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Dear Petland:

Written by PETA | October 20, 2007

Doggie.jpgRight now, anyone who wants can walk into any Petland store in America and buy an animal with a credit card as if they were picking up the latest Britney Spears single. What ends up happening is that, much like the new Britney joint, these animals get discarded, cast aside, or returned to the store at the earliest opportunity. With more than 6 million cats and dogs turned in to shelters every year in the U.S., stores like Petland are already an unpleasant example of ethics and social responsibility taking a back seat to making easy money, but the very least that they can do is implement some basic, commonsense policies that will help to prevent the animals they sell from ending up with someone who’s going to neglect them, dump them at a shelter, or worse.

We’re asking the company to ban the use of credit cards to purchase live animals, implement a 24-hour waiting period on live-animal purchases, and spay or neuter puppies and kittens before release. If you’d like to contact Petland yourself about these issues, you can do so here. It’s not a lot to ask of a multi-million dollar corporation, but it will make a world of difference for the animals.

Commenting is closed.
  • RCB says:

    I don’t support PETA, but I just thought I’d comment here with my personal Petland experience. I work at a large Petland in central Ohio, we have around 90-100 pups at a time. It’s a lot of work to get things clean and keep cleaned everyday. I may be quitting soon mostly because all the hard work isn’t doing any good for my health. We clean the cages of the animals on the floor when they need it and we keep an eye on all the animals to make sure everyone is doing fine. I can say I don’t support pet stores selling birds, puppies, and kittens in general because you can find yourself a good breeder or shelter for those animals. Not to mention pet stores charge probably 2-3 times more than you can get a better quality animal from a shelter or breeder for! Anyway, aside from the high prices I am not totally sure where we get the pups from but wherever we get them from they come in sick a lot of times. They’re mostly cold-like symptoms and we do give medication daily, but I’m still not comfortable with it all. Some of the pups get so snotty it’s almost nasty to touch them. As for the birds, I know one breeder we get them from isn’t good at all.. It breaks my heart to get such beautiful birds from such a terrible, careless breeder. I don’t even know if the Petland staff who deal with where we get animals from know about the conditions he keeps his birds in. Aside from that, the sales people get commission off selling a puppy or bird and a kitten I think, too. Thankfull most of the sales people there are nice and care about the animals but this store’s top sales lady who has been there awhile should be fired in my opinion. She just cares about selling. She even sold a pomeranian with a heart condition that was in the back and I told her it wasn’t supposed to be sold.. she sold it anyway and I got in trouble for it. The pup died, too. There was also a couple who bought three of our birds. The birds were not sick and were fine, but they come back about 1-2 months later saying two of the three birds died. A red lored amazon, U2, and Eclectus. That just bothers me. They didn’t say why or how they died and without that info I wouldn’t have sold them the camelot macaw and other U2 we have that the top saleslady sold them. It’s irresponsible. I like working around animals, especially the birds, but I really need to find a new job because some of the stuff there just bugs me. It’s not a bad store, though. Good conditions and nice sales people.

  • Aiesha says:

    I visited the Petland in Dunwoody by Primeter Mall… I was here to check the status of feeder rats.. In the medium rats cage was 3 dead and decomposing animals.. Just bone, dried skin and sum hair.. I immediatly called attention to it, where 1 of the employees stated “like do i have to touch it”. A manager removed the dead animals and closed the cage and then asked which of the remaining id like.. lol.. i stated none. They did not clean the bedding out, did not clean the cage and i’m pretty sure that the poor animals living in the cage are now diseased and obiviously not healthy for your pets… This is a shame– alson took notice of the poor puppies laying in their own poop as their cages had not been cleaned as well.. How is this legal??

  • Christina Marie says:

    I used to work at Petland, and never has a workplace made me more upset and heartbroken. We didn’t sell puppies or kittens; just small animals, fish, birds and reptiles. The conditions in the store were beyond unsanitary. Bugs crawling everywhere and unclean cages. I took good care of the animals during my shift, but to see the neglect of the other employees; they just didn’t care for them the way they should. I’m not saying every Petland (or any pet store for that matter) is the same as the one I worked at, but something needs to be done to raise awareness about the conditions these poor animals are forced to live in.

