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Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › Pollywood Pets (Mt. Clemens)

Pollywood Pets (Mt. Clemens)

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,585
Follow this link to our Pollywood Pets Boycott facebook page!

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,596

October 10, 2013
Animal advocates turn out at educational meeting
Puppy Mill Awareness group takes aim at longtime Mount Clemens pet store
By Julie Snyder
C & G Staff Writer

Photo by Julie Snyder
Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan, led an educational town hall meeting at the Mount Clemens Public Library on Oct. 8. Her goal was to show her fellow animal advocates how they can work together to end the sale of these animals at area pet stores.
MOUNT CLEMENS — Around 20 people showed up for a town hall meeting at the Mount Clemens Public Library on Oct. 8.

Some were there to learn about how they can get involved in ending commercial kennels, also called puppy mills, while other showed up to defend one local pet shop currently under scrutiny by a state puppy mill awareness group.

The recent town hall was organized by Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan.

Sordyl has, since forming her organization in 2008, led multiple protests at what were considered questionable pet shops around the tri-county area, most recently outside the Gibraltar Trade Center in Mount Clemens, where Pollywood Pets has operated since 1991.

“The people are upset about what they see in that store,” said Sordyl, after the latest picketing campaign on Sept. 15.

During that weekend, a group passed along their concerns about the treatment of the animals at Pollywood by carrying signs that read “Boycott Pollywood Pets” and “Caution: Bad Breeders.”

Puppy Mill Awareness is an organization that works to end commercial dog breeding in substandard conditions, and encourages people to boycott those pet stores that do not work along with adoption and animal rescue organizations like the Humane Society.

Pollywood owner Shelley Myers and her husband, Dave, said the protest had little effect on business; rather, it brought more people into the store to see what was going on for themselves.
“They apologized to us for their (the protesters’) ignorance,” said Dave Myers.

But the efforts by Sordyl and her supporters have reportedly hurt Pollywood in other ways.

Shelley Myers said during the recent meeting that complaints made by Puppy Mill Awareness and Sordyl to the Macomb County Animal Control Department have interrupted business. She also claims to have been bullied and threatened, and that her vehicle was vandalized by local puppy mill adversaries.
Shelley Myers said she gets the puppies she sells from the private sector.

“They are all privately raised in family homes, and all my animals are regularly checked by a veterinarian and certified,” she said, adding that those who claim she does not keep her animals healthy “are liars.”
Sordyl said it’s not just about the health of the animals at Pollywood Pets; it’s the conditions that have her and many other animal adoption advocates angry.

Macomb County Animal Control Director Jeff Randazzo would not comment on any violations issued to Shelley Myers or Pollywood Pets, and referred any fine information to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, who did not return phone calls for comment.

Shelley Myers said she has never been fined, and she has only been given suggestions to try and improve things, such as the lighting, for the dogs.

“They are not heat lamps; there is a space (in the store) that is dark and I use lights to brighten it up.” Other “suggested” changes included using only USDA-approved cages and keeping the animals’ food properly secured.

“They never find anything wrong,” she said of when her store is inspected.

Sordyl produced a letter dated in 2009 that stated that the owner of Pollywood Pets was fined $250 for two unspecified violations, but Shelley Myers said she never received it. Sordyl admits that it may have never been sent.

According to their website, the MDARD has licensed and regulated pet shops since 1969, offering mammals other than livestock or rodents for sale. However, due to state financial constraints, they were no longer able to operate the pet shop program, and it was suspended in 2009.

“The laws are still enforced, but there is no one to enforce them,” said Sordyl.

In addition, MDARD no longer accepts new applications for a pet shop license.

“Although MDARD will no longer be regulating pet shops, all pet shop operators are advised to use the laws and regulations concerning pet shops as guidelines for animal care in their facilities,” its website states. In addition, the department will also no longer be supplying pet shop health certificates. “Complainants wishing to file complaints against pet shops will be directed to local law enforcement agencies.”

“All I’m trying to do is run a good, tax-based business and provide employment,” Shelley Myers said.
But that’s little comfort to former Pollywood customer Kim Miles, who purchased a schnauzer/poodle mix puppy from Pollywood last year.

Miles said her daughter immediately fell in love with the pup they later named Lizzy.
She put down a $300 deposit but had some misgivings.

“It was just really bad in there,” she said. Miles said she wanted to forgo the deposit, but her daughter was adamant that Lizzy should live with the family.

A check up at the veterinarian’s office confirmed that Lizzy’s lethargic and sickly nature was the result of a liver shunt, which she likely inherited from her sickly mother, a dog the Miles family knew nothing about and was unable to find answers about.

“We called her over and over, trying to find out where the dog came from,” she said.

Miles said Lizzie underwent extensive and expensive surgery to repair the shunt to no avail. She will live the rest of her life on a special diet and twice-a-day medication to keep her liver soft so she can absorb the proper nutrients.

