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.

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