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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
Post #: 1,398
Continued

Pam Sordyl: First, I would like to thank Paige for taking a stand and supporting her comments AND The Family Puppy (John?) for posting my Pet Store Study that has some of your breeder photos – sometimes the most effective way to prove you work with puppy mills. So you tried to discredit me by saying I want to close are pet stores that sell puppies? Is that all you have? Have I ever made a statement regarding that? Actually, we have had 100 pet stores take a pledge not to sell puppies and I always offer to help a store transition to adoptions only. Who at All About Animals are you working with? I was just chatting with Catherine and she stated she is not working with you at all. She told you training is required, but you stated that Saturdays are too busy for classes and you would be selling puppies and not have time to help rescue animals. Something like that. So you are ‘selling’ kittens that are not fixed, correct? So how does that help the community? In fact, you are working against All About Animals who is trying to stop over population 1) you are working with breeders 2) you are selling unaltered dogs 3) you are selling kittens. It is not really considered ‘adoption’ unless you are a non-profit. Little was mentioned about your breeders in this thread. How can you stand by them when they have bad inspection reports let alone a ton of dogs outside in kennels. Devon Troyer was cited for an accumulation of grim this year. I would not by a puppy from a kennel that looked likes this. (See photos from the local Zoning Dept). http://www.meetup.com...­

NEW POST 7/25/12
Pam Sordyl: I would be interested in seeing videos of the kennels, not just the playground/exercise areas that could be staged for your commercials and promotions. Specifically, can you show us videos of Martin Bontrager’s kennels? We should see 95-167 dogs according to the USDA. That is a lot of dogs –show us. A 360 would be nice. Transparency is key!
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,443






"The kittens arrive on Tuesday with
the puppy deliveries" stated one employee.

Eyebrows were raised when The Family Puppy announced their All American Adoption Program around the same time they hired a public relations company in March of 2011.


Was the store trying to “look good” with the new campaign being launched against them in Flint? We scratched our heads wondering what this new program was really all about. How come there were not puppies “for adoption” in the store? You will be surprised at what we found out with a little survey.

Let’s start with the back story on this. First, The Family Puppy claims to have saved over 11,000 unwanted puppies and kittens, according to their website in October 2012. Wow, that is a lot of rescued animals and would surely make them look like heroes in the community. But wait, 11,000 animals would equal 785 pets a year. Detroit area animal shelters don’t even take in that many kittens per year at their individual shelters. How can that be possible when the store usually only has 3-4 kittens in the store at one time and sometimes no kittens at all? The numbers just don’t add up.


This was the first red flag.


Next, why was this All American Program not featured on their website for 10 years? When their newest store opened in Flint the store was asking for “unwanted” litters of puppies and kittens. They never mentioned their “All American Program” on these flyers. The store must have learned quickly that no one was going to just ‘give’ them popular small breed puppies. Even the shelters don’t have a surplus of puppies. Puppies simply do not stay puppies for long and are usually adopted out quickly.


The store misleads the public by staying they are saving puppies.


We decided to do a survey.


Our initial survey in March 2011 showed that all five stores did not have any kittens and was offering only one dog that was actually a returned dog. A customer returned the dog. They were advertising this returned fixed beagle with prior health problems as an “adoptable” dog. He was 4-5 months old. On store did say they were expecting some puppies from their vet. They told me to check back in the spring for kittens. The Genesee County HS had 3 kittens and 40 cats available at that time.
Why would the store not take in cats? For obvious reasons, they don’t SELL!


In October 2012, we completed another survey. This one revealed all five stores had young kittens available for $249. The price went way up from their initial prices back in 2010 of approximately $179. It appears the store decided to start fixing them before SALE. What I found most interesting was two stores actually had the exact date of births for the kittens. One store said they were not familiar with the program and the other employee in the store did not know about it either. All the stores stated they usually don't have unwanted litters of puppies available.






This is my favorite response - one store stated that the kittens arrive on Tuesday when the puppies arrive! So where are the kittens really coming from????


