MANATEE COUNTY (WFLA) – A Humane Society of the United States investigator traveled across the Midwest in July, visiting dozens of breeders licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture. The Humane Society recently released new infiltration images from this investigation showing conditions at breeding sites.
The Humane Society has fought to improve the lives of dogs raised in large-scale breeding sites. 8 On your side spoke with the principal director of the current campaign.
“Pet store sellers always have a pitch that tries to portray puppies as coming from big places, but what our secret investigation revealed is that the cute puppy in the display case has a mother in a sterile cage,” he said. said John Goodwin. âWe found a supplier who sold to a local Petland store that had dogs in sterile cages. There was one going around in circles over and over again because that was the only activity he could engage in – he had gone completely cage mad. It’s reality.
Organization officials say the footage exposes the conditions of dogs at Midwestern breeders and add that the dogs are then sold across the country. The Humane Society claims at least 18 Florida pet stores purchased from breeders who were part of the investigation, including one in Manatee County.
The Petland store on West 53rd Avenue in Bradenton was cited in the report, but the store says it only buys from breeders who raise “quality pets.” The Bradenton store, in particular, has been at the center of 8 On Your Side stories in the past.
In 2017, Patricia Price from St. Petersburg told 8 On Your Side that Petland in Bradenton sold her a sick Shih Tzu. Price complained that the puppy was having seizures.
âDrooling, lying there, barely breathing,â Price described the symptoms.
Brunela Ronda had similar complaints in early 2019. She told us that her puppy Blue had a runny nose, a constant cough and was lethargic. Almost two years later, Ronda tells 8 On Your Side that her pup is still struggling with constant issues.
âShe had pneumonia for three months. It took him three months to heal. Thanks to her vet, they worked really hard to get her to where she is now, âsaid Ronda.
8 On Your Side contacted the Bradenton pet store for comment on Tuesday. The local franchise store is independently owned and operated.
Here is the statement we received in full:
âAt Petland, the health and well-being of all of our pets is our number one priority. We work closely with and follow the guidelines of respected and professional animal care personnel, such as veterinarians and local, state and federal animal agencies, who frequent all of our stores and inspect our operations.
This continues to be a tired ploy every November on the part of HSUS and is sadly expected as they attempt to meet their year-end fundraising goals. Although they report having visited these breeders, most breeders do not allow anyone other than USDA inspectors, AKC, state regulators, and those who promote best practices on their property. HSUS visits and inspections appear to have taken place outside of property lines, as they have done in the past.
The Petland store in Bradenton, Florida is an independent franchise store. Owners actively visit breeders and buy from breeders who go above USDA minimum standards. In the state of Missouri, there are additional state standards that are more stringent than the USDA. The store bought only three puppies from the Missouri breeder that the HSUS claims to have “investigated”, but stopped buying them in May.
Petland has continued their attempts to have a constructive dialogue with HSUS and urged them to contact us directly if they have any concerns or questions and, rather than engaging in our open offer for productive discussion, they continue to orchestrating exaggerated public âGotchasâ. Either way, we take any allegation seriously and will investigate accordingly. “
âWe encourage shoppers to never buy a puppy from a pet store. Avoid buying puppies from pet stores, adopt them from a shelter or shelter, or look for a responsible breeder who is proud to show you the mother dog and where she lives, âGoodwin recommended.