  • Sherry says:

    Mel PLEASE volunteer with a rescur group instead!! Petland has enough money to pay staff. Help abandoned animals through a rescue group and you will be doing so much good instead of harm!

  • Sherry says:

    I have also worked at Petland. My greatest regret is helping to bring them revenue and I wouldn’t buy a bag of dog food there to save my life. Ashley you really need to look at the big picture. Its not about clean cages or hard working employees. Its about who your money goes to. Petland issues aside…buying a puppy mill dog may indeed help one dog but by giving your money to these factory owners you make it possible for them to produce more and more dogs in those abysmal conditions. Think of the mothers!! Another issue is that until every shelter and street dog and puppy has a loving home producing buying and selling puppies is nothing short of deadly to those shelter dogs. If you truly love animals ALL animals you simply will not support any business who profits from selling them. Once again please do some serious research and take a look at the big picture before taking a side in this issue.

  • Mel says:

    Thanks so much for this article and I know that it doesn’t seem like much but I really hope that vision of happy animals comes true. I soon want to volunteer at Petland and I hope that when I get there there will be some animals just waiting for Petland to take their little future lives into consideration. Mel

  • Ashley says:

    okay i have read quite a few of the comments and half of you dont know what you are talking about.i work at petland and i work in the kennel and i know for a fact that we dont get our puppies from puppy mills.we have all the names and locations of the breeders and many people who have bought puppies from us have gone to see the breeder and were very impressed.the only reason people hate petland is because of things they have heard others you know how hard it is to take care of 80 puppies all the time? we can see everything all the time but we try as hard as we can to take care of these puppies to the best of our abilities.we all work as a team and we all work very can say what you want about petland and about the puppies but when you talk about the work someone puts into their job you better have proof that we arent doing it right.for all the people that say we dont do a good job i would love for you to come and try working here and keep this place the way you want it because i can guarantee you cant.i work my ass off taking care of those puppies.everyone thinks all we do is clean up after them.but thats not true.we give them clean cages every morning which takes about two hours to get it all clean we give them baths once or sometimes twice a month to keep them looking nice we give them meds if they are sick and we monitor their progress to make sure they get better we also have to take care of small animals that are injured and we have to clean the entire kennel everyday.Yes puppy mills do exist but we dont get our puppies from there.even if we did wouldnt you rather see them in a store where people take care of them then sittingat a puppy mill frown upon people who buy dogs from mills but i applaude them because at least they are trying to help them and give them a better home.we do the same thing with the puppies we get from breeders.we strive to give them a great home with lots of if you have never worked at petland then dont trash them because you have no idea what the hell your talking about.

  • andy says:

    You all have no clue what your talking about!! In 2007 Petland saved over 270000 pups from the shetler and were placed in good homes! How many of you can say that?! Not a single puppy comes from a mill! All breeders are USDA inspected and if they dont meet the standards they are shut down and black listed so that everyone knows. You guys need to get the facts straight and not just babble about what you think might be going on.

  • Tara says:

    I’d like everyone to meet my dog Jamie. She is a pomeranian whom we adopted from a wonderful woman who rescues dogs from Puppymills before the puppy mills can kill them. Jamie is 8 years old shes had countless litters in the PuppyMills many of the puppys that survived the puppy mills were then like Jamie “Debarked” or got a metal rod stuck down their throats to break their tracheas. her puppies were then shipped of disease infected of corse to PETLAND Jamie has a hard time walking from being in a cage so long her knees bend in strange ways and she has to be on meds everyday for her broken trachea. ANY company that supports this cruelty should be “Put Down” like the many puppies that they sell. Petland is hell.

  • amanda says:

    all petland puppies get adopted i work there and i have adopted 8 from there that has never happened all of our puppies get loving homes some dont get to stay in there loving homes becuase something comes up but that happens to alot of dog adn birds ands cats so you cant blame just petland

  • Maca says:

    To all who defend Petland saying that employees there take great care of their puppies No matter how well Petland takes care of their animals you can’t change the fact that Petland’s puppies come from unethical breeders.

  • Pam Statdfield says:

    My question is what happens to the pet store puppies that don’t get adopted?

