Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › Petland Novi (Exposed)

Petland Novi (Exposed)

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,174
3 Steps to Getting Puppy Mill Pet Stores Out of Your Neighborhood

by Stephanie Feldstein 2011-12-20 22:01:00 UTC

This is a guest blog post written by Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan, a volunteer group working to end the mass production of dogs in puppy mills.

While a puppy under the tree might seem festive this time of year, the industry that stocks stores like Petland is full of Scrooges.

Pet store puppies are mass-produced by commercial breeders (a.k.a. "puppy mills") who keep hundreds of dogs in cramped, unsanitary conditions, breeding the females over and over. Due to poor veterinary care and little to no socialization, that pet store puppy with the bow around its neck likely has a bunch of health and behavioral problems to unwrap after the holidays.

This cruelty isn't what people want for pets. More than 130,000 people have signed the petition on Change.org asking Petland — the largest puppy-selling pet store chain in the U.S. — to stop supporting puppy mills and choose to offer pet adoptions instead.

Despite the huge public outcry, Petland is digging in, saying they hope to keep selling puppies for decades to come. They need to keep hearing from us so they know this decision will hurt their business.

Petland is built on franchises, which means your local Petland store is probably locally owned. That means individual Petland stores can choose to start changing the company's reputation of cruelty by cutting their ties with puppy mills, so taking action locally can have a big impact.

In Michigan, we only have one Petland left. My group, Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan, has seen six pet stores close down since we started taking on the puppy mill business in our backyard.

Here are a few steps you can take to take on puppy mills in your neighborhood, whether they've come to town in the cages at Petland or at another pet shop:

1) Talk to the Store: Have a local citizen visit the store and speak with the owner or manager. I recommend bringing The Humane Society of the United States' Puppy Friendly Pet Store Pledge to help them become part of the movement trading in puppy sales for adoption programs. Follow-up on the visit with a phone call and a letter. Be polite and professional, and if they don't respond, at least you tried to reach out to them.

2) Start a Petition: Stores survive on consumer demand, and starting a petition is an easy way to start showing what consumers want. Check out the Tip & Guides to walk through starting your own Change.org petition.

3) Keep the Pressure On: There are a lot of ways to pressure a store, from holding an event like a rally or parade nearby, passing out literature on puppy mill cruelty to the store's neighbors, writing your local paper and news channels, and holding weekly protests. (Note: If you're going to protest at the store, remember to check with your city clerk and police department for any local ordinances that might apply.)

You can also hold a virtual protest, by spreading images like the pledges in this post via Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr, targeting the social media pages of the store in your area. (To download the images, just right-click and "save as.")

Want to join the virtual protest, but don't have a Petland in your area? You can start with these key stores.

Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup has been protesting at Michigan's last remaining Petland all season. We've seen an increasing interest from the media in what we're doing and have talked to dozens of would-be customers to educate them on the truth behind that puppy in the window.

You can help our campaign by signing our petition asking Petland Novi to stop supporting puppy mills. And if you're looking to add a pet to your home this holiday season, please adopt.

Photo credit: Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,178
U.S. Petland are closing:

# of U.S. Petland stores 2008 HSUS investigation: 140

# of U.S. Petland stores 2009 HSUS follow-up: 130

# of U.S. Petland stores open as of August 18, 2010: 105

# of U.S. Petland stores open as of December 21, 2010: 95

# of U.S. Petland stores open as of January 5, 2012: 87
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,186
Absolutely NO adoption events at Peltand Novi or any puppy selling store!

Puppy Mill Awareness does not support any adoption or meet & greet events at any puppy selling store. We are asking all rescues to and the public to boycott this store until they stop selling puppies.

Reasons for not working with a puppy store:
1. Any partnership promotes the store and gives them legitimacy that they are helping animals.
2. Any partnership indirectly supports puppy mills.
3. They are selling unaltered animals, while rescued animals are fixed.
4.Animals could be cross contaminated.

Working with a puppy selling store should be complete conflict of interest and does not help any campaign efforts made by this group.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,187

Regarding your recent press releases.

I provided three rescue groups to you, but I never said they would agree to doing adoption events while the store still sold puppies. I said you can certainly ask them what they think about that, but I already knew and even told you that I don’t think any rescue group would ever bring their dogs into a store with commercially bred dogs.

This is a conflict of interest and I even mentioned that I am aware of your giardia and parvo outbreaks. It is just too risky, but primarily it is too unethical to partnership with any store that has no intentions of going completely humane.

When I asked you about converting your puppy cages to adult dog cages, you walked away and didn’t say it was a possibility.

Your intent was to have rescues groups give you their surplus puppies so you could mark them up and look like the good guy for helping homeless animals. Did you not pay for a litter of puppies from an unknown source?

After 60 protests did you think I would allow you to hold adoption events and look like the good guy while unfixed animals bred in commercial puppy farms went out the door?

