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Petland and the Niagara Region-Mills

September 4th, 2004, 04:14 PM
We have a Petstore in St.Catharines that sells weird cross breeds. I went in the other day, and could barely stop myself from buying them all. They looked so miserable with matted fir, in tiny cages! It was gross. The trainer who trained Sheriff said she's had a lot of Puppies from there who have had to be put down due to terrible health problems, and serious mental issues. Also, a friend of mine recently bought a small dog from a Petstore in the Beamsville/Grimsby area. She insists the puppy came from a breeder in Smithville and the petstore owner said she could go there and meet the parents of her dog. She could also pay (a huge) extra fee for her dog's pedigree and CKC papers ( :confused: ) She chose not to get them. But this seems really strange to me. She also said that the petstore said they get a lot of their dogs from "Menonite Farm Kennels" I don't know what that means, but she said there are a ton of them (again according to the petshop owner) in Niagara and Smithville. ANy ideas about this? Anyone? How do I stop Pet store from selling these poor puppies? (let alone cats, reptiles, rodents, birds and fish!!)

Lucky Rescue
September 4th, 2004, 06:25 PM
"Menonite Farm Kennels"

These are puppy MILLS, and as you see, the animals are kept in dreadful conditions.

Ontario now has laws against these kinds of abuses.

You need to call the Ontario SPCA and report this. They have a special section dealing with mills. The only way to stop these people is to keep reporting them and take away the profits they make from this suffering.

September 13th, 2004, 04:40 PM
I am writing back to the post that has made some accussations about Petland. I am a certified Petcouncellor...which means I went through almost 2 weeks training to get to were I am, and I am still not finished. I work at the Limeridge mall location in Hamilton, our owner also owns the one in St. Kitts. I jsut want to make a couple of things clear. One, we never get our puppies from puppy mills...they essentially do not exist in Ontario anymore because of strict laws. We get our dogs from reputile and local breeders.. If there happens to be a problem, we never go back. Two, it is a myth about putting our dogs to sleep becaue of "poor health" and "mental health". Our dogs are backed by a one year warranty/guranetee. If there is a mental health issue with the dog...look at the owner. 9 times out of 10, it is becasue the owner did not take sufficant time and care to properly care or love the animal. I am an owner of 1 dog (chow) and 4 cats...I think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to training...Peaches could have turned out very aggressive, instead we gave her love, and treated her like one of us...They become your family. She is the best thing that could have ever happened to us.

Petland stands by all our animals...whatever it may be, and we guarentee all of them...Find another petstore that does that. Oh, one more thing, we also received regonition for being one of the cleanest and dependable petstores in Ontario. The most highest award to receive. If you are unhappy with the way the puppies are being kept in kennals...remember, kennaling a dog while in the store, for one keeps them in place (where else are we going to put 30 dogs?) and two, helps make training easier for when you take your new baby home. Next time, really do the research before you make allogations,

Thank you for your time

September 13th, 2004, 04:47 PM
hi petcouncilor,
thank you for your post, it is rare that we ever get an opinion from the 'other side of the fence' so to speak and it was very much appreciated. it gives alot more food for thought. again thank you

September 13th, 2004, 05:43 PM
PetCounsellor, have you ever personally gone to tour the breeders facilities?

September 13th, 2004, 06:18 PM
What exactly does a pet counselor do?

Puppy mills do exist in Ontario. It is a huge problem in both Canada and the U.S. If you honestly think that the puppies you sell are born in someone's kitchen and raised by a lovely family before they come to you, then you need to do a little bit of research.

September 13th, 2004, 09:14 PM
PetCouncellor, I'm very sorry but I'm having a hard time taking you seriously. First of all, two weeks' training is hardly a very long time to be considered an expert in any field. Secondly, I sincerely doubt a large company like Petland would thank you for coming onto a board like this to make such a public statement in their defence. They usually have PR people to deal with these things. If they are truly concerned about the "allegations" being made against them, I'm sure they would have contacted the original poster in a more professional and legal manner. Lastly, for anyone to suggest that there is no such thing as puppy mills in Ontario solidifies the impression in my mind that the person doesn't have a clue. Sorry, but that's the opinion with which your post left me.