  • Sharel says:

    Yeah I work at Petland in Laredo texas and its had its problems but what store doesn’t. Employees there are the best and yeah some can be rude but you don’t see those anymore. Ive worked in the kennel for a couple months now I am out in front helping those who are looking for something in the store. Anyone against petland always looks for the bad but never the good. You also can save all the animals because its like wanted to save all the humans its suicide there isn’t enough room on this earth for everyone even though I would love to share it. I am a animal lover and always have been thats why I took the job. I did my research and have expeirenced petland for my self. IF our puppies come from puppy mills then why did the USDA approve and most if not all of the puppies are registerd AKC so yell at them. Everyone gives Petland a bad rep but really it doesn’t matter where they come from but where they spend the rest of their life and if we can educate people like we do about taking care of our animals and how to prevent overpopulation but its like telling every human being to get fixed cause there are too many of us. People and animals are born and we all eventually die from diseases or of natural causes doesn’t matter so stop hating on petland trying to find these animals a home and help them help people.

  • Caboose says:

    And Im supposed to trust the U.N why?

  • Mars says:

    “they need to at least spay or neuter them first. ” Why? The current animal population decries the failure of that “feel good” surgical mutilation.

  • Caboose says:

    Well Doug it’s obvious. Eating it is not bad for the environment you are just eating. A factory farm is not like a typical power plant. Production of electricity is the biggest contributoru dont need facts to figure this out. Common sense greenhouse gas emmision shouldnt be reduced to zero because the greenhouse effect is a natural effect. If we had free range farming sure we can still be omnivores but we can have alternative power sources alt fuel etc.

  • been there says:

    Have worked at a Petlandunfortunatly for 1 12 years. I am curently trying to keep a yorkie alive. I think I might be losing. Trust me it is worse than any of you know.

  • noname says:

    Petland also uses aspen bedding for their small animals!!!Also they hardly clean the animals cages!!!

  • Caboose says:

    And Weighted Companion Cubes and cake for ALL. From a funny and kick ass game called Portal

  • Samantha says:

    okay so i definatly agree however i think the real issue lies with ellen…some one who did the right thing and the dog was taken away! And in my opinion the only reason why the dog was taken away was because iggy was given to another loving family and the place where ellen bought him wasnt making any money off of it. It saddens me to see that people who really care about the well being of animals are treated like garbage. I wouldnt send my pets to a shelter if i couldnt take care of them any longer i would give it to a close personal friend who i know would love it and treat it the way it should. BTW puppies are over rated adopt from a shelter or humane society and save a life.

  • Jessica says:

    I would just like to say that i work at Petland Akron in Akron OH. I love my job very much and at our location we love our puppies and our animals very much. The only reason we get puppies returned back is because it was an impulse buy on the puppy and I would much rather have them return it because of that then to have the puppy live a suffering life. We have great kennel techs who provide terrific care for our puppies and kittens and if we notice something going on with the puppy we immediatly put them into ISO for the kennel manager or the vet the look over. And about this credit card stuff honestly. We offer the Petland credit card at my location where people who may not have the money up front with them now but adore the puppy can take that puppy home that day. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it and I love seeing puppies going home with families and I love seeing the families bring their puppies back up for Petland visits to get their ears cleaned and toenails clipped. I also have about 7 pets from Petland all that are healthy and well to this very day. And for all you people who get your puppies from “breeders” well hmmm… as much as you hear “horror” stories about Petland I have heard about breeders. Just so you know puppy mills are selling their puppies in newspapers and also just to put it out there… you would never even know if you were getting one from a pippy mill. For the simple fact that when you call them because of their add in the paper they will bring those puppies into the house and pretend like they have been treated great their whole life while you are there looking over them. And if you think this is untrue I’ve heard it from multiple guests that have come into our Petland location. And I would like to point out yet another thing. The whole puppies who end up in shelters is a crock. Seriously if you are paying $8002000 for a puppy why in the world would you throw away that investment? That is the most crazy thing I have ever heard. Now reguardless of what you all think of Petland in general I would just like to point out that the location I work at is fantastic. We work as a team and we have wonderful training that our general manager provides. Our puppies get out and play in the puppy rooms and yes some get sick. But if you want to put it into elementary school terms all adults should know that if you have a child in preschool and one kid comes into school with the flu but no noticable symptoms in the period of onset who is to say that ATLEAST two kids are going to catch it. Kennel cough is an airborn virus much like the flu. And by the way I also hear a lot about people thinking their puppies are going to die… we have very little cases where puppies come into the situation that could lead to death. If we don’t care about our puppies so much then why do we give you the free vet visits for a month or longer? my location is 45 days. Yeah because we deffinitly do have wonderfull employees who take great care and pride in working at Petland. Please don’t judge all Petlands as the same because we send 2030 puppies home a week and we love to see the puppies get good homes. The puppies don’t even stay in the cages for long amounts of time because we do whatever we can to give them a good loving caring home. So please stop labeling all pet stores as bad places. I am an animal lover and if something cruel and wrong was going on there then i DEFFINITLY wouldn’t be working there.