I was disappointed that you did not come prepared to our meeting with your plans. In fact, when I left our meeting I was still unclear. Did you want rescues to leave their desirable puppies with you or did you want to do adoption events? Your press release did not mention dropping off their litters of puppies for you to mark up, yet that was your primary plans.

Again, no legitimate rescue will work with a pet store that sells puppies.

Your recent press releases shows how spontaneous you are. Did corporate approve that?
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,206
Complaint Review: Petland Novi MI


Petland Novi MI Purchased a puppy from this store with a life threatening illness. They offered us a $300 store credit after we spent $3100 in vet bills and our dog still needs another surgery costing $4000 Novi, Michigan

Submitted: Sunday, February 19, 2012
Reported By: Cheryl — canton Michigan United States of America

Petland Novi MI
27200 Novi Rd Novi Michigan United States of America
Phone: 248-449-7340

We purchased a puppy from this store and now he is sick with a life threatening liver problem. We have already spent $3100 in vet bills. He has required two emergency surgeries. He needs a surgery to correct his birth defect. The company said that it would give us a $300 store credit. The defect was found before his second birthday, but was a birth defect.

They will not tell us the breeders. He is ACA registered which is not the same as AKC registration. So we have no way to contact the breeders. So they can continue to breed sick puppies and sell them to other people who will get stuck with big vet bills and we will probably have to put our beloved dog to sleep. The sad part is if they would pay for the corrective surgery our dog would be cured.

The sad part is they would only have to sell 4 puppies and use the money to do the right thing and save our dog. Apparently they don't really care about the dogs they sell or their owners.
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Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,341
Check out our new Petland Novi webpage!

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,342
Joine our new Petland Novi Boycott Facebook page!

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,343
Week Day Protests Begin!

Petland Novi continues to ship puppies from out-of-state commercial breeders with unacceptable inspection reports.

Join us for more sustained protests at Twelve Oaks this summer.

We are beginning weekday protests starting in June. Days may vary, but the time should stay at 4-7 for each protest. RSVP on our calendar.

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,345
Anti-puppy mill crusader and her group raise anger, awareness by going after pet stores

May 8, 2012 | By Eric D. Lawrence
Detroit Free Press Staff Writer


Marti, left, and Leroy Brown serenade owner Pam Sordyl at their home near Clarkston. Sordyl, an ex- financial analyst for General Motors, protests stores that she believes got pets from puppy mills, which breed dogs under inhumane conditions. / PATRICIA BECK/DETROIT FREE PRESS

Pam Sordyl starts with a softer touch -- a letter, a phone call.

But if a pet store owner ignores or refuses her request to stop selling puppies, the Clarkston-area woman ratchets up the pressure -- weekly protests outside the store, an online campaign.

The 41-year-old former financial analyst for General Motors has spent the last several years hounding pet stores that sell dogs in places such as Novi, Westland and Flint, referencing publicly available shipping records and inspection reports to support her claims that they get their animals from puppy mills, where dogs are bred under inhumane conditions.

Sordyl, founder of the Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan, credits the intense campaigns she and her group wage with helping close half a dozen pet stores in metro Detroit since 2008, and she defends her group and her tactics.

"You need to have someone who is willing to stay the course and say: 'We're not going away,' " she said.

Sordyl is also actively pushing for passage of a series of bills, known as the Puppy Lemon Law and the Puppy Protection Act, currently in committees in the Legislature. The bills would give consumers recourse if they buy a sick puppy from a pet store or a dealer and set standards for keeping dogs in large-scale breeding facilities.

Sordyl cited two incidents last month that she said demonstrate continuing problems with the way animals are bred and sold in Michigan -- the seizure of more than 350 dogs kept in dire conditions by an Allegan County couple who were breeding them and charges of animal cruelty against a Dearborn Heights man and his store, Pet Station.

Area animal activists who know Sordyl praise her commitment and marvel at her research skills and seemingly boundless energy. The pet store owners she targets offer a decidedly less-positive assessment, using words such as "extreme" and "terrorist" to describe her.

Sordyl, who is married to a GM engineer and lives in an upscale subdivision bordering Independence Oaks Park, was laid off during GM's restructuring and uses the time she used to spend on the job to push her cause. She developed her interest in animal-rights activism during a vacation volunteering at SASHA (Sanctuary and Safe Haven for Animals) Farm in Manchester. She has three rescue dogs of her own.

Sordyl said that only through constant vigilance, such as weekly protests, will she effect the kind of change she wants to make.

That intensity is appreciated by some.

"In your lifetime, you can count on one hand the number of people who will take up an issue that's near and dear to their heart and will relentlessly pursue what they feel is right, and that's Pam," said Deborah Schutt, chairwoman of the board of the Bloomfield Township-based Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. "She is the dog with a bone."

