June 29, 2009
|Charlene Koster's kennel in Kansas was filmed and named by The HSUS during our Petland investigation in November. Some Petland stores are still purchasing dogs from this puppy mill. ©2008 The HSUS|
A Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) follow-up investigation has found that Petland stores are still supporting puppy mills, including some of the largest and most notorious in the country.
What We Found
The new intensive study analyzed thousands of pages of public interstate health documents in multiple states, revealing that almost every Petland store in the country is buying from puppy mills, either directly from commercial breeding facilities or indirectly through middleman brokers.
The new investigation of Petland's puppy sources also traced shipments of puppies from out of state brokers to more than 95 percent of Petland's domestic stores, revealing once again that the chain is supporting puppy mills.
More than 80 stores were linked directly to the Hunte Corporation alone, a massive Missouri broker that resells about 80,000 puppies a year and has documented Animal Welfare Act violations.
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The HSUS also found that several Petland stores were still buying from some of the facilities that we clearly named and exposed as part of our initial Petland investigation in November, including MAM (Mike and Melanie Moore's) Kennels in Missouri and Charlene Koster's kennel in Kansas—puppy mills where more than 100 dogs were filmed running back and forth in small wire cages.
Many USDA-licensed puppy mills that keep hundreds of dogs in small cages for their entire lives are still legal, but they are inhumane, and that is why the HSUS has been urging Petland and other pet stores to stop supporting them.
The investigation found at least two Petland stores in Florida still buying puppies from the facility associated with Kathy Bauck in New York Mills, Minn. Bauck was convicted of three counts of animal torture and one count of animal abuse in March 2009, the same month that the East Orlando Petland store purchased several puppies from her facility. Health certificate documents show that the Largo Florida Petland store also purchased at least one puppy from Bauck's kennel in February 2009.
|The new investigation of Petland's puppy sources reveals that many stores in the chain are still buying from known puppy mills, and most stores are supplied by massive brokers. ©2008 The HSUS|
'Clearly Nothing Has Changed'
"Petland claims again and again that they deal only with a special selection of breeders," said Stephanie Shain, senior director for the HSUS puppy mills campaign.
"Our new investigation proves that the vast majority of their stores are buying either directly or indirectly from puppy mills and brokers—large-scale commercial facilities where puppies are treated like nothing more than a cash crop."
"We even found two stores buying from a convicted animal abuser, and others buying from individuals who have a long history of Animal Welfare Act violations, or who hold no USDA license at all. But even licensed and legal commercial kennels can still be puppy mills, where 100 or more breeding dogs have been found confined to small wire cages for life.
"Clearly nothing has changed at Petland. They are continuing to support puppy mills and mislead the public."
A Look Back
Since the original Petland investigation was released in November, a consumer lawsuit has been filed against Petland, and more than 600 former Petland customers have contacted The HSUS to tell their heartbreaking stories. HSUS has also led three nationwide demonstrations at Petland stores across the country this year to tell the chain to stop selling puppies and start supporting pet adoptions instead.
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