  • Dana says:

    I know that this is off topic for this particular forum…but I am starting to think that Peta needs to somehow find some duct tape for Ann Coulters mouth I just yesterday listened to an interview by this complete babbling idiot on her take of global warming and her hate of vegetarians. Funny though that after listening to her CNN does a great little documentary called Planet in Peril That makes her look like even more of an idiot…she also says that global warming has only made temps rise from lets say 63 degrees to 64 degrees I would love to know where she lives because this summer I was far above 64 degrees and as we speak still is. I have compassion for people that just have lack of knowledge on these subjects but I have very little tolerance for flat out idiots that babble on about subjects they apparently know little about just to make money. The republican party should be ashamed to have Ann Coulter on their side…just as the liberals are ashamed to have Al Gore pointing out the problem but doing no lifestyle changes to fix it. The CNN documentary even touched a little on cattle being a problem in this cycle of global warming.. Tonight at nine they will continue into the Amazon Rainforest I am looking forward to seeing what they have to say about that. I know that most people would rather listen to Ann Coulters denial of global warming and that vegetarians are just out to take over man kind so that they can feel a sense of safety or eat as much meat as they want without being afraid. The truth is that you can only live in denial for so long until the troubles of the world hit your own front door. You can not hide in your little houses and pretend that this stuff is not going on forever. Most people do not want to admit to the fact that humans are the most self destructive greedy self centered beings on the planet. We as a whole can only abuse nature for so long until nature prevails…always remember we are that the mercy of Nature not the other way around. Even the smallest creatures on earth play BIG roles in nature..they may be an afterthought to most of us and most of us could care less if they are wiped out but the balance of nature is being disrupted daily by greed and even now we are seeing the signs of what happens when humans start abusing the earth and its creatures for their own self centered needs. If most of you are not concerned about your self and are just here to use up as much of the earth as you can until your gone…I hope that you will at least open your eyes a little bit for the sake of your children and grandchildren that you helped bring into this world…and know that if people do not start making some major changes there will be no world for your Children or grandchildren to keep living in once you are no longer here!!!

  • Aleasha says:

    The best thing would be for them to shut down ALL Petlands. But if they aren’t going to do that they need to at least spay or neuter them first.

  • Doug says:

    “it kinda sounds like something PETA would do.” Really? Armed assault with an arsenal of automatic weapons and phosphorous gel? Wowtheir new employee orientation must really be something…. ‘”Meat is the 1 contributor to Global Warming”. By the way this quote ISN’T true!’ Please provide factual data with references to support your opinion. The fact that the claim is true is provided by the United Nations.

  • Mr. Chief says:

    Kara Who me? Dont worry peoples! My mild Communist idea wont leave us like Cuba. All it is is REAL equality for all people humans forgeting about debt in case of a Depression fking strict ass rules Theft bullet to the head. Child Abuse .50 caliber. Same thing with animal abuse. higher wages for women death to real terrorists Our current Govt. better police I will call them Military Police… alnternate power sources Much better diplomatic relations with other nations……..

  • Kara says:

    Great idea.

  • Mr. Chief says:

    Dont call me halo snipe anymore call me Mr.Chief

  • halo snipe says:

    I know what we can do destroy every factory farm and bring back the traditional form of farming free range. No enclosures except the barn to shelter the ruminants just a hilly field. Oh and give every farmer a gyrochopper so heshe can find the ruminants. Slaughter will be in the form of a controlled atmosphere paid by my VERY MILD Communist Govt.. The ruminants will be treated in luxury. All of this sounds expensive but look at the absurd War on Terror. All H.W’s fault!

