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

The Family Puppy/Family of Pets (Exposed)

Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI


Puppy Mill Awareness Exposes Michigan’s Largest Puppy Retailer: The Family Puppy


Dog advocate group invites concerned citizens to learn about
cruel conditions of large-scale puppy breeding and
help spread the word at a peaceful rally.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 10, 2010
CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, leroybrown01@yahoo.com, 734-718-7100

FLINT, Mich. – On Saturday, September 18, 2010, the Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup will be holding a rally at the newest Family Puppy pet store from 12:00 pm to 3:00 p.m in Flint. Participants are asked to bring their own signs. Events such as this will be held all over the country for the annual national Puppy Mill Awareness Day.

The Family Puppy pet store is located in the Genesee Valley Mall at 3341 S Linden Rd, Flint, Michigan.

The focus of the rally is the fact that The Family Puppy and their other chain stores, The Family of Pets, continue to work with brokers and mass-producing commercial breeders whom the USDA has cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

Undercover Investigation

The group’s investigation revealed that the Family Puppy has worked with breeders from Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio in 2009 and 2010. The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) records revealed unacceptable conditions for breeding dogs.

Lavern Whetstone of Riverbend Kennels, Indiana, was cited for cleaning and sanitzation violations August 2010:

“There were multiple piles of dried feces in the middle outdoor enclosure housing two beagles. The primary enclosures, for all dogs, need to be cleaned daily to remove feces and food waste. The program of veterinary care is currently under review by the USDA…”.

Lavern Whetstone is one of the Family Puppy’s primary breeders and has shipped 77 puppies between 6/9/09 - 1/19/10.

Prior History with Mega Mills

The Family Puppy has a history of working with mega mills and breeders in Missouri, which is widely considered to be the “Puppy Mill Capital” of the United States.

• Happy Tails Kennel. Baxter, MN - Gary and Wanda McDuffee
The Companion Animal Protection Society investigated Happy Tails Kennel in 2006, revealing horrific conditions. McDuffee’s 500-dog facility, which stirred national controversy, apparently has closed as of March 2010 (see sick dogs sold by the Family of Pets: http://www.petshoppup...­)

• Pick of the Litter, MN - Kathy Bauck
In May 2009, Bauck was convicted of four misdemeanor charges—including three for torture and one for animal cruelty—and her USDA license has been revoked (see sick dogs sold by the Family of Pets: http://www.petshoppup...­)

Pet stores, including The Family Puppy, will tell customers that they do not get dogs from puppy mills, but only mass-breeding facilities can fulfill the demand for retail pet store orders. Responsible breeders won’t sell dogs to pet stores for resale.

Puppy Mill Awareness is asking Southeast Michigan pet stores, including The Family Puppy, to agree to the following:

• Stop selling animals acquired from breeders in their store(s) or on the Internet.
• Agree to transfer, sell or retail only dogs that are "rescued," coming from animal shelters or 501(c)(3) non-profit animal rescue groups—not from Craigslist or other retail websites.
• Agree to make these changes in every other business in which the store may have an interest, either currently or in the future.

The Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup is working to build awareness toward ending mass production of dogs in "puppy mills." The group’s public education campaign teaches the public about the origins of pet store puppies and lobbies for stronger laws and regulations for animal breeding.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness
http://www.meetup.com...­

For more information, or to arrange an interview with a Puppy Mill Awareness member, please contact Pam Sordyl at 734-718-7100 or leroybrown01@yahoo.com.


###
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 647
Adopt a formerly feral cat, help to end puppy mills

PUPPY MILL AWARENESS
September 12, 2010
by Sharon Dargay

http://www.hometownli...­

Sept. 18 is puppy mill awareness day and the perfect time to voice your opposition to factory-style breeders and the retail stores that keep them in business.

Puppy Mills are mass breeding facilities — sometimes with hundreds of dogs — that disregard the health and welfare of both their breeding canines and the puppies they produce. Dogs generally are kept in horrific conditions in cramped cages — often living in feces and old food waste — their entire lives. Puppies, often in ill-health, are sold through the Internet and at some pet stores.

