ROGERS, Ark. (KFTA) — A pet store coming to Rogers is embroiled in controversy over its treatment of animals.
Petland, which has a corporate office in Joplin, is set to open at Pinnacle Hills Promenade in Rogers. A 2009 U.S. Humane Society report revealed that nearly every Petland store in the country bought from breeders who worked with puppy mills. The report claimed some continued to do so.
“If someone does have knowledge of this company and still thinks it’s okay [that its moving to Rogers,] I think they should really question themselves,” said Desiree Green, the primary tech for the Animal Clinic of Rogers.
Green said Petland should be abhorred for its animal payment plans, which put buyers at a disadvantage.
“I feel like there will be people who go out there thinking they’re getting a good, healthy breed for the amount they’re paying, but in reality they’re not healthy,” Green said.
In a statement sent to KNWA on Monday, Petland owners rebuffed criticisms:
“At Petland, our mission is to match the right pet with the right family and meet the needs of both. It’s about finding that perfect pet and feeling a human-animal bond. Sometimes that doesn’t happen in our stores and the families best option could be adopting from a local shelter or rescue. Some people may want a specific puppy or a purebred with specific traits.
If they choose to visit a rescue, shelter or go straight to a breeder we will help with any training, advice on care and supplies to properly take care of the pet. If they choose to get their next pet from us, we will always make sure we have the healthiest available.
There are poor operators in every area of every type of business and we want to reassure anyone who has doubts in Petland Rogers that we are committed to only working with the best, most caring animal breeders. We do not condone sub-standard breeders in any way shape or form. So, in this particular area of concern we are all on the same page and in complete agreement! Thank you for having similar concerns as we do!
We spend countless hours visiting breeders to make sure we know the conditions of moms and dad’s living environments, and to ensure proper socialization, exercise, nutrition, and veterinary care. Additionally, many of our breeders are inspected by the American Kennel Club and other credible registries. Without a doubt we will have the healthiest happiest puppies possible. We are regulated under the Arkansas Department of Health. Our dog breeders, where required, are licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and State Department of Health agency’s. We expect our breeders to go above and beyond the Animal Welfare Act and the USDA requirements. Sub-standard places are not licensed, inspected or regulated so purchasing from a poor breeder will never be a consideration for us.
It’s very important to us that all animals are treated with love and respect, so socialization is something we pay close attention to since you can’t see it on a report. Doing these things limits the number of breeders we are willing to work but that’s okay. We only want the best.
We invite you to come to our store once we open. We will gladly give you a tour. We have full time puppy care technicians whose only job is to care for the puppies under the direction of our veterinarian while waiting their forever family. Please know we will Always visit our breeders and hold them to the highest standard. There is nothing more important than the health and happiness of all of our pets.
Below is a link to an amazing program we offer to teachers in the NWA area honoring grants to classrooms that would like to have a small animal or reptile. It’s a very fulfilling experience for both the teacher and the student to be able to learn more about the animal with hands on experience. (https://www.petland.com/community/pets-in-the-classroom.htm)
Lastly, we would love to work with local animal lovers to ensure shelter/rescue animals are adopted and find good homes themselves. We would also like to help educate the community on responsible pet ownership and how to make sure we do our part to minimize lost pets and populations in shelters. It’s nice to have other likeminded animal lovers to be able to make sure the local community of Rogers and surrounding areas have a good quality place to choose their forever friends from!
Thank you NWA! Team Petland Rogers .”
Rogers Mayor Greg Hines also released a statement Monday:
“I understand the concern of the proliferation and conditions of ‘puppy mills’, and share those concerns. However, neither I nor my office have any statutory authority to regulate a pet store that has received and obtained the appropriate licenses. The Arkansas Department of Health regulates the sale of animals and has issued Petland a permit, and the store also meets the zoning requirements for its location. The City also has two ordinances regulating domestic animal sales (Sec.6-8, 6-103) and our Animal Services Department has maintained a 100 percent live release rate due to innovative practices and hard work. While there are bad actors in any business, the vitality of a company rests on the consumers and our free enterprise economy. This helps ensure that any business locating here will elevate to the standards we’ve come to expect in Rogers.”