  • Ariel says:

    Check out the last comment from the space cadet in post 102297 432p. I’ve been calling for it to put up facts quotes about numerous comments I was supposed to have made as it claimed I did. Still waiting…

  • halo snipe says:

    Yeah Doug but it kinda sounds like something PETA would do just like blurting out something stupid like “Meat is the 1 contributor to Global Warming”. By the way this quote ISN’T true!

  • halo snipe says:

    thank you Doug I am a genius

  • Mars says:

    “Mars…the answer. MANY Petlandsold dogs end up in shelters or dumped on the street!” “Shelter and rescue workers see pet store documentation constantly with admissions.” So if there is documentation then the number of them should be known. “exactly 483823 Petland animals are in shelters uh oh no wait 483988 oops wrong again 530542 guess that’s not right the numbers keep going up!” Didn’t ask how many animals where in a shelter but how many Petland or even PetCo animals. “Why on earth would an ANTIanimal rights’ activist space cadet MARS be interested in the exact numbers of Petland animals that are in shelters?” It’s called calling the person on what they call facts when in truth it is not fact or they really don’t know. From the responses it’s just that.

  • Christopher Cochran MD says:

    I would never buy a bird dog at Petland. To do so would be ridiculous. I buy my bird dogs from reputable breeders. By reputable I mean that their dogs are known for their hunting abilities. Companion animals from the pound are fine. It doesn’t take much breeding or training to wag your tail and crap on the sidewalk but if that’s what you want a dog for so be it. My dog needs to be a lot more talented than that. Buying him from a breeder didn’t guarantee his talent but made it more likely. I can’t imagine why anyone would buy a dog from a place like Petland.

  • Tamara says:

    “When your child acts up you can not just abandon them in a shelter or on the street by law so it should be the same with a lifetime commitment that you take on when you purchase or adopt an animal.” Or maybe you should be able to leave your kid in a shelter… Disclaimer the above sense of humor is the one a previous poster spoke ofone that AR activists should haveand should not in any way be taken seriously. Maybe.

  • Dana says:

    This is where it gets a little tricky…Pet store puppies are a problem and pet stores are making mega money off of the sale of dogs. The general public will see the cute little puppy at the store and one of two things will happen they will impulse buy a dog that they are no where ready for. Or they there heart will go out to the dog because of poor living conditions and want to save its life. The impulse buy of a dog is the worse purchase you can possibly make..all dogs should be considered before purchasing depending on breed size and life style…so I think a waiting period should be issued on all purchases!!! Rescuing a dog so to speak because it is bad conditions in a pet store for sale is another big NO even though all of us have wanted to save every animal you are actually doing more injustice by buying the animal for you are guaranteeing that another poor animal will be placed in its spot. It a vicious cycle that needs to be stopped. I can not tell you the amount of health problems or behavioral problems that result from puppy mill dogs making them a guaranteed pound puppy before their lives are over. For the families that do fall in love with their puppy mill dogs most health problems do not show up until after the first year so here you are attached to a dog that you care deeply for and you end up spending a fortune just to keep it alive. It is a BAD deal all the way around!! But its another case of greed rules over compassion. Societys impulse buys and designer dogs have made a huge problem in the world. Shelters are now overrun with animals that will never see what it is like to live the good life. The problem is getting worse by the day not better. Many criticize euthanasia but they do not realize that shelters with a problem that is bigger than the shelters there is no other options. I have visited many of the non lethal shelters no kill and let me tell you now there is truth to the statement sometimes life is just far worse than death!! There are going to have to be eventually spayneuter laws that are mandatory. I know many think this takes away rights but when society for the most part is formed on lack of responsibility there are not many other options left. It is not fair that dogs and cats are brought into this world in rapid numbers to be sold just so someone can have a pet that they get tired of then rid of and start the cycle all over again. When your child acts up you can not just abandon them in a shelter or on the street by law so it should be the same with a lifetime commitment that you take on when you purchase or adopt an animal.

  • peace says:

    We used to have a Petland in our local mall. It was one of the filthiest pet stores I’ve ever seen. Sometimes you could smell the foul odor just walking by the facade. The animals were also appallingly overcrowded. Long dead fish in tanks birds with missing feathers and micerats with large open wounds were a regular sight. They also once had kiddie pool full of adult box turtlesGod knows where they came from very likely collected from the wild. Thankfully our mall Petland shut down. I do not know the official reason but the filth and smell probably didn’t endear them to mall management.