Survey Summary


• Mostly kittens.
• Kittens are also delivered with the puppies on Tuesdays! per Fountain Walk employee.
• Only one puppy available for “adoption” during two surveys of five stores. This one dog was a returned purchase.
• Employees stated they do not usually get in unwanted puppies.
• Some employees were not familiar with the program.

Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,444


USDA releases over 60 horrific dog breeding
photos, suppliers to Michigan pet store chain

Local watchdog group plans protests at
store’s five locations over the holidays



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 30, 2012
CONTACT:Pam Sordyl, pmamichinfo@yahoo.com, 734-718-7100

Detroit, Mich. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released over 60 kennel inspection photos taken at The Family Puppy’s suppliers. The Family Puppy is Michigan’s largest puppy retailer. Photos reveal horrific cramped conditions and nightmarish activities involving unlicensed surgeries. Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan plans to warn the public with protests at the chain’s five locations this holiday season.

Photos are published on the groups website.
http://michiganpuppym...­

The Family Puppy stores are located at the following malls: Genesee Valley Center located in Flint Mi; Fountain Walk located in Novi Mi; Green Oak Village Place located in Brighton Mi; Macomb Mall located in Roseville Mi; and Oakland Mall located in Troy Mi. The protest schedule can be found on the group’s Meetup calendar. Concerned citizens are invited to join the protests.

“These photos are like scenes from a horror movie,” said Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan. “Families looking for a puppy this holiday season should rethink spontaneous puppy purchases and always avoid puppy stores.”

According to a PetShopPuppies.org report, The Family Puppy has been shipping puppies from a mega mill, Brad D.S. & B.E. Grotewold located in Lake Mills, Iowa since 1998. The last known puppy purchased in 2011 was reported to have giardia, a bladder infection, be under weight, and very itchy. This puppy was delivered through a third party (broker) named Patrick Fulton. Fulton supplied two parvo puppies, a very deadly virus for puppies, this spring and investigated by The Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Photos from Grotewold’s commercial kennel show a build up of dirt and grime on walls, severely rusted cages, chewed and warn surfaces, an excessive accumulation of feces and food waste in the furnace room and a large amount of maggots and flies.

“These puppies are sick and underweight because they are coming from filthy puppy factories like Grotewold’s,” said Sordyl. “Since the public can not easily visit the parents located in distant states, we feel these photos are crucial to our group’s outreach campaign.”

In addition to these photos, USDA inspection reports can also be found online open to the public. http://www.aphis.usda...­

This year the store’s primary breeders had some serious direct violations to the Animal Welfare Act. Marlin Bontrager, from Rome City Indiana, is The Family Puppy’s top supplier of puppies. According to this summer’s federal inspection, Bontrager was caging 177 adult dogs and had two serious direct violations including not seeking veterinary care for a sick puppy. Suffering was prolonged by not taking the puppy to the veterinarian. In addition, the inspector also cited Bontrager for housing dogs in temperatures in the 90’s. Dogs were observed heavily panting and puppies were stretched out on the wire floor trying to stay cool. Bontrager has a history of violations going back to 2008 related to housing, shelter, primary enclosures, cleanliness, feeding and vet care.

“Our organization has reached out to the owners of The Family Puppy asking them to stop all orders from this kennel, he is clearly a repeat and chronic offender,” said Sordyl.

Devon Schrock, another of the store’s primary breeders, was cited for accumulations of grime and hair in the primary enclosures. This harbors diseases. In addition, Schrock’s drainage system was cited as the upper washdown was draining into a pen on the bottom where two dogs were exposed. There was hair and sludge accumulating.

“This is disgusting and would not meet the standards of the general public,” said Sordyl.

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 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 pmamichinfo@yahoo.com­.



###
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,449
Meetup Members,

We have updated campaign materials for The Family Puppy campaign including:

1. A ­Fact Sheet for each protesting location with directions to alternative adoption centers. The Family Puppy stores are located at the following malls: Genesee Valley Center located in Flint Mi; Fountain Walk located in Novi Mi; Green Oak Village Place located in Brighton Mi; Macomb Mall located in Roseville Mi; and Oakland Mall located in Troy Mi.