Still, she’s sick almost every day.

“She threw up twice today, and she walks in circles,” said Miles, adding that the behavior is a result of the illness affecting her brain.

“I didn’t know anything about that until (the night of the meeting),” said Shelley Myers. She said every customer is required to sign documents requiring they take their new puppy to a vet for a thorough checkup within 48 hours of purchase. She said she is willing to provide a refund if an animal is not 100 percent healthy.

“I don’t know how long she had the puppy before she had the problem,” Shelley Myers said, adding that staff is at the store every day caring for the animal, not just on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday when Gibraltar is open to the public. “You’re dealing with live animals. If there are issues, take it back. But if you don’t call me or provide me with the documentation, there is nothing I can do.”

It matters little to Sordyl, who plans to meet with Mount Clemens officials in the near future to figure out what can be done to close Pollywood Pets for good.

“We will be protesting again during the holidays,” said Sordyl, a Clarkston resident.

“We have asked the store to stop selling puppies and kittens, so now we’re proceeding with a public education campaign … to warn families about ill and genetically defective animals sold at the store,” Sordyl said.

You can reach C & G Staff Writer Julie Snyder at (586)498-1039.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,599
The owner of Pollywood Pets and the family also attended our Pollywood Town Hall last night. Some of you have asked what she said during the questions/answers part of the meeting. I told her husband she is welcome to send me her talking points and I will share them on Facebook so everyone has an opportunity to hear both sides.

Here are some things that I quoted off of the video that was taken:
1) The store has 2-3 staff members taking care of the animals during the week. They are there 4 ½ hours each day every single day. They feed, water, mop, bleach, sanitize. Want to check the log in for the Trade Center, she is sure Robert, the owner would be happy to oblige. Since 1991.
2) All of the dogs are raised private sector/family only
3) She have a veterinarian that certifies every single cat and dog that walks out that door. 4) Pitter Patter on the other hand does not. They are buying puppies at 5 week old, not her
5) She gives customers her cell, business and home number. She is a 24/7 operator.
6) She can give us thousands people who have purchased animals from her. Anyone can file a complaint
7) She stated that my group made postings on CL stating to file complaints no matter what (PS this was not true, I believe this happened in 2008 before PMA formed). There were complaints from across the country (PS, the complaints listed by the MDA are all local residents) Dr. Krause inspected the last set of puppies (PS didn’t he pass away earlier this year?)
9) Dr. Powers was at the store last week.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,600
Thanks everyone for coming out to our Pollywood Town Hall last night. The Mayor of Mt. Clemens, Barb Dempsey, was impressed with our presentation and listened to everyone’s stories and experiences with the pet store. We discussed more than the issues at Pollywood, by also covering tips on how citizens can become lobbyists and help animals at the state level. Thank you Jill Fritz for sharing information about our pending animal bills in Lansing.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,601
POLLYWOOD 5/2/2008 MDA Special Report:
Case involving Paco, Rascal, Scout, Baby, Buddy, Evan and Frankie. Listed 11 concerns:
1) Lack of hot water in facility,
2) Failure to seek vet care
3) Falsifying health certificates
4) Failure to keep adequate vet records
5) Failure to sell or deliver without a valid health certificate
6) Failure to provide exercise
7) Practicing vet care without a license
8) Failure to clean store on weekdays
9) Failure to provide food, water.
10) Cold temps in store
11) Failure to provide light to indoor housing area. Report includes responses to each allegation.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,604
Photos taken at Pollywood Pets July 14, 2013. Not much has changed over the years. Photos show urine stained rabbit, animals under heat lights, matted dog, and stressed bird.

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,605
“They are not heat lamps; there is a space (in the store) that is dark and I use lights to brighten it up.” Other “suggested” changes included using only USDA-approved cages and keeping the animals’ food properly secured.

This looks like heat lamps. Nothing the pet store owner said in the CandG Journal article appears to be true.

Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,606

We met with Mayor Dempsey yesterday regarding the issues at Pollywood as a follow-up to the Town Hall that she attended. She understands there are serious veterinary care concerns and is in support of Jeff Randozzo’s investigation, as well as, our efforts to educate the public. She liked our presentation and would like the City Commissioners to be informed as well. With elections coming up, everyone, especially the Mayor, will be busy campaigning – which means, no one will want to make any public moves. That is ok, we can wait a month! Or even 6 months.
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,607
We have two more Saturdays (10-12 p.m.) at the Farmer’s Market to pass out literature. Almost out of cards too! If you would like to join me, please RSVP on our Meetup Calendar.­
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,608
We need two volunteers to pass out Boycott Pollywood Pets postcards and “Never buy a puppy from a pet store” flyer during the annual Halloween Spooktacular downtown Mt. Clemens 10/26 12-2 pm.. We will meet at the Box Theatre and determine the best location for leafleting when we get there. You can RSVP on our Meetup.
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