An Open Letter to Mayor Nenshi et al.

After motivating myself with my most recent post, Preventing Puppy Mills, I have sent the following letter to all addressed.  I encourage any like-minded individuals to sign and send a copy of this – or a similar – letter themselves.  All the contact information you need is below.  Let’s make a change!

 

October 19, 2010

Mr. Naheed Nenshi
Office of the Mayor
The City of Calgary
P.O. Box 2100, Station
Calgary, Alberta   T2P 2M5Via E-mail: themayor@calgary.ca
Via Facsimile: 403-268-8130   
 
Aldermanic Offices (8001)
The City of Calgary
P.O. Box 2100, Station M
Calgary, Alberta   T2P 2M5
V
ia Facsimile: 403-268-8091 and
403-268-3823

 

Dear Sirs/Mesdames,

Congratulations to all for your recent election wins!  And congratulations on making this the most exciting civic election Calgary has seen in recent memory.

I know you’re all going to be very busy, adjusting to working together as a team, and tackling issues like the budget, Enmax, and the airport tunnel.  But once the dust settles and you’ve found your groove, I have a request.

As you may or may not know, this month Richmond, B.C. became the first Canadian city to agree to ban the sale of dogs and puppies in pet stores.  Their by-law is expected to be finally adopted in November and to take effect on April 30, 2011.

I would like Calgary to follow suit. 

I am requesting that our new city council work together on a by-law to prevent the sale of companion animals (dogs and cats) in pet stores.  This is a slight expansion on Richmond’s by-law, since I am proposing Calgary ban the sale of all companion animals in pet stores, not just dogs.

Calgary is a very progressive city when it comes to its By-Law and Animals Services, and we are held as an example world-wide on how we deal with our animal laws.  As our city’s population grows, the number of “aggressive dog incidents” is on the decline, and it is no coincidence; we hold owners responsible for their pets’ actions.  We don’t discriminate on size or breed, and our city is also a leader in pet licensing, with estimates stating over 90% of pet dogs in our city our licensed.

A by-law preventing the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores can only add to our résumé.

Preventing the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores does two things:

1.  It eliminates a medium through which puppy mills sell their dogs and “kitten factories” sell their kittens; and

2.  It prevents the impulse purchase of pets. 

Point (1) should be obvious.  Puppy mills and “kitten factories” are high volume breeders who have little to no regard to the mental and physical well being of both their “breeding stock” animals and the offspring they sell.  The animals are bred in sub-standard and inhumane conditions – often in dirty, cramped kennels, literally living in their own feces.  They experience zero socialisation with other animals or human beings, and are malnourished and over-bred.  There is no concern for hereditary health conditions or inbreeding; the goal is to produce and sell as many puppies and kittens as possible.  Look it up – the horrors will make your stomach churn.  These puppies and kittens are then taken from their parents well before the recommended 8-10 week age, resulting in inevitable behaviour issues, just so that they are young and cute for the pet store window.  The squalid conditions they are born in and the disregard for proper breeding standards often results in serious undiagnosed and hereditary medical health problems.  And then, once owners are faced with these unexpected problems, these animals usually end up in shelters.

This leads us to point (2), preventing impulse pet purchases, which will help reduce the population of rescue animals.  Pet owners who did not properly think through their purchase and what they were getting into are a large supplier of rescue dogs in the first instance. 

In addition, not allowing pet stores to sell companion animals will allow rescue organizations and reputable breeders to fill the niche.  Shelter adoptions will increase, and as a result euthanasia will decrease.  Albuquerque, New Mexico has noticed a shelter adoption increase of 23% and euthanasia decrease of 35% since enacting their ban in 2006.

No, bans like the proposed will not completely solve the problem, since the internet is still a popular tool used by puppy mills and the like, but it does remove one medium of sale while also creating public awareness.

And if we look to Richmond, B.C. as an example (and the several American cities with similar bans in place), such a by-law is generally met with widespread public support.  Granted, a couple of pet stores will undoubtedly voice their opposition, but Richmond’s Mayor Brodie said it best: “It seems to be acknowledged by all the parties that there is a problem with so-called puppy mills, that sell dogs in very high volumes and that are subjected to inhumane treatment.  So it’s a question of how do we deal with that. At the local level, there are only a few levers at our disposal, and we want to do what we can.”

I would like Calgary to do what it can.

For this, I would like to provide you with the section of Albuquerque’s Code of Ordinances on this issue as an example (Ch. 9, Article 2):

§ 9-2-4-4   SALE OR GIFT OF AN ANIMAL.

(A) Public Property.  No Person shall display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise dispose of an Animal upon a street, sidewalk, public park, public right-of-way or other public property.  Adoption events approved by the Mayor, or any adoption events held by a Rescue Group or Rescue individual are exempt.

(B) Commercial Property.  No Person shall display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise dispose of any Animal upon commercial property including parking lots, with or without the property owner’s permission.  [Permit] Holders are limited to the property the Permit was issued for.  Adoption events approved by the Mayor are exempt.

(C) Residential Property.  No Person shall display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away, or otherwise dispose of any Companion Animal puppies or kittens upon residential property without a Litter Permit.