2. A Website­ that includes The Family Puppy’s Breeder List, Shocking Photos, Complaints, Media Stories and Investigations.

3. The Breeder List includes over 50 Breeder Names, addresses, USDA #, a link to their recent inspections, adult dogs inventory numbers, a link to their Pet Shop Puppies, Report /Prior Inspections, their Inspection Schedule, a USDA Inspection Summary, and a link to their photos.

Please visit our website, **LIKE** and **Share** with your contacts.






Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,456


Channel 7 visited both Utica Pet Supply and
The Family Puppy (Oakland Mall). Thank you Channel 7!

Meetup Members,

This is our busy, busy, busy time of the year. Stay with us and tuned into our campaign activities on Facebook.

We are focusing our outreach efforts this holiday season on The Family Puppy (all five stores) and Utica Pet Supply. I wanted to give you a little update on the campaigns from the front lines.

BLACK FRIDAY WEEKEND: We managed to cover six cities (Flint, Troy, Roseville, Brighton, Novi & Utica) totaling 11 protests and 22 hours with 24 people! There was a lot of sign shuffling and strategic logistics involved, but we pulled it off. Thank you to everyone, especially those covering double shifts. No mall will want us hanging out and bringing media attention.

All photos have been posted to our Meetup albums. I did post the Channel 7 interview on FB and YouTube, but it is hard to hear what I am saying with the wind.



THE FAMILY PUPPY’S RESPONSE: The store must be feeling some pressure as they set up tables in their stores with USDA and BBB information, as well as, our very own Fact Sheet with their responses included. Thanks You! I will break down their NEW set of responses and see if the story has changed. They have already responded to some of our Facts, but it appears a less professional person has responded this time.

The store posted new signs regarding their All American Adoption program for cats. The ridiculously high number (11,0000) should raise some eyebrows. Really? We have broken down the numbers before and completed a survey to prove they don’t even have that many cats in the store and they aren’t adopted out for weeks.

BLOG: Watchdogging Puppy Stores that claim “Adoptions”


The store posted a link to the Genesee County ACO adoptable puppies page as if they really cared. “Here, go check out the pitties at the local shelter…we know you will be back for the small popular dogs at our store and will pay our premium prices. We know our customers.”




Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,459
(Photo Credit, Noble County Zoning 10/31/12)
Marlin O. Bontrager

Noble Kennels, Rome City, Indiana


Meetup Members,

On January 2, 2013 dog advocates and commercial breeders will be entering another live discussion about the mass production of puppies for profit in Albion, Indiana. The commercial breeders will present clean kennel photos and justifying their puppy farms. We will be asking how many dogs can one family properly care for and what kind of life do they live? Below is a fact sheet I provided regarding one of the six breeders coming forward to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Please read and tell the Family Puppy this is not acceptable!



FACT SHEET

1) Marlin Bontrager has been operating a large-scale dog breeding kennel since 2008 when he received his USDA License (#32-A-0260) to sell dogs wholesale. He registered with the Board of Animal Health in 2010 under the category 51-100 dogs. In December of 2012, Bontrager applied to have 200 dogs with the local Noble County Zoning Board-- the county limit is four adult dogs.

2) Bontrager has a history of non-compliances to the Animal Welfare Act cited by the USDA inspectors going back to 2008 including: veterinary care (five violations, two repeat and two direct), housing, shelter, primary enclosures, cleanliness, identification and feeding. Current inspection reports can be found online: http://www.aphis.usda...­
Prior Inspection reports can be viewed online: http://www.petshoppup...­

3) As inventory numbers have grown, 95 – 177 adult dogs, so has the severity and number of violations. The USDA inspector has been visiting the kennel regularly since June 2012 citing ‘direct’ violations involving not seeking veterinary care for a sick puppy. Also in June, the USDA inspector recorded temperatures in the 90’s inside the kennel. Dogs were heavily panting and puppies were stretched out on the wire floor trying to stay cool. Local authorities were not notified.

