Tuesday, June 12, 2012

VICTORY: Public Pressure on Petsmart Stops Sales of Pups from Puppy Mills

Claudia Vecchio, 6/12/12
Founder of ORA

For over two years, every weekend, puppies bought from puppy mills were “adopted out” at the Mississauga Petsmart located at 5800 McLaughlin Road.

This activity started around the beginning of 2010 at the previous Petsmart location of 5950 Rodeo Drive and continued at the new site on McLaughin Road until very recently. We got inside information that Petsmart finally ended the arrangement because they “discovered” or could no longer hide the fact that all purebred puppies ranging from Shi Tzu to Maltese to Pugs and everything in between brought every weekend at the Mississauga store were not rescued, but rather deliberately bred and bought from puppy mills.

The enquiries from Petsmart customers about the origins of these purebred puppies were getting more insistent and could no longer be overlooked and ignored. The answer, week after week, that the many puppies were all rescued from puppy mills could not satisfy even the most naïve and simple minded person. Where were the mothers of these puppies? “Already adopted” or “too shy and left at home” were the usual answers.

The weekly exhibit of all those purebred puppies, bought at a volume discounted price from puppy mills, as it was then revealed, offered for “adoption” (rather we should say offered for sale, as it does not seem that anybody was ever declined and the puppies were given out unneutered) were bringing in great business to the Petsmart store. Not only were the puppies bringing in curious customers, but also the adopters ended up purchasing all needed food and supplies starting a profitable customer relationship with the store that could continue for the entire life of the adopted puppy. With such lucrative returns in sight, Petsmart managers were closing not one, but both eyes to the despicable activity going on, welcoming with open arms whatever generated the increased volume of business, no questions asked.

A few day ago, I called the store manager, in fact, I called the top manager and the second-in-command on two different days and I asked for an explanation of what went on. The unanimous official version they came up with is that the purebred puppy weekend adoption was stopped because, they say, Petsmart found out that the woman who was taking in the puppies every week did not have non-profit status. Interestingly, her non-profit status was never requested earlier, as she operated as an associate of Kool Kat, a “non-profit” rescue run by a cat breeder. Under pressure from the public, the puppy trafficking has finally been stopped, but Kool Kat, who was associated with that trafficking is still a Petsmart adoption partner, adopting out cats at several Petsmart Mississauga stores.

I asked Jay, the top store manager at the 5800 McLaughlin Road where did he think those purebred puppies were coming from week after week. He replied that they had heard allegations the puppies could have been obtained (not rescued) from puppy mills but they never enquired, Jay said, because they trusted Kool Kat that sponsored the puppy adoption.

The fact that Petsmart now hides behind futile excuses, indicates that they knew or suspected the truth all along, but for business interests conveniently refused to acknowledge it.

The lack of ethics of Petsmart towards animals has been proven on more than one occasion. They still sell small animals, and investigation on their suppliers as well as on in-store neglect towards small animals throughout the years is disconcerting. Fortunately the Mississauga Petsmart sale of puppies from puppy mills has finally come to an end, thanks to the vigilance of animal caring customers and their pressure on the management.

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