Dozens of pet stores in Michigan have signed the Humane Society of the United States pledge to promote animal rescue and adoption in lieu of selling puppies. Locally those include Pet Supplies “Plus” in Canton, Redford Township, Livonia and Farmington Hills, Choice Aquariums in Farmington Hills, Chap's Feed Store, Pet Food and More and Discount Pet & Supplies, all in Livonia, Gibdog Pet Supplies and Specialty Pet Supplies, both in Plymouth, and Something Fishy in Westland.

Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup of Southeast Michigan, based in Northville, has advocated for the pledge, regularly stages peaceful protests at stores that sell puppies and are suspected of dealing with puppy mills, and distributes awareness literature.

The group will rally at Michigan's largest puppy retailer, The Family Puppy, noon-3 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 18, at Genesee Valley Mall, 3341 S Linden, Flint.

Pam Sordyl, group founder, said the Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup is asking the store to stop selling animals acquired from breeders and the Internet and to transfer, sell or retail only dogs that are “rescued,” coming from animal shelters or non-profit animal rescue groups — not from Craigslist or other retail Web sites. Visit the group's Web site at www.meetup.com/detroit-puppy-mill-awaren­ess/about/


Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 650
RVSPs are looking good!

Flint Facebook: 32 Attending!
http://www.facebook.c...­

Southeast Michigan Facebook: 20 Attending!
http://www.facebook.c...­

Meetup Event: 12 Attending!
http://www.meetup.com...­
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 662
I was told the Swartz Creek paper published the event a week ago. Here is another one published on 9/16.

Photo by Natalie Blythe
A peaceful rally against The Family Puppy, a pet store inside Genesee Valley Center, is planned for noon-3 p.m. Sept. 18. Puppy Mill Awarenss, the group holding the rally, wants the store to stop selling puppies and promote adoptions.

http://swartzcreekvie...­
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 663
Jessica Harthorn, from Channel 25, will be doing a preview story on Friday about our Puppy Mill Awareness Day event this weekend! This is a Flint and Saginaw station, so you will likely have to check out the posted clip online.

They do plan to send out a photographer on Saturday!

http://www.facebook.c...­

http://www.connectmid...­
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 664


Rally against The Family Puppy set for Saturday

BY NATALIE BLYTHE
810-452-2652 • NBLYTHE@MIHOMEPAPER.COM

FLINT TWP. — A Puppy Mill Awareness group is holding a peaceful rally noon-3 p.m. Sept. 18 against The Family Puppy, a pet store located in the Genesee Valley Center. Pam Sordyl, organizer and founder of the rally, said the focus of the rally is on “the fact that The Family Puppy and their other chain stores, The Family of Pets, continues to work with brokers and mass-producing commercial breeders whom the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has cited for violations of the Animal Welfare Act.”

A peaceful rally against The Family Puppy, a pet store inside Genesee Valley Center, is planned for noon-3 p.m. Sept. 18. Puppy Mill Awarenss, the group holding the rally, wants the store to stop selling puppies and promote adoptions.

Sordyl said the group wants to warn the public about the store, and what is going with the breeding facilities used by the store.

“We don’t want to close the store, or not have the mall kick then out,” she said. In January, Sordyl and the group met with mall management, asking the Genesee Valley Center to investigate The Family Puppy. “They said they were comfortable with them, and would honor the lease,” she said.

According to a press release, the Puppy Mill Awareness Group said it conducted its own investigation, revealing that The Family Puppy has worked with breeders from Minnesota, Missouri, Indiana and Ohio in 2009 and 2010. “The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) records revealed unacceptable conditions for breeding dogs.” The press release cites one breeder, Lavern Whetstone of Riverbend Kennels in Indiana, who was cited for cleaning and sanitizing violations in August 2010, and states that Whetstone is one of The Family Puppy’s primary breeders and has shipped 77 puppies between June 9, 2009-Jan. 1, 2010.

“We feel that The Family Puppy is misleading its customers. There is no way they can mass produce dogs for this trade,” Sordyl said. “The dogs are in kennels, and breed for their entire lives. We want The Family Puppy to stop selling puppies and promote adoptions. We want them to focus on merchandise, and promote adoptions.”

Sordyl said she sent a letter to John Stottele, who owns The Family Puppy with his wife Debbie, in addition to calling him in February and July.