4) Inspections continued in October 2012 where Bontrager was cited for ‘six more violations’ involving dogs with painful eye problems without veterinary care, excessive accumulated feces that were sitting so long under the dogs wire floor beetle shells were found and clogged drains causing strong odors. Copies of inspection reports can also be viewed online:
http://www.meetup.com...­

5) USDA photos taken during a June and October 2012 inspections reveal disturbing images of animals living on top of accumulated feces and suffering from severe and painful eye issues. Follow-up USDA inspection is pending. Link to photos (Credit USDA): http://www.meetup.com...­

6) Zoning inspection photos were taken on October 13, 2012 three hours after the Sheriff visited (noon) without the state veterinarian.

“Mr. Bontrager called into this office after Deputy Coney’s visit and we set a time for Zoning Administrator (Steve Kirkpatrick) to visit the Bontrager kennel the same afternoon.”

This was not a surprise visit. The Sheriff’s inspection report is pending, however the kennel was anticipating a follow-up visit form the USDA inspector due to prior six violations to be corrected. Photos show minimal living conditions, minimal space, no evidence of exercise area, cages made of mostly wire floor and walls, minimal photos of dogs themselves, many many rows of cages. Mother dogs do not appear to have bedding and have to share very limited space with her litter of puppies or they are forced to lay on wire floor. Photos can be viewed online:
http://www.meetup.com...­

7) The Zoning Administrator recorded personal commentary on the October 13, 2012 inspection report:

“It was made very clear that Noble County Planning and Zoning has never had anyone file an application for a dog kennel of such size… do not be surprised if concerned citizens seem to come out of the woodwork regarding the petition and upcoming BZA meeting when this becomes public. State your case… stand your ground… and do not hesitate to obtain signatures of nearby neighbors and associated business people in favor of your operation that can testify to the overall impressiveness of the facility and dog care.” Noble County Zoning Adminstrator

8) Bontrager is a large commercial wholesaler servicing many locations out-of-state. Interstate Health Certificates show over 650 puppies have been shipped to Detroit-area pet stores (The Family Puppy) between May of 2009 and May 2012 (average 17 per month). Bontrager has also supplied a store in Fort Wayne (Petland), Chicago (Hug a Pup), and South Bend (Pat’s Pets).

9) According to PetShopPuppies.org, Bontrager has sold sick dogs through varies pet stores including a dog with a heart murmur, multiple ear infections leading to surgery, breathing problems, kennel cough, and giardia.

Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,460


USDA Inspection Details

October-10-2012 Veterinary Care (REPEAT): There are two dogs and a puppy with eye issues. One adult, king charles cavalier with ID #442 ahs an enlarged right eye which is pink and cloudy. A shihtzu with ID# 358 has a right eye which is very blue and cloudy. The right eye of the pug puppy with ID # 2-340 was found closed and encrusted with mucus. There was also running discharge from the nose of the puppy. These dogs have not been evaluated by the veterinarian and therefore are not receiving appropriate care.

A dog with ID#379 was found in the whelping room with excessively long toenails. Long toenails can easily catch and tear and injure the dog. Appropriate care of all dogs requires routine nail trims to ensure safe nail lengths.

October-10-2012 Veterinary Care (REPEAT): The dog with ID #442 was purchased on March 2012. The licensee stated the dogs eye looks same as when purchased. The veterinarian conducted a kennel visit in May of 2012 but this dog was not brought to her attention and therefore was not evaluated. The issues with other adult dog and the puppy also have not been brought to the attention of the veterinarian. Failure to communicate the condition to the above cited dogs to the veterinarian results in prolonged suffering of these animals.

October-10-2012 Identification: There are two enclosures holding weaned puppies that have been mixed from several litters. The puppies are included on the inventory but are not identified as required.

