Activists spoke with Whittier store manager George Ng during the investigation. Ng claimed that the new puppies came from breeders, not puppy mills. He said that Pet City buyers were unaware they were doing business with puppy mills in the past, but stopped when activists approached them with USDA reports, photos, and other investigations that showed hundreds of dogs living in filthy conditions, confined to small wire cages, denied veterinary care and other basic needs, and existing only to produce litter after litter for stores like Pet City.
Volunteers obtained the breeder names, locations, and USDA license numbers (if applicable) for every puppy for sale during their August 11 visit, and told Ng that they would continue pulling USDA records and other information. Ng asked that the new reports be sent to him again, and repeated that their buyers do not know this information about their suppliers unless it is sent to them.
This blatantly contradicts Ng's statement that he knows the new puppies did not come from puppy mills, as well as signs posted in Pet City stores and on their website, stating: "All our puppies come from personally known, licensed breeders." When Ng was asked how he can make these claims if he knows nothing about their breeders, his only comment was that he does not control what is posted on the website.
The statement was removed from the company's website within two days of the visit, however the claim is reiterated in a post on their Facebook page:
It is evident by Ng's lack of information that these breeders are not personally known, and it has been confirmed that some are not USDA licensed. There are puppies in the Stanton store from D. Crenshaw of Harrison, AR, and in Whittier from K. Clark of Grovespring, MD for which the USDA license space simply says "hobby."
|Find out more: The USDA and Puppy Mills|
Pet City's new suppliers are still being researched, but similar complaints have already been found. Direct quotes from their USDA inspection reports include:
- "There is an excessive accumulation of feces and spilled food on the cement outside the building. The owner stated that cleaning hasn't been done for about 4 days. The dogs must walk through the feces because there is so much of it. This affects 23 adult dogs and 10 puppies." Darold Jay Headings, Oak Ridge Kennel, Summersville, MO. License #43-A-4754
- "A brindle Chihuahua male was staying back toward the back of the enclosure. The dog's tongue was hanging out the side of its mouth. The dog appeared frail and lethargic. Owner advised the inspector that the dog was over ten years old. The dog was observed being bumped and knocked around by the other dogs in the enclosure. When the dog walks he sometimes lifted his back left leg." Clifford Lansdown, T L C Kennels, Hartville, MO. License #43-A-5453
- "The dogs had matted hair on their backs and matted hairballs hanging from their legs. This matting could cause skin irritations or other skin problems if the coats aren't properly maintained." Rachel Davis, Davis Kennel, Seymour, MO. License #43-A-3433
- Strong odors of ammonia and feces, including in shelter buildings that housed young puppies. Exposure to this strong odor can cause damage to puppies' mucus membranes.
- Enclosures made of exposed wood that were soaked through with urine, unable to be properly cleaned and sanitized.
- Sick dogs with no records of vet care. One facility had no written record of vet care for any of their animals.
- Senior dogs that were no longer used for breeding being neglected and ignored.
- Broken fencing allowing dogs to exit their enclosures, and leaving them vulnerable for wild animals to enter.
One of the most devastating of Pet City's lies is that they cannot convert to adoption-only because there are not enough dogs in the shelter. Six to eight million dogs and cats end up in shelters each year, and half of them are euthanized. 25 percent of dogs in need of homes in the US are purebred. In this time of overwhelming pet overpopulation, there is no excuse for pet stores to offer anything but rescued animals. And there is NEVER an excuse to support the egregious cruelty and neglect of the puppy mill industry.
What you can do:
Participate in the call-in campaign and send a message to Pet City that businesses who support puppy mills are not welcome in our community.
Forward this page, post on Facebook and other social networking sites, and tell your friends and family. It is important that the community is aware that Pet City has, and continues to support puppy mills. Do not let them continue to deceive the public about where their puppies come from.
Never shop at a store that sells puppies, even if you are only shopping for food or supplies. Spend your money at a store that supports your values. If you need help finding a humane pet store, look for a Centinela Feed & Pet Supplies near you, or find a local pet store in Stanton, Whittier, or Garden Grove on Yelp.
Look to this page for updates on future protests, events, and other information regarding the campaign. Our efforts will persist until Pet City stops doing business with puppy mills for good.
And, of course, next time you're looking for a new companion dog, cat, bunny, mouse, guinea pig, turtle, hamster.. or ANY animal.. always look to your local shelters and rescues. Adopt and save a life.