  • Celestine says:

    To ‘Mars’ exactly 483823 Petland animals are in shelters uh oh no wait 483988 oops wrong again 530542 guess that’s not right the numbers keep going up! These people keep on dumping those bought pets left and right would you believe it?! I’m sorry Mars can’t give you the exact number. I’m also sorry I forgot to give you a brain! God

  • Doug says:

    Offtopic 2 On the “CBS kills animals” topic of Sep 27th “halo snipe” wrote on Oct. 20th “Yeah Michele a wonderful world where they raid a lab kill all the workers and save ONE fcking rabbit that is freed and killed and eaten by a fox. Don’t believe me search anti PETA and look for more dirt o n PETA. Warning truth may cause confusion and delay!” The story that this genius is referring to is a parody “news report” by the satirical news group “The Onion”. The story ran on March 19th 1997 to find it go to The Onion and type in PETA in their search link. Though the story pokes fun at PETA and AR activists indirectly I suppose I find it amusing and clever. And if I might be so bold I would guess that PETA staffers got a chuckle out of it as well I figure anyone who has to see and hear about the horrors that they must dayin and dayout has to have a very healthy sense of humor. Anyway after reading the parody and having a bit of a laugh everyone should consider how completely idiotic someone would have to be to think the story was real or even report it as suchwhether they had heard of The Onion before or not. Of course I don’t think that the meatindustry clowns huntscum dipshits and other crueltymongerers who post here are in any danger of being mistaken for being very bright as it is.

  • Doug says:

    This is offtopic but hopefully Jack allows it bc I wanted to get this out to as many people as I could…. I don’t know if Peta has reported this or not but in Costa Rica an “artist” paid children to catch a stray dog tied him up in a gallery and starved him to death as an “art” exhibit. You can check out the story here httpwww.theginblog.com200710artistchainsupdoguntilitdiesisthisartoranimalabuse There are more comments and info on the discussion thread at There’s not much we can do for the dogafter being gawked at by passersby for a while the dog died except to sign a petition denying this specimen entry into an art show to be held later in Honduras as Costa Rica’s representative. You can find more info procon dialogue and the petition here httppetloverstips.comForTheLoveoftheDognewsupdatesadeaddogasartpetition Thanks Jack for letting me post this.

  • Ariel says:

    Why on earth would an ANTIanimal rights’ activist space cadet MARS be interested in the exact numbers of Petland animals that are in shelters?

  • Susannah S says:

    The only thing that will stop this is legislation that prohibits pet supply businesses from selling animals of ANY kind including rodents and fish. The little bandaid laws that are in place now obviously aren’t doing the job.

  • kelly says:

    Mars…the answer. MANY Petlandsold dogs end up in shelters or dumped on the street! Plus the offspring of these dogs as Petland sells most of them unspayed and unneutered. Shelter and rescue workers see pet store documentation constantly with admissions.

  • Tamara says:

    How many Petland animals are in shelters? I would say one is too many.

  • Mars says:

    So tell us the exact numbers of Petland animals that are in shelters?

  • kelly says:

    The types of places that Petland gets the puppies from Wanted to point out that the AKC already makes most of its income from registering puppy mill puppies. They have also been wanting to get into business with Petland. The height of hypocrisy. But those puppy mill dollars pay for a lot of dog shows and more which is why you will always see AKC supposedly “reputable” breeders lobbying AGAINST laws and rules for the puppy mills. More hypocrisy. Also remember that those websites that sell and ship puppies are also the puppy mills despite all those cutesy pictures and garbage about family dogs. Big con. Also most of the classifieds now are the puppy mills pretending to be private breeders. And the flea marketroadside sales puppies come from some of the worst mills of all!

  • Tamara says:

    Boy ya like to pick on Brit Brit don’t ya? St Louis had a Petland that was finally shut down after constant protests from START St Louis Animal Rights team. I contacted them to join me in PETA protests against PETCO and was told that they were “asked by the rescue groups not to protest PETCO because they received money from them”. Heck of an animal rights group I say. I don’t now if Petland is more disgusting than the other 2 chains because they sell dogs and cats or not. They are all pretty vile to me. Anyway Petland is also now back in the St. Louis area…different location. Heh.