October-10-2012 Housing: The drains servicing the outside portion of the enclosures for the adult dogs have been clogged for a significant period of time. Failure to properly maintain the drains has resulted in a large accumulation of waste, strong odor and an inability to properly clean the washdowns. Lack of proper drainage causes discomfort for the animals through exposure to the odor, and also causes an increase in pests and disease risks.

October-10-2012 Cleaning: The washdowns for the outside portion of the adult housing building have an excessive amount of feces accumulated. The licensee stated that the drain had plugged and so the washdowns could not be hosed down. One large section of the washdown had beetle larvae shells covering the feces piles which indicates that the piles have been present for a significant period of time. The accumulated waste is a source of disease, pests and odors for the animals and impact their wellbeing and comfort.

October-10-2012 Cleaning: The doggie doors used in the adult housing portion of the kennel have accumulated grime. The walls of the enclosures in the whelping area also have accumulated grime. The grime indicates insufficient cleaning and adds to the odor in the facility. Odor and lack of proper cleaning puts the dogs at risk of disease and causes discomfort from the exposure to pests and odor.

June-19-2012 Veterinary Care (DIRECT): 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.

June-19-2012 Veterinary Care (DIRECT): The failure to communicate the condition of the puppy to the veterinarian results in prolonged suffering for this dog.

June-19-2012 Shelter: Temperature in the enclosure was measured throughout the facility. The temperature in the pens ranged from 87-92 deg F. The weather outside was in the high 90’s with at least 3 additional hours of 90 deg F. The adult dog s were all heavily paning and the puppies were stretched out trying to be cooler on the wire. The excessive heat can cause serious illness or death in the dogs in the facility.

The whelping areas of the animals has very high levels of ammonia built up, although the visible quantity of wastes seemed low. The room is not adequately ventilated sufficiently to remove the ammonia from the area. Ammonia levels that high are irritating and can cause illness in the puppies and adults in the room.

Mar-24-2010 Veterinary Care: The male bulldogs have excessively long toenails. Proper daily observation of all animals should include an assessment of nail length.

Mar-24-2010 Housing: The doorways between the inside and outside primary enclosures of the dogs are grimy. The grime can attract pests which can carry disease. The food storage area had three bags of food that were open. The open bags increase the risk of food contamination from moisture and pests.

Mar-24-2010 Feeding: The feed bins for the bulldogs are excessively chewed. The rough surface of the bins cannot easily be cleaned.

Feb-11-2008 Housing: Bedding for the whelping area is stored on top of the enclosures. This presents a choking hazard should animals pull it down into the enclosure and the bedding will not be clean when it is used.

Feb-11-2008 Shelter: The whelping area for the animals has very high levels of ammonia built up, although the visible quantity of wastes seem low. The room is not adequately ventilated sufficiently to remove the ammonia from the area. Ammonia levels that high are irritating and can cause illness in the puppies and adults in the room.

Feb-11-2008 Primary Enclosures: The puppies in the whelping area have their legs hanging through the bottom of the flooring. Two enclosures were observed with several puppies all with their legs dangling down through the floor. This can easily cause a break or severe injury to the puppies if their legs are hanging down through the flooring.

Feb-11-2008 Cleaning: The under trays in the adult area of the kennel have an accumulated grime. This can attract pets and harbor disease. The under tray of the adult animals is not designed to drain sufficiently and has standing water that does not readily drain. Standing water can harbor disease.

Feb-20-2007 Housing: The floor in the rear area of the kennel has areas that need repaired. The linoleum floor has 2 holes in it and beneath that is exposed wood. These holes must be repaired to allow for proper sanitation.

#
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,461


photo credit USDA

Noble County to Permit Puppy Millers

Dog advocates are petitioning Zoning Board Members
to say no to large-scale breeding.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 12, 2012


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

Albion, Indiana - On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 the Noble County Zoning Board of Appeals plans to review six dog breeding kennel Use Variance and Special Exception applications. Kennel operators are requesting to kennel more than 4 dogs and dog advocates are petitioning the Zoning Board Members to say no to large-scale commercial breeders. Link to online petition.

