibraltar due to reports of parvovirus.

“We’re here to warn shoppers about the parvovirus and hopefully put pressure on the city to do something,” said Pam Sordyl of Clarkston, and founder of the animal advocacy group that has been following the complaints related to store conditions and animal health. Those complaints now number in the hundreds.

In addition to the quarantine the group has a petition asking the center not to sell animals and unsuccessfully asked the Mount Clemens City Commission to enact an ordinance banning the sale of retail animals. “We go to a lot of city council meetings,” Sordyl said. “That’s how you bring about change.”

County officials are aware of the reports.

“Jeff Randazzo, Macomb County’s chief animal control officer, said he is hearing a lot of cases of parvo and sick dogs at the trade center and is concerned,” according to an advance on the upcoming demonstration. “’It’s something the city of Mount Clemens needs to be working on,’ he said, noting the city has its own animal control officer. ‘We’ll assist them any way we can.’”

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body -- most severely affecting the intestinal tract causing symptoms of lethargy, severe vomiting, appetite loss and diarrhea - which can lead to life-threatening dehydration. Being it’s highly resistant and can live in the environment for months - surviving on inanimate objects such as food bowls and shoes it can be transmitted through soil. “That’s what I was told by a shelter director,” said Olivia Sanchez of Harrison Township, who has two dogs of her own and has been a member of PMASM since its start in 2008. “That’s why we’re (also) handing out free shoe covers for people going in and bleach for people to use when they come out - to protect their animals at home.”

Among the youngest of the demonstrators was Ariana McNicol, 8, who traveled to the event with her mom, Diana McNicol. “This is her second demonstration,” Diana said, of her daughter who carried her weight in signs during the afternoon vigil that had Gibraltar shoppers honking their horns in support of the cause.

“There are puppies in cages that are,” said the young activist, wearing a white rain poncho covered with black puppy paw prints. “And there’s a vet who says they’re okay even though they’re not.”




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