SOUTH CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Protestors gathered outside the Petland in South Charleston Saturday, Oct. 10 to share their concerns about the company. The store recently opened on Mountaineer Boulevard.
The protesters said they believe Petland should be shut down and the national chain allegedly overprices and mistreats the animals and gets their puppies from puppy mills. One protester, Amber Costello, said she works in the veterinary field and often sees people bring in sick puppies bought from the chain.
“No reputable breeders sale puppies to pet stores,” Costello said. “The puppies cost upwards of $10,000 dollars and are often sick. I personally work in the veterinary field and I see puppies personally from Petland that come in sick that owners cannot afford to treat.”
Costello says the national chain has an alleged track record of not properly caring for animals and getting their animals from puppy mills. She says the group is protesting to make consumers aware of these allegations so they can decide how to move forward with adding an animal to their families.
“If you do want to buy a puppy, that is totally fine. Get a reputable breeder,” Costello said. “You’re going to want genetics on both parents to ensure you’re getting a healthy puppy. You want the parents on site and you want a contract.”
The company claims on its website that it only gets its animals from USDA-licensed breeders and distributors that are “committed to improving animal welfare.” The company also says its corporate employees and store owners visit these licensed and inspected breeders to make sure they meet the Petland’s standards for animal welfare.
According to Petland’s website, the company also investigates claims about the breeder facilities not meeting their required standards.
13 News Reporter Cassidy Wood will have more on the protest, coming up tonight on WOWK.