September 13th, 2004, 09:47 PM
I am not sure if she means the same Ontario I live in :confused:
The OSPCA does a great job of closing down puppy-mills,rescuing sickly birthing-dogs and puppies by the hundreds every year :mad:
Just look up their web-site and you'll see.
It's a constant job for the OSPCA,mills are a big money makers and since the offenders do not get punished too harshly,they will just move elsewhere.
Yes,puppymills are illegal in Ontario,but of course they exist,a very lucrative,brutal inhumane business.
I bet my life on that puppies in any pet-store come from mills or BYB.
Just yesterday we drove on Webber Rd towards Welland,we passed a dilapitated house sporting a big sign"Puppies 4 sale",I wanted to stop but we were already late.
Our friends in Welland are going to look into it,pretending they want to buy a puppy,if it is what we think,they will be reported to OSPCA.

heeler's rock!
September 13th, 2004, 10:09 PM
PetCounsellor, I'm so glad you joined. I have had soooooo many questions for Petland, and maybe you can help me out.

Why do you guys have the "pets for life" foundation, which rescues abandoned dogs, but still sell un-registerable pure breds, or cross breeds for thousands of dollars? If your puppies come from "reputible" breeders, why are they not CKC registered, or registerable?

I also agree that 2 weeks of "training" is hardly anything when talking about pet counselling. Also, who do you counsel? Pet owners? I'm just curious. I feel that Petland is very hypocritical. There is no need for a rescue foundation if they are going to sell puppies from BYB's or mills that just cause this whole cycle to start again. Maybe you could shed some light on this for me.

Also, the original thread starter said that she knows a trainer that has had people that bought puppies from pet stores that had to put them down due to mental issues. What age are the puppies when you get them in the store? It's not always the owners fault. I am a certified trainer and I have just begun, but have already worked with dogs whose owners loved them, but still their dogs had mental issues due to the breeder's neglegence!!!

Your quote: "I am an owner of 1 dog (chow) and 4 cats...I think I know what I'm talking about when it comes to training..."

I own 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 rabbits, and 2 toads, and I took a canine behaviour course. I think I know what I am talking about when it comes to training. NOT!!! It takes years before you can "know" what you are talking about! :rolleyes:

September 13th, 2004, 10:34 PM
I love animals and was thrilled to start working at a petstore similar to Petland. Here in New Brunswick we have Pets Unlimited. There were rumours of the puppies coming from puppy mills etc. but I was told by our manager that a buyer personally inspects each breeders home etc. Taking his word for it I championed the company but then I found out that anyone can sell puppies to them for $300.00 per puppy. So the pet store buys a mutt that is bred in a backyard by people who have not taken the necessary steps to ensure a top quality family pet (both mentally and physically) so that little Billy and Suzy can see the family dog have puppies as a "learning experience" and make a few bucks as they do it - then the pet store re-sells the puppies who are too young to be away from their mothers for $1000.00 +. If the breeders were reputable (and concerned for the puppies themselves) the puppies would come registered and to pre-approved homes only. Not everyone who walks through the doors of a pet store should be able to own a pet. A pet is for life and unfortunately most people who buy an animal at a pet store do so on impulse or from pressure from the kids who are crying about "I love that puppy - he is so cute - I want that puppy - I will take care of it" but we all know about the not so cute dog who gets dropped off at the pound because of "allergies or we are moving" when it is really "he is too big, messes on the floor or we don't have time for a dog". I quit working at Pets Unlimited and I refuse to shop there because I cannot condone irresponsible breeding of animals on one hand and then foster homeless animals on the other. Also, FYI there are thousands of puppy mills in Ontario alone. Just because there are strict rules/regulations does not mean that there are none. Research them, become informed and read the statistics on pet overpopulation. Petstore demand + puppymill puppies = overcrowded shelters. There is a direct link to that equation and the more that you read about it the more you will understand how little 2 weeks of training has accomplished.

