TULSA, Okla. – A demonstration is planned this weekend in response to the opening of a new pet store in the south of Tulsa.
Animal rights activists say they disagree with the practices of Petland, a national chain of stores that sells animals.
The company has been accused of selling puppy mill dogs in the past by the Humane Society of the United States, as shown in this investigation report from Florida.
Petland has also been accused of selling sick and / or dying dogs. A 2018 CDC report indicates that a drug-resistant infection was linked to Petland puppies.
Erin Shackelford of the Oklahoma Alliance For Animals (OAA) says the Tulsa area and state has a significant overpopulation of cats and dogs. Last year, Oklahoma euthanized about 18,000 animals and rescues transported about 10,000 animals out of state to find homes.
Shackelford says a pet store selling unmodified animals will only make the problem worse.
OAA and other rescues are encouraging people to adopt pets instead of buying them off the shelf. There are shelters that specialize in particular breeds if you have a certain type of dog in mind.
Animal rights activists plan to protest outside Petland’s new location at 71st and Garnett when it opens this weekend. They say they don’t want to shut down the pet store, but want to publicize the animal overpopulation in Oklahoma.
They are also urging Petland to partner with local shelters and rescues instead of selling puppies to breeders.
A representative for Petland says they are excited about their new location in Tulsa and dispute claims they use puppy mills or sell sick animals.
Petland’s full statement below:
“We are aware of the protest and certainly respect their rights to voice concerns. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and inaccuracies in their claims. We are very happy to join the community of Tulsa and will take great care of become responsible stewards. Certainly, as we have seen throughout this pandemic, the human-animal bond has been sought in shelters and pet stores (see Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com / nation / 2020/08/12 / dog-coronavirus-adoptions /). We understand that the Tulsa Animal Welfare Center has made tremendous strides in becoming a safe haven without killing, which is exceptional. Looking at the online availability of the Tulsa Animal Welfare Center, we have noticed a majority of pit bull or pit bull mixes. While these are great for many, we know there are some people who want smaller breeds or smaller breeds. for specific needs (eg hypoallergenic). Petland believes that consumers have the right to choose where they find their little one and we pride ourselves on being a responsible choice with full transparency. In our 50+ year history, we have found that Petland animals rarely end up in a shelter and our store operators often offer strong incentives and discounts for spay / neuter procedures. Petland stores are also keen to work with local shelters and rescues to help with adoption events, coordinate fundraising efforts and donations, or offer discounts to families who adopt at local shelters. In fact, store owners have sent letters to three shelters in the area hoping to support and develop such a partnership, and so far none of the shelters have responded.
Petland’s number one priority has always been the health and welfare of its pets. Each Petland store has a state-licensed consulting veterinarian who examines each puppy upon arrival and establishes a strong veterinary care plan for the store. Petland does not buy from puppy mills, which are unregulated and unlicensed facilities. Our puppies come from three main sources:
1. USDA licensed breeders and distributors with no direct or critical NCI within the past two years and who have a veterinarian-documented socialization and exercise program and follow veterinary protocols for skin hygiene, coat, nails and teeth. They also cannot have specific indirect NCIs on their last inspection report (section 2.40).
2. Hobbyist breeders as defined by the Animal Welfare Act, who breed their dogs in a humane manner.
3. Local adoption pets that are vet checked.
Additionally, our franchisee, like most of our operators, is very passionate about visiting breeders frequently and seeing firsthand how puppies and parents are raised and cared for.
We look forward to serving the Tulsa community with pets and pet supplies and invite community members to visit us and see the difference. “
Cox Media Group