Monday, July 14, 2014

Human Chain through Novi

Let’s tell Novi to stop selling puppies from puppy mills! Join us to form a Puppy Mill Awareness Human Chain through Novi 

Novi is Michigan’s “Puppy Retail Capital” with two big box puppy stores. Petland is located in the Twelve Oaks Mall and is our nation’s largest retail chain importing an average of 80 puppies a month. The Family Puppy is located in Fountain Walk across the street and is our state’s largest retailer of puppies with three remaining stores. Learn more about their suppliers on our website.
Join us on Saturday, September 20, 2014 from 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm to form a Human Chain through Novi. Wear a red bandana. Rain or shine, so consider bringing a rain coat as it will be hard to hold an umbrella and hold hands.

Our goal is to have 300 people holding hands from the south end of the 96 overpass to the entrance of the Twelve Oaks Mall.  Participants are asked to stand on east side of road. Check-in near Denny’s or Famous Daves.

HOSTS: Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

PRIMARY CONTACT:  Pam Sordyl 734-718-7100

CO-HOSTS:  If your organization, shelter or business would like to co-host this event, please send an email to, attention Pam Sordyl. Early notification requested by July 14th.  Co-hosting would only involve a few things:
  1. Your logo on our flyer and other event materials.
  2. Event promotion on your facebook, twitter and website. Very easy!
  3. Attend! Wear your organization’s t-shirt and a red bandanna.

The more organizations behind the event, the louder the message to the City Council and Mall Management. We want the mall to GO HUMANE and the city to prohibit the retail sales of puppies!

  • DO wear a red bandana.
  • DO wear your animal welfare organization’s t-shirt. If independent, wear a black or white shirt.
  • DO bring a rain coat, umbrella’s won’t work if we are holding hands!
  • DO NOT Bring your dog. Novi road is too busy and dangerous.
  • DO NOT Bring your own sign. We will provide them.
  • DO Park in designated parking areas.
  • DO NOT walk or park in Twelve Oaks mall parking lots. We have to stay on public property. For this event we will not need to cut across the mall property. The easement is approximately 20 feet from the road.
  • DO NOT go into either puppy store, before, during or after the event.
  • DO NOT block the footpath, so please make sure that you stay up against the east-side railing of the overpass and allow free passage of cyclists and pedestrians.
  • DO NOT pass out flyers. We will have approved literature and can not interfere with traffic.
  • DO NOT interrupt the flow of traffic.  Tell people to pull around near one of the check-in areas if they have questions.
  • DO NOT approach cars exiting the mall at the light.
  • DO be peaceful and do not engage with any opposition.
  • DO NOT respond to any taunts, verbal abuse or insults coming from passerbys - YOUR ADVERSE REACTION is what they want. We usually just wave as if they were supporting us!
  • DO obey police officers, no questions asked. Always cooperate even if you feel like something is unfair. We can always handle issues at the police station the next day. Direct officers to an event coordinator.
  • NOTHING is permitted to be put into the ground. We may have pre-approved banners, but they will need to be held.
  • NOTHING is permitted to be affixed to any part of the overpass, railings, or municipal signs.
  • NOTHING is permitted to be dropped or thrown from the overpass.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Is The Family Puppy closing stores?


Their Brighton location at the Green Oaks Village is definitely closed! Check out our store front photos.

Their Roseville location at the Macomb Mall has been closed for “maintenance” issues all week. The Mall Management stated they are having HVAC issues.

Over a year ago we learned The Family Puppy may be struggling in Brighton. Former employees were reporting reduced hours, layoffs and few customers.  This fall we learned that their veterinarian, Dr. Barbara Griffith, was servicing the store for free in exchange for referrals. In the past, the store actually paid their vets. Was this another sign the store was struggling? Possibly. In a 2012 statement to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, Dr. Pinkston, who was servicing their Flint store, stated he would no longer work with the store because of problems with animals coming in from out-of-state and the store had a huge debt and was unable to pay him.

We haven’t made it easy for The Family Puppy, Michigan’s largest retailer of puppies. We started protesting their Flint store in 2010 attracting regular media attention. After 70 protests in Flint, we extended the campaign to all the other stores with holiday protests in Novi, Roseville, Troy and Brighton. Every mall manager received an email stating why we were protesting. In 2012 we asked all the local SE Michigan Malls to pledge not to sell puppies or kittens including Green Oaks Village.

Our efforts at exposing the stores largest suppliers haven’t made it easy either. Box stores like The Family Puppy and Petland need big kennels or big brokers to keep the shelves stocked with 8 week old puppies. Marlin Bontrager (Rome City, In) went from almost 200 dogs to approximately 50 dogs after we broadcast photos of his USDA violations and brought the media to the Zoning meeting. Devon Troyer (Middlebury IN) stopped shipments after local media coverage of his kennel.

Combined with families learning about puppy mills and choosing to rescue instead, box puppy stores are no longer popular and will have a hard time opening new stores. Even high priced public relations firms can’t save them now.

We will be supporting the Toledo dog advocates in their campaign efforts and continue to educate families here in Michigan. Thank you everyone for all your hard work so far.