Going to the dogs
Thank you for covering the protest of the new Petland ["New pet store near ARL getting protests," Aug. 14]. I applaud you for bringing attention to the fact that local animal lovers are opposed to a store that sells non-neutered and non-spayed pets, which may contribute to animal overpopulation and crowded animal shelters.
What the article does not mention, but has been proven by animal-rights organizations like the Humane Society of the United States, is that pet stores like Petland often obtain their puppies from puppy mills -- factories where breeding females are confined to small, filthy cages and forced to crank out litter after litter of puppies. These dogs never receive exercise or medical care, let alone love and affection, and are never let out of their cages. When they can no longer breed, they are destroyed.
Marci Caplan, one of the owners of the new Petland, informed me that their puppies come from the Hunte Corporation. Hunte is a broker of puppies, obtaining them from commercial breeders and then shipping them to pet stores throughout the country. This means that Petland actually does not know where their puppies come from because they deal with a broker, and not the breeders themselves.
While puppy-mill dogs live in abominable conditions to produce money-making puppies for pet stores, thousands of homeless animals are waiting in area animal shelters for adoption. I was outraged to read the quotes from the Caplans admonishing the Animal Rescue League for not wanting to have relations with them. When ARL is working to find good homes for hundreds of animals, it is criminal that a Petland opens just a quarter-mile from them, selling puppies from breeders that Petland cannot confirm are reputable. I hope local animal lovers will turn to the shelters for their next pet, and boycott Petland in protest.
-- Jennifer Kent, North Side
Editor's note: The Caplans tell City Paper that they acquire puppies from both Hunte and local breeders.