“He said he did go look at the breeders, and he declared it unfair to ask him to stop selling puppies,” she said. “We don’t want him to mass produce puppies, we want the goal to be supporting homeless puppies. This is not a negative campaign, and we don’t want to hurt the mall. We are trying to take a positive approach by asking the pet store.” So far, Sordyl said an online petition has garnered more than 1,000 signatures.

When asked about the pending rally, Stottele said he was aware of it and had been making efforts ahead of the rally to keep people updated through a press release and media alert. The couple will be at the store on Saturday, and can discuss the required standards they have demanded as a retail operation to ensure that dog breeders are making a clean, healthy and pleasant environment for their dogs, instead of turning to sub-standard breeders to obtain dogs for sale.

Stottele said 90 percent of the puppies come from Indiana, and he receives them from 19 Amish breeders. Based out of Novi, The Family Puppy, was established in 1998 and Stottele said when the company first opened, it was a full-line store with all animals.

“We decided eight years ago to do something different, so we discontinued all animals but puppies and kittens,” he said. “This gave us more time to seek out breeders who were doing things well. We tell breeders our regulations, and we visit breeders. In Indiana, we like their work ethic. The Amish are hardworkers, and there is a lot of interaction with the dogs because the moms are stay-at-home and the kids are home-schooled.”

When it comes to choosing breeders for the store, Stottele said visit breeders. “If the kennels are okay, but need some work, we give them a list of things to fix before we meet again,” he said. “When they meet the criteria, then we go back.”

Some of the standards for The Family Puppy’s breeders are: an exercise/play area where both puppies and adult dogs can run and play; veterinarian care of both breeding parents and puppies; genetic testing/screening of breeding parents and puppies; and clean cages.

In regards to Sordyl’s investigation claim on Whetstone, Stottele said the breeder is still a supplier to The Family Puppy and that Whetstone had moved to a new facility, and was given a blueprint from The Family Puppy as to what was required.

“Lavern’s infraction with the USDA was in the outdoor kennels,” Stottele said. “There were two beagles, and dried feces had gone under the grate in the cage. The USDA inspector wrote him up for that because he hadn’t cleaned the washdown yet. The USDA is getting tighter on regulations, which is good. Lavern corrected the situation while the inspector was there.”

Unlike other pet store owners, Stottele said he has visited Whetstone’s home, and that Whetstone is in the process of getting a new kennel. “We’re okay with that,” Stottele said.

Stottele admitted that in the past, the store purchased bought from distributors, but now the store buys puppies directly from breeders. He believes Sordyl’s position of stop selling puppies and promoting adoptions is “staunch” because “the public deserves to make a choice.”

“We want people to go to the shelter, but not every family can adopt a dog,” he sad. “The options are one, get a dog from a show breeder; two, get a dog from a casual breeder; three, go to the shelter; or four, go to a pet store that works with a professional breeder. But to say you can’t shop and only adopt is not fair. We all need to work for animal welfare, and that’s what we do.”

Stottele said that all puppies in the store are regularly checked by Jeff Pinkston, DVM, and Krista Kline, DVM, of Swartz Creek Veterinary Hospital, and the store offers a 30-day medical plan through Swartz Creek Veterinary Hospital for all puppies.

Despite the store’s procedures, Sordyl said the rallly, which has more than 60 RSVP attendees, will help bring more public awareness. Those wishing to join the rally need to bring their own signs, and the rally will be conducted on public easements outside of the mall. Sordyl said local law enforcement is aware of the event.

For more information on the rally, visit www.meetup.com/detroit-puppymill awareness/calendar/12714751/.

http://flinttownshipv...­

Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 665
The couple will be at the store on Saturday, and can discuss the required standards they have demanded as a retail operation

** When did pet stores start setting kennel and breeding standards? Pet stores do not regulate breeders. Where is this documented? We would like to see your checklist and how you enforce it? Pet stores are part of the pet trade, not regulators or inspectors!

Stottele said 90 percent of the puppies come from Indiana, and he receives them from 19 Amish breeders.

**What about those regular shipments from the Ohio broker? And why did you stop?

“We decided eight years ago to do something different, so we discontinued all animals but puppies and kittens,” he said.

**Because the puppies and kittens have a higher mark up. $1,200 vs $40.

The Amish are hardworkers, and there is a lot of interaction with the dogs because the moms are stay-at-home and the kids are home-schooled.”

