Undercover visits to Kansas Petland stores reveal misleading claims about puppy mill dogs A Humane World

Footage taken using a hidden camera at a Petland Wichita store shows a listless puppy who appeared to be sick and whose documentation indicated that he was not from a licensed and USDA inspected breeder, but from an “amateur” breeder from Ohio. HSUS

If you walk into any Petland store and ask to buy a puppy, chances are your salesperson will assure you that Petland puppies come only from high quality breeders who don’t keep their dogs in small crates, rank among the “top 5% of breeders” in the country and are inspected by at least one, possibly three, different agencies or entities. It’s also likely that everything you hear would be nonsense.

This has been our experience many times in our investigations of numerous Petland stores, most recently when we dispatched an undercover investigator with a hidden camera to two different Petland stores in Wichita, Kansas in July.

We’re exposing the results of the investigation – the “Petland scam” and the cruelty of the puppy mills these stores support – with television and social media ads in Wichita. We’re asking residents to urge their local council members to support a pet store ordinance that would end the sale of puppies in pet stores.

Sales staff at Petland in Wichita were quick to claim that their puppies were not from puppy mills. In Petland Wichita West, a salesperson told our investigator that breeders who provide puppies to the store are not puppy mills and are generally inspected by the store owner, the US Department of Agriculture, the State of Kansas and often by the American Kennel Club. . A salesperson at the other Petland Wichita store made similar claims.

“We only get them from USDA-certified breeders or professional hobby breeders,” the Petland Wichita West salesman told our undercover customer. “I’m actually the person who picks them up on Mondays now.”

He added that the dogs live “on ranches” and are not kept in cages. He added: “Our owner […] goes itself to meet all the breeders. But he previously said he was picking up the puppies in Missouri from a broker-like pickup location. It’s unclear if he or the owner visits all of their breeders’ properties, as many are out of state.

In fact, as we’ve shown in previous surveys, Petland Wichita purchased puppies from large-scale puppy mills where dozens, if not hundreds, of breeding dogs are kept in cramped wire cages. At least one of the two Wichita Petland stores even got puppies from Beauchamp’s Puppy World, a Missouri facility repeatedly cited by the state for poor conditions and sick dogs. Beauchamp’s Puppy World has appeared in five Horrible Hundred reports on problem puppy mills.

The seller from Petland Wichita West showed our buyer a visibly scared and listless mixed breed dog that sold for $1,800. Records filmed show the pup was not a recognized breed from the American Kennel Club (meaning it’s unlikely the AKC inspected the breeder), nor from a licensed breeder. USDA, nor from a Kansas-inspected breeder. The breeder, in fact, was listed as an Ohio “hobbyist” breeder, a designation increasingly used, it seems, for vendors who are likely unlicensed and uninspected.

When our investigator asked another staff member at the Petland Wichita West store and a salesperson at the Petland store on East Kellogg Street about puppy financing options, employees at both stores seemed puzzled about interest rates and plans. funding from Petland.

“This [Petland Wichita West] The employee told me that the store uses three companies for financing and that she only recommends the Petland credit card. She said one of the other companies may have APR [annual percentage rate] up to 194%, and said the Petland credit card is 29% APR,” our investigator documented in field notes. On the video, an employee said that some of the options “I personally don’t like”, stating that one charges an “insane” APR.

Confusing and exorbitant financing can hurt low-income buyers, who may be stuck with absurd financial payments for a puppy mill dog for years to come, making it even harder to buy pet food companionship and veterinary care. The inability to support a pet financially is one of the main reasons pets are abandoned at shelters. Per capita income in Wichita, Kansas is less than $30,000, well below the national average.

The fact that Petland has to resort to such sales and financing tactics is not surprising. The market for puppy mill puppies is shrinking as the public learns more about where pet store puppies come from and how they are often mistreated. That’s why five states and more than 430 localities have already passed laws to end the sale of puppies in pet stores. These laws allow dog lovers to choose from a variety of more humane sources, such as animal shelters, rescue groups, and home breeders. New York is set to become the sixth state to pass such a law, and based on what we just documented, Wichita should be the next city to do so.



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Jennifer R. Strohm