September 14th, 2004, 08:46 AM
I appreciate your dedication to your job and your employer. However, you are sadly mis-informed. There ARE tonnes of BYB and Puppymills in Ontario. There are also plenty in the Niagara/Hamilton area. Call your local SPCA, ask them. Also, ask around find a few reputable breeders (maybe Luba or another member could give you some names and #'s), call them and ask if they would ever sell their dogs to a petstore.... any petstore. Ask those breeders what type of requirements they have for selling a dog to someone. Are they the same requirement that your petstore uses when someone wants to buy one of your dogs? Why are the dogs at pet stores not registered? Call the CKC ask them. It seems you've been given one side of the story, and believed it. Do some research for yourself, prove to yourself that what we've said isn't true. Get some facts, talk to some experts, then see if your opinion is the same.

September 14th, 2004, 08:49 AM
If the breeders were reputable (and concerned for the puppies themselves) the puppies would come registered and to pre-approved homes only. Not everyone who walks through the doors of a pet store should be able to own a pet.
That says so much!!!

September 14th, 2004, 08:57 AM
Gotta agree with everything posted. Mills are rampant, "buying" an animal from ANY petstore is contributing to the problem of animal overpopulation and two weeks training is not enough to be deemed an expert (not that you called yourself one of course, I just feel it was inferred).

The only source of animals for people right now should be pounds and rescues. Once almost every homeless pet out there finds a family, then we can talk about other options.


September 14th, 2004, 10:33 AM
Here's a link to Petland's web site, and a brief description of their pet counsellors and what they do.
I'm e-mailing them to ask how they can justify selling puppies when they are supposedly dedicated to eradicating the pet overpopulation crisis. I'll let you know what kind of reply I get. :)

September 14th, 2004, 10:43 AM
Although I do not condone breeding on ANY level, I would hardly call a breeder "reputable" who wholesales their puppies to a pet store never to know what happened to it. A reputable breeder (again I'm not sure there is one) will have done years of charting the lines of the dogs, breed selectively for improvement, have very limited litters, sell only to people they have interviewed, have a binding contract, have the dog spayed or neutered if it is of "pet quality" and agree without question to take the dog back if something happens that it doesn't work out. I will say ditto to the rest of the posters comments.

September 14th, 2004, 12:14 PM
Pet Councillor,
When you go to go to the section for "Press releases". Click on the section "Sept. 10 2004". Then click on images. There are 2 Ontario Puppymills that were closed down recently. ***WARNING there are VERY graphic pictures of the puppies.***

September 14th, 2004, 12:39 PM
You may also want to check out check out "How much is that Doggie in the window"- 10 reasons to avoid pet shops.

September 14th, 2004, 04:39 PM
this is my opinion and observations only, i am not looking for any replies or comments about my own opinion, i would just like to mention what i see and hopefully get ppl thinking about behaviour-

just an observation, but reading some of the above post there is quite an undertone of meaness or nastiness that is really not necessarry. petcouncilor was giving an opinion, and i apreciate that, at least this is not totally onesided thread to an extent and i thought sharing info and opinions was how we all move foreward and learn..why not try and eductate the person rather than pointlessly attacking, sounds like a sensible option.

but with the tone of this thread i doubt petcouncilor will come back and i dont blame them, why bother answering questions that are not really questions at all but just ppls opertunity to have a go and put in a few below the belt.

petcouncilor was giving an opinion of their work place and practice, they did not 'infer they were an expert' or anything else. also comments like the 'person does not have a clue' is not helpful, its actually quite below the belt really. i dont thnk this tone is helpful and it does not achieve anything other than hurting ppls feelings, being derogatory and down right mean and nasty, its sad to see and very disapointing..

September 14th, 2004, 05:20 PM
I did infer that she was indicating she was an expert. That fact is indisputable because were talking about my impression and my opinion on my impression.

Also, I don't see the meanness you're referring to. Not in this thread atleast. The person's facts were way off base and inaccurate and that serious lack of validity was pointed out. Thank God actually lest someone new to the animal scene come here and think that the mill problem in Ontario is over. Now THAT would be horrific.

But again, i've seen this type of post so many times before. You're entitled to your opinion. I personally feel its a bit over sensitive, but likewise i'm entitled to mine.