The meeting will be held in the Noble County Office Complex, 2090 N. State Road 9 Albion IN 46701 at 7 p.m. in the basement. Dog advocates are asked to attend this meeting.

“We’re asking the Zoning Board Members to make Noble County a puppy mill free zone and say no to large-scale commercial breeding.” says Pam Sordyl, of Puppy Mill Awareness Southeast Michigan. “Michigan has adoption programs in place and regular shipments from Rome City’s mass-production puppy operation works against our efforts to place homeless animals.”

One applicant, Marlin Bontrager of Rome City is kenneling over 170 adult dogs per his October 22, 2012 USDA inspection report which is in violation of the Noble County Zoning Ordinance.


USDA photos taken during a June and October inspections reveal disturbing images of animals living on top of accumulated feces and suffering from series and painful eye issues. Link to photos.







The Indiana USDA inspector has been visiting the kennel regularly since June 2012 citing direct violations involving not seeking veterinary care for a sick puppy. Also in June, the USDA inspector recorded temperatures in the 90’s inside the kennel. Dogs were heavily panting and puppies were stretched out on the wire floor trying to stay cool.


Inspections continued in October where Bontrager was cited for 6 more violations involving dogs with painful eye problems without veterinary care, excessive accumulated feces that were sitting so long under the dogs wire floor beetle shells were found and clogged drains causing strong odors. Inspection reports can be viewed online.

Bontrager has a history of violations going back to 2008 including: housing, shelter, primary enclosures, cleanliness, feeding and vet care. Prior Inspection reports can be viewed online:
http://www.petshoppup...­

Bontrager supplies puppies to out-of-state chain retail stores such as The Family Puppy in Michigan, Hug a Pup store in Illinois and Petland in Fort Wayne per PetShopPuppies.org.
“Michigan families want cruelty-free pets. They unknowingly are supporting puppy mills out-of-state where they can not easily meet the parents.” Sordyl

Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan 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/detroit-puppy-mill-awareness/about/­


###
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,462


Dog advocates are petitioning Zoning Board Members
to say no to large-scale breeding.


PRESS ADVISORY: January 1, 2012


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


Albion, Indiana - On Wednesday, January 2, 2013 the Noble County Zoning Board of Appeals plans to review six dog breeding kennel Use Variance and Special Exception applications. Existing kennel operators are requesting to cage 14-200 dogs for wholesale operations. Currently no commercial kennels are permitted to operate in Noble County. There is no Animal Control Officer, standards or limits in place to protect dogs used for breeding only. Local dog advocates and animal welfare organizations are petitioning the Zoning Board Members to say no to large-scale commercial breeders. Link to online petition.

The meeting will be held in the Noble County Office Complex, State Road 9 Albion IN at 7 p.m. in the Dekko room. Dog advocates are asked to attend this meeting.

Link to all six kennel photos.
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,464
Let voice be heard on puppy breeders

A public hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday in the basement of the Noble County Office Complex at 2090 N. Indiana 9 in Albion. The meeting is to consider a zoning petition that may result in Noble County’s first large-scale commercial dog kennel.

In recent years many have worked hard to develop the Noble County Comprehensive Plan to “create a better future” and to “effectively and specifically guide decisions for policies.” Those who support animal foster groups and families, veterinarians, etc., and those who promote humane education for responsible pet ownership should be keenly interested in the choice to allow (or not) the first “commercial breeder” of this sort to operate here. We lack clear regulations related to animal welfare. I urge citizens to engage in conversation and participate in this decision-making process. We are at risk of setting a precedent of “safe haven” to the problems of other communities.

I strongly urge anyone who lacks knowledge of the issues surrounding large-scale puppy-breeding operations, those raising families who value the development of compassion for all life, as well as those who work tirelessly to help animals in need, to attend the meeting on Wednesday. Listen, learn and let your voices be heard.

LORI GAGEN Executive director, Black Pine Animal Sanctuary


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