Demonstrators speak out against new store in mall
area residents protested at the
Westfield Franklin Park Mall on Toledo October 5, 2013. The mall signed a new lease with
’s largest chain and supplier of
puppy mill dogs – The Family Puppy. The store has a history of working with bad
commercial breeders with violations to the Animal Welfare Act. Even when the
federal inspector tells them to treat an animal in pain in suffering, they
ignore the inspector. These breeders do not listen to The Family Puppy – they
don’t’ care about their standards. The store ends up dropping the breeder
because we exposed them, not because of the violations. Michigan
Contrary to The Family Puppy’s claim that “we only use breeders that will meet our standards, and those standards are above those of the Animal Welfare Act”, 14 of the 16 primary suppliers have been cited for violations to the Animal Welfare Act and many have been chronic offenders. Some violations include shelters with temps exceeding 87 degrees, excessive feces, no heat, unlicensed personnel performing surgeries, unattended bite wounds, poor ventilation, feet dangling in wire floors, dirty dogs, accumulated grime and lack of veterinary care.
The Family Puppy states they know how to screen a breeder because the co-owner has “been working with breeders for 35 years”, yet neither owner carries any professional credentials in the fields of animal husbandry and disease control. The majority of Indiana USDA Licensed breeders - who on average, house 52 animals with 8-16 different breeds - also lack professional credentials in these fields.
According to recent inspection reports, two primary suppliers for The Family Puppy are not adhering to directives from federal inspectors or following rules as mandated under the Animal Welfare Act (
- In 2012, The Family Puppy’s
largest supplier, Marlin Bontrager of Rome City IN, was cited for direct
veterinary care violations and when the inspector returned there were six
more violations including more veterinary care related violations.
- Two other main suppliers,
Lavern Whetstone of
and Verlyn Weaver of Goshen IN , were cited for not seeking veterinary for animals that were in pain and suffering. Whetstone was told by the federal inspector to seek veterinary care and the kennel instead had a “non-professional” remove the membrane of a dog with cherry eyes. Weaver was cited for a pregnant dog with a build up of thick dark crust on her teeth. The store continued to work with both breeders despite these continued violations. Topeka IN
Jean Keating from the Ohio Coalition of Dog Advocates is leading the campaign to block The Family Puppy from expanding in
. Here is a link to
her interview with Channel 24 at the protest. Toledo