Tuesday, December 21, 2010
TORRANCE, CA - After working with grassroots animal rights groups, local pet shop chain Pet City has signed a pledge to stop selling puppies within 90 days, and only adopt out animals from local shelters. This makes them part of an increasingly popular movement among pet stores who want to leave the commercial dog breeding industry behind, and join the fight to find homes for the 6-8 million animals who enter shelters each year. Pet City currently has stores in Torrance, Stanton, Whittier, and Garden Grove.
The pledge was signed by Torrance store manager Barbara Hopkins, claiming that all stores in the chain would comply. The Puppy Friendly Pet Store Pledge was created by The Humane Society of the United States, and participating stores receive resources about adoption, promotion on the HSUS website, and a placard to display in their store which proclaims, “We love puppies; that’s why we don’t sell them.”
Campaign organizer Lisa Goetz says, “I did research to determine where Pet City’s puppies came from, and traced them back to some of the most deplorable puppy mills in the country - facilities in the Midwest with repeated violations on their USDA inspection reports, some with over a hundred breeding dogs. I contacted store owner Judy Ying with a letter describing my concerns, USDA reports, articles on pet stores that have gone humane, and the HSUS pledge. Five weeks later, I had a signed copy of the pledge in my hand. I’m just your average college student, and I love animals. Once I had this information, I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.”
Pet City currently has 75 puppies for sale - 6 of whom are rescues. Torrance resident and activist Tyler Lang says of this ratio: “I have been involved with this campaign from the start, and I am thrilled that Pet City has signed the pledge. However, I would like to see more progress soon. Unfortunately, pet stores who sell puppies are notorious for misleading the public, and we want to be sure this one is going to stand by their word.”
According to Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast Director of the Companion Animal Protection Society, "With CAPS' city-wide investigation and anti-puppy mill campaign, we have succeeded in converting many pet stores to the humane business model. Our protests of pet stores that have been investigated for selling animals from inhumane pet factories have had a 100% success rate. Either the store converts by selling animals rescued from our municipal shelter system or they go out of business. No pet store has been able to withstand a protracted siege by our animal protection advocates. We prefer that pet stores stay open, do well, and save lives at the same time. It's a win/win for everyone--the consumer, the retailer and most importantly, the animals."