*throws two pennies on the table*


September 14th, 2004, 07:54 PM
Melanie, I respectfully disagree. I re-read this person's post several times before replying. What I perceived from their tone (and again, this is obviously only my opinion) was that they are a "certified pet counsellor" and therefore know more than we do about the goings on in a pet store. Also, he/she indicated that 9 times out of 10, the blame for any behavioural issues should be laid with the new owners. Now who is making unfounded accusations? I'm sorry, but I read the tone of this post to be "you people don't know what you're talking about, I know more than you do, and if you have a problem with our puppies, it's your own fault.". I could very well be mistaken - after all, we lose so much of the meaning behind the words when we can't hear the inflections of voice. But that is how I felt at the time I made my post. :)

September 14th, 2004, 08:26 PM
ok, i understand everyone, it is just that alot can be lost when communicating in this way and perhaps i missed whatever was lost and often we all read things differently, putting expression etc in varyign place depending on the reader. and maybe mean/nasty was the wrong term for it, i just found it a bit snappy thats all.
look in todays world my heart breaks regularly at the sheer cruelty, harshness and horror of this human species, and i just dont want to cause anymore sadness or bad feelings for anyone in the world, both those on my team and the opposing.
so when i feel there may be an undertone or similar (not saying there is now) i feel i must say something, as i dont feel it is right, i dont want it to be the norm of how we treat each other, we are all really nice people here and that is all i want to preserve, that happiness here, the acceptance and above all the kindness of most posters. i want this board to stay nice, thats all.

(PS im not saying i have not been guilty of snappiness etc, i hopefully do it only when i feel a personal attack but im sure i have at times missed points and been a bit of a bugger myself) :rolleyes:

September 14th, 2004, 08:32 PM
I read you loud and clear! :D You're right - some of us do tend to get a bit snippy when we feel slighted, and for my part I apologize to anyone who might have felt that way. :o This is just one of those topics that really hits close to the heart. Thanks for the gentle reminder. :D

heeler's rock!
September 14th, 2004, 10:44 PM
I admit that my original post was a bit harsh, but I too felt as though this topic is very sensitive. I do appologize for being snippy. I can get a bit sarcastic and harsh when I feel like someone is trying to say they know more than all of us here. Having a dog and some cats doesn't make someone an "expert" at anything and I didn't appreciate that comment in the original post, but I still should have controlled myself....If it were a lot of people agreeing with Pet Counsellor, that would be different and I would be the odd person out. But we are all in agreement with pet stores and puppy mills. I would like Pet Counsellor to come back and answer our questions because I am genuinely curious about Petlands policies on the Pets For Life foundation and the fact that they sell un-registerable puppies at the same time. Sorry if I scared you Pet Counsellor, I am just so glad someone from the other side is here to answer my questions......

September 15th, 2004, 08:25 AM
Mel,the problem with the original poster was she was grossly inaccurate...
Most of us do not want people to rush out and buy pet-store puppies because they think they are from legit breeders.
I too,25 years ago(approx) bought 2 puppies,a Cocker Spaniel and a Collie-mix from a pet-store.I had no idea that those puppies might have been born in a puppy-mill,but you live and learn.
My Chico also came from a local pet-store,I just had to take him,he was the only kitten in a big cage,luckily he was very healthy.I also know who the BYB was,she's luckily been taken out of business and was kicked out from the house she rented.
Sadly there is no law against selling puppies in stores and until it's outlawed,puppy-mills and breeding cats for profit will always excist.

September 15th, 2004, 08:42 AM
Chico2 I was the original poster of this topic. What is it that I am "grossly inaccurate" about? I'm sorry I don't really understand what I did/said wrong? (Just so you know my tone is puzzlement, not trying to be rude, I am just a little confused and honestly interested in your opinion.) Thanks

heeler's rock!
September 15th, 2004, 08:45 AM
Hey Sheriffmom! I don't think Chico was talking about you...we are all kinda upset about Pet Counsellor's post....that's what I think Chico was reffering too.... :D Your post was fine and I didn't find anything wrong with it! :D

September 15th, 2004, 08:53 AM
Thanks for the clear-up. I am new here and don't wish to offend anyone
(...Yet :p )!!! And if I do inadvertantly I'd like the opportunity to either appologize, or defend my position. I have learned soooo much already @ this site. I am so glad I found it!

