Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Pet store refuses to accept diagnosis of parvovirus, orders puppy to die

Michigan’s largest puppy retailer is caught shipping in
urine stained, underweight and under aged puppies
 from puppy broker – vet quits
 
The Michigan Department of Agriculture has received multiple complaints involving The Family Puppy pet store related to a parvo outbreak and underage puppies resulting in discontinued vet services.

The Family Puppy pet store is located in the Genesee Valley Mall at 3341 S Linden Rd, Flint, Michigan.

Dr. Pinkston, of Swartz Creek Veterinary Hospital, who has been servicing The Family Puppy  since the store opened in 2009 put in his official notice to end the relationship on February 29, 2012. The Michigan Department of Agriculture workorder included an interview with Dr. Pinston stating “the puppies were coming in with urine stainings, unkept fur and underweight body conditions.” Pinkston was uncomfortable with the store working with brokers rather than breeders and the store owed him a large amount of money.

The relationship upbruptly ended after a pet store employee brought in a female Bichone Frise/Yorkshire Terrier mix  with diarrhea, lethargy, vomitting and anorexia. The puppy tested positive for parvovirus.

“Parvovirus is a very contagious and deadly disease that could cost $1,000 per night in veterinary costs to treat”, said Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan. “Families who visit the store could bring this virus home to their own pets if the store is not quarrantined and disinfected properly”.

According to Dr. Pinkston’s report, John Stottele, the pet store owner refused to accept the diagnosis of parvious and ordered the puppy to be euthanized. Dr. Pinkston stated he felt Stottele was trying to dictate how to practice veterinary medicine.

The Michigan Department of Agriculture is currently investigating the store’s puppy shipments from out of state commercial breeders and brokers to ensure puppies are at least eight weeks of age.

History of Complaints

Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeat Michigan has been collecting complaints related to ill animals purchased at The Family Puppy. Over 70 complaints have been logged and 29 different type problems have been noted.

“The Michigan Pet Lemon Law SB 574, pending a hearing on the Senate Floor would protect consumers from purchasing ill dogs and cats from pet stores, breeders and dealers.” said Sordyl

Connection to Puppy Mills

Sordyl’s breeder investigation revealed that the Family Puppy has worked with breeders from Minnesota, Indiana and Ohio over the last three years. The store claims they pick-up and transport all of their puppies to the five store locations, yet over 170 puppies have been shipped from a broker/distributor, Patrick Fulton, in Minnesota with violations to the Animal Welfare Act, including selling puppies under age and insufficient floor space requirements.

“The female Bichon/Yorkie was brought into Pinkston’s office just under 6 weeks of age. It is illegal to sell puppies under eight weeks.” said Sordyl. “These dogs are coming off the truck sick because they are too young to be shipped from the Midwest. Their immune systems have not yet been developed”.

Pet stores, including The Family Puppy, will tell customers that they do not get dogs from puppy mills, but only mass-breeding facilities can fulfill the demand for retail pet store orders.

The Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup is working to build awareness toward ending mass production of dogs in "puppy mills." The group’s public education campaign teaches the public about the origins of pet store puppies and lobbies for stronger laws for animal breeding. 

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