But that persistence is what infuriates the pet store owners she targets. What may start as a few letters inviting a pet store owner to stop selling puppies can turn into months or years of protests asking people to boycott the store.

"She's an awful person," said Donna Corbett, who owns the Shaggy Dog in Shelby Township. "The things she's saying are not true."

Corbett and other shop owners Sordyl pickets defend their business practices. Corbett said, "I would never buy from a breeder that would run their business like a puppy mill."

Sordyl asked why she has never been sued if what she publicizes at www.meetup.com/puppymillawareness and on signs that she and members of her group carry is false.

She acknowledged that protests can get heated, especially when counter-protesters come to support the stores. Police have been called in some cases to keep order or to take reports, but Sordyl said she is careful to follow the law.

Sordyl was cited in April over a Westland sign-ordinance violation. According to a police report, an officer told Sordyl, whose group had staked three signs into the ground, that she could not post signs on public property. Sordyl told the officer she did not have to remove the signs. According to the report, the officer said Sordyl "then told me to issue her the citation, and (said) that I could speak to her ACLU attorney."

Sordyl said she plans to fight the citation. The next court hearing is May 30.

In a separate incident outside the Westland store in January, Sordyl is listed as the victim in an assault report. Sordyl told police that a counter-protester pushed her in the chest and pushed the camera she was holding.

Kelly Schwartz, director of volunteers and operational support for the Humane Society of Huron Valley, has known Sordyl for several years and said Sordyl is raising awareness of a real issue.

"Sometimes it takes extreme measures, like protesting or standing out on a street corner, to let people know it's not the appropriate thing to do," she said. "I don't look at (Sordyl and her group) as being aggressive. I look at them as getting their message out."

John Stottele, who owns five the Family Puppy stores in the region, said Sordyl's focus misses the big picture. He notes that breeders who sell to pet stores are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, while the vast majority of dogs sold in the U.S. are distributed through other means, such as unregulated backyard breeders.

"Pam keeps beating the drum about puppy mills, puppy mills, puppy mills, and there's a bigger issue here, and it's animal welfare," he said. "Why doesn't she picket these casual breeders where there's no oversight?"

But it's the business model that Sordyl is really fighting.

Buying and selling dogs, and other animals, works against her group's mission, which is to promote adoption from shelters.

Stottele said that's a laudable goal but not always realistic. Not all shelter dogs make good pets, he said.

For Sordyl, adoption is the morally appropriate choice. Selling dogs means the dogs' welfare is a secondary consideration, she said.

"We do not support any live animal sales. Whenever animals are used for profits, profits come first."

More Details: Legislation in the works

• Senate Bill 574, known as the Pet Lemon Law, would require pet shops or dealers to refund the pet purchase price, exchange the animal for one of equal value or reimburse veterinary fees in cases in which a veterinarian determines that an animal was unfit for sale. It would also require pet shops or dealers to provide information about the breeder to customers.

• House Bills 5230-5231 and Senate Bills 891-892, known as the Puppy Protection Act, would set standards for large-scale breeding operations covering housing, food and water requirements and mandated rest between breeding cycles. It would also prohibi
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,347
Randy - Here are more ideas for your transition to a humane model. New pet stores are going local and supporting their local shelter. This does not involve "taking" unwanted/unknown puppies from "unknown" rescues OR individuals.

Pet store featuring local products opens in Saugatuck

May 25, 2012
Written by Sarah Sell
Written by Matt Campbell

SAUGATUCK, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Washington D.C. man who was tired of seeing animal cruelty cases overseas and pet food recalls gave up his big-city life of international banking to open up a pet store in West Michigan.

"Everything in the store is made in the United States," says Sean Robinson.
As the owner of "Groovy Paws" in Saugatuck, he sells all kinds of fun and unique products for cats and dogs.

"Beer Bones is a Michigan company," says Robinson. "It's made of spent wheat from the brewing process. They take the wheat, add peanut butter and eggs, and you have a dog treat."
Robinson says opening a pet store was something he planned to do after retirement, but a hectic life in a much bigger city changed the schedule.

"We just feel the quality of life here in Michigan is much better than it was in D.C.," he says.
Robinson gave up his high-paying job. "I worked at the World Bank," he says.

It was actually his world travels that made Robinson passionate about the core values of his business.
"I had the opportunity to travel. I've seen the conditions. I've seen the way animals are treated elsewhere."

Robinson did not want to sell products made in those countries. The food and treats sold at his store have never been part of a recall.

Groovy paws just opened up last week and, Robinson says, so far so good. He is getting positive feedback about selling products "Made in the U.S.A." He knows that you can't get everything you need from the U.S., but he feels good about what he's doing.

"It's going to be a lot of hard work, long hours," he says, "but it's something we're truly passionate about."

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