** Learn more about Indiana Amish breeders. There are 2 videos: Indiana’s Puppy Pipeline.
http://www.wthr.com/g...­

** The Amish are known puppy millers. Check out how they trade dogs at auctions.
http://www.banohiodog...­

When it comes to choosing breeders for the store, Stottele said visit breeders. “If the kennels are okay, but need some work, we give them a list of things to fix before we meet again,” he said.

**This is an example of your HIGH standards…they are okay. Just okay? That sounds terrible. You start with sub-standard and see if they improve? Sounds like they might go back to being “just okay’ after you leave.

Some of the standards for The Family Puppy’s breeders are: an exercise/play area where both puppies and adult dogs can run and play; veterinarian care of both breeding parents and puppies; genetic testing/screening of breeding parents and puppies; and clean cages.

** Yeah, these are you so called “homemade standards” but how can you prove it??? Only the USDA is equipped to inspect and regulate.

Whestone is still a supplier to The Family Puppy and had moved to a new facility, and was given a blueprint from The Family Puppy as to what was required.

Unlike other pet store owners, Stottele said he has visited Whetstone’s home, and that Whetstone is in the process of getting a new kennel. “We’re okay with that,” Stottele said.

**Which is it? Did they move or are they moving? Sounds like John was caught in a lie. Can’t get his story straight! And why are they moving? Because they were exposed??? Sounds like the same response we get from John when we catch him working with a bad broker or breeder. He will say…we no longer are working with them. Or we are trying something new. There is no good way to mass produce puppies…stop trying.

Stottele admitted that in the past, the store purchased bought from distributors, but now the store buys puppies directly from breeders.

**Distributors? Brokers? Still sounds like you are ‘shipping product”. Puppies are not products and should not arrive on semi trucks. We have evidence as of this summer..they are working with a broker.

“We want people to go to the shelter, but not every family can adopt a dog,” he said.

**What? Not every family? Do you mean the ones that have don’t pass the application process? Have a bad record with their vet? Of course, every bad pet owner can come to the pet store…they will sell to them.

“The options are one, get a dog from a show breeder; two, get a dog from a casual breeder; three, go to the shelter; or four, go to a pet store that works with a professional breeder. But to say you can’t shop and only adopt is not fair.

**I like how he created his own order starting with show breeder. Why should that one be first? Show breeders don’t have surpluses and don’t advertise. Professional breeders? Do you mean COMMERCIAL breeders? With the second highest euthanasia rate in the state, families should go to the local shelter first!

We all need to work for animal welfare, and that’s what we do.”

** Work for animal welfare? What? What are you doing for animal welfare exactly? You are using animals to profit.
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 666




Check out Lavern's June and August 2010 Inspection Report.

The inspector had to keep coming back and noted that the citations had not been addressed. Now, if the breeder will not listen to a USDA Inspector and could face felony charges for not seeking veterinary care, why would they listen to a Pet Store owner?!

http://files.meetup.c...­

"June 29, 2010 - The last inspection revealed one bulldog with SEVERE cherry eye in both eyes that was causing pain and suffering.....has not been seen by the attending veterinarian. Instead, the bulldog was treated by a non-professional who sedated the animal and remove the excess eye membrane from the medial corner of the eye. The dogs eyes remain bloodshot in the lateral corner of the eyes.

The surgical procedures undertaken on the dog by a non-professional is a violations of 2.40 (b)(2) which requires appropriate methods of care. The procedures should have been done only by a licensed veterinarian. The lack of appropriate methods results in pain and suffering for the animal.

The flooring for one of the beagles is rusty, has cross pieces missing and has broken sharp edges. The dog can be easily injured if a leg passes through the holes in the flooring. The licensee was cited for this violation in the report dated Jun 24, 2010...No action has been taken on this enclosure and the dog remains in an unsafe pen."


SCARY PLACE!
Erin
user 10119115
Mount Clemens, MI
Post #: 3
Are we going to bring any flyers about the horrors of the Amish to pass out to the public? That way after he goes on and on about how he gets his dogs from them to the customers we can give them one on there way out. Or on there way in and they can question him and see how he tries to answer for that one.
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 668
We will not be passing out literate at this rally. The traffic has to keep flowing.

If they come to our parking area, we can certianly show them our Amish Dog Book!
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