September 15th, 2004, 10:20 AM
Sorry Sherrif,I did not go back and check,I thought the original poster was the Pet Councellor...a sloppy misstake :D :D

September 15th, 2004, 10:23 AM
No problem!! Just glad I didn't offend you (or anyone) and was not really inaccurate (at least this time!!! :p )

December 4th, 2004, 10:40 PM
Firstly, puppymills are ALL OVER Ontario. I have seen first hand many of them. Puppymills are not illegal. The conditions the dogs live in can be illegal. I can produce picture after picture of puppymills right here in Ontario, that would make you want to vomit.

Where do you want me to start with the list?

Embro Ontario
Alymer Ontario (3) run by Mexican Mennonites
St. Thomas

To the Petland Animal Councilor.....a REPUTABLE breeder DOES NOT sell their puppies to a petstore. PERIOD.

A Reputable Breeder Will

1) breed only one, or maybe two breeds

2) not breed to make money - in fact they will probably be lucky to break even

3) probably have a waiting list, but definitely NOT have puppies available all year-round

4) ask you a lot of questions, such as where you live, if you have children, other pets etc. This is not to see if you are "worthy" of one of their puppies, rather to make sure the breed is right for you, and even to match a particular puppy specifically to your family

5) provide you with a pedigree for both the puppy's parents

6) SHOW you your puppy's parents while the puppies are STILL NURSING

7) guarantee the puppy's health

8) not place a puppy in a new home before 8 weeks of age

9) often keep a puppy for his or her own breeding/showing program, otherwise what was the point of the breeding???

10) take back one of their puppies or dogs AT ANY TIME - in fact they will ask that you return the dog to them if for ANY reason you cannot keep it

11) be responsible for each and every puppy they bring into this world, for its entire life

12) offer you continuing support and training advice throughout the puppy's life

13) insist that buyers of pet puppies spay/neuter their puppy, and have some method of enforcement

14) do not sell their dogs by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Paypal) and “fly” or “deliver” the dog to you

15) do not sell their dogs without meeting you in person at their home, so you can SEE where the dogs are living. If the breeder does not contend to ALL of the above, DO NOT buy that puppy!

Please DO NOT be fooled by cute pictures over the internet and on websites…..behind those cute pictures on the internet can be a puppymill waiting to sell you a puppy.

Kimberly Thomas
St. Marys, ON
(A Rescue Volunteer)

December 4th, 2004, 11:08 PM
Thanks Foster. I also just joined the site you recommended.
On your list you forgot to add Smithville, Waifleet, Lincoln.... We have a HUGE problem in this area with Mills..... but I'm not exactly sure what to do. Maybe when chat is up and running you and I could talk?
Thanks for the post :)

December 5th, 2004, 12:28 AM
I won`t comment on the "pet store puppies" issue any further than to say that while in Edmonton AB this fall we went into a large pet shop in the West Edmonton Mall. The price for "purebred" crosses was insane and when I asked the employee if there were registration papers for these "purebred" mixed breed puppies he simply said "I`m sure there are just not here in the store".
I do agree with you Dee, about the adoption issue and not buying from breeders............. to a point. I researched the breed I wanted and read all I could( still learning about my dogue every day I will add) and I waited for almost 25 years to get my Dogue De Bordeaux. I had a long wait and had a very tough screening to pass before I could purchase my dog from the breeder.
I don`t have any regrets with purchasing my dog from the breeder instead of rescuing a shelter dog............ but I know that is just my opinion.

I am not saying that anyone on here is wrong........... I just knew exactly what I wanted and did my homework and paid a substantial amount of money to have the particular breed I had waited so long for.

I am still in contact with the breeder and send pictures and updates on a very regular basis regarding Angel.

I think it is all a matter of choice. ( I did work with a Rottweiller Rescue group in Southern Alberta when I lived there, and I have rescued dogs in the past............. Angel was just "special" ) :)