(D) Sales Incentives.  No Person shall offer a live Animal as an incentive to purchase merchandise or as a premium, prize, award, or novelty.

(E) Advertising.  No Person shall advertise puppies or kittens for sale in any local periodical without a valid Litter Permit number conspicuously listed in the advertisement.   No Person shall advertise any Animal for sale in the City of Albuquerque using any roadside signs, flyers, handbills or billboards.

With this in mind, I request council consider a similar addition to Calgary’s by-laws.

I thank you very much for your time.

Yours truly,

Jen _________
Voter; Ward ___ Resident

 

Copies To:
Dale Hodges, Ward 1 Alderman, dalehodges@telus.net

Gord Lowe, Ward 2 Alderman, gord.lowe@calgary.ca; gordlowe@gordlowe.org

Jim Stevenson, Ward 3 Alderman, ward03@calgary.ca
Gael Macleod, Ward 4 Alderman, ward04@calgary.ca  
Ray Jones, Ward 5 Alderman, aldjones@telus.net
Richard Pootmans, Ward 6 Alderman, ward06@calgary.ca, richardp@richard4ward6.com
Druh Farrell, Ward 7 Alderman, ward07@calgary.ca
John Mar, Ward 8 Alderman, ward08@calgary.ca
Gian-Carlo Carra, Ward 9 Alderman, ward09@calgary.ca
Andre Chabot, Ward 10 Alderman, ward10@calgary.ca
Brian Pincott, Ward 11 Alderman, ward11@calgary.ca
Shane A. Keating, Ward 12 Alderman, ward12@calgary.ca, shane@shanekeating.ca
Diane Colley-Urquhart, Ward 13 Alderman, ward13@calgary.cadcolley@calgary.ca

Pe
ter Demong, Ward 14 Alderman, ward14@calgary.ca

City Clerk’s Office, cityclerk@calgary.ca

City of Calgary, Animal & By-Law Services, via facsimile: 403-268-4927

 Calgary Humane Society, humane.education@calgaryhumane.ca

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About ThatJenK
Writing from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 90% pictures of my dogs; 10% miscellaneous opinions nobody asked for.

28 Responses to An Open Letter to Mayor Nenshi et al.

  1. Kendra says:

    This is fantastic! Also inspiring. Thanks!

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  3. Shawna says:

    Hi! Thanks again for helping us to take action. I sent my letter on the weekend and received one response thus far from Mr. Chandler (Ward 14), he writes: I am not sure if you are familiar with Petland, but, as a dog lover myself I am impressed with their policies. See http://www.petland.ca/AboutPetland/HealthyPets.htm

    Jen, do you have any information on Petland’s policy claim? I am curious to know what, if anything, you can say in response to this. I’m going to try and do some digging too.

    Thanks!
    Shawna

    • thatjenk says:

      Hi Shawna,

      A reply! Impressive. I have yet to receive one (except a stock reply from Ward 3’s assistant).

      I read Petland’s policy. I have a number of immediate thoughts:

      1. Corporate spin. Nice. They’re there to make a profit, not look out for animal welfare. (Sad, but true. Also look at the garbage pet food they sell.)

      2. “Professional breeders”? Any quality breeder would NOT sell their pets in a pet store to just anyone. Good breeders have a decent application process for potential buyers.

      3. “Hobby breeders”? Does this refer to “oopsie” litters or uneducated back-yard breeders? Either way, I don’t want a puppy from them, since the attention to care and health will not be there. They also admit to selling local “accidental litters”. You may as well buy off Kijiji, then. They also do not address the selling of pets before the recommended 8-10 week age.

      4. Petland is a franchise, so they’re individually owned. The corporate policy on the national website can’t say much about the individual stores.

      5. Petland in the US has been found to be very guilty of puppy mill sales, based on an 8 month study done by Humane Society of the United States in 2008. The American Petland website made the exact same promises and guarantees as the Canadian does. Study found here: http://www.humanesociety.org/news/press_releases/2008/11/hsus_investigation_ties_petland_to_puppy_mills_112008.html

      While the Humane Society of Canada (HSC) has not done a similar investigation into Canadian Petlands (as far as I know), the HSC still strongly recommends against buying pets from pet stores for the same reasons.

      6. Petland is not the only business in Calgary selling pets.

      7. While I’m sure their kennels are more than adequate and their animals are checked by vets, they still encourage impulse pet purchases, which often get surrendered and are a large cause of rescue animals.

      I appreciate that Mr. Chandler is a “dog lover”, but I think he should grace the issue with a bit more consideration before dismissing it.

  4. Shawna says:

    Thanks Jen! You are excellent with words, so I’m going to try and respond to Mr. Chandler with some of what you have written. Would you be okay with that?

    I, too, agree that it’s just corporate spin and I don’t believe it for one second. And I think point #5 is very telling too, even if the study only covers the US.

    I think the reason I got a response is because I actually mentioned Petland in my letter. I recently saw an ad on TV for them promoting the sale of pets (dogs, in particular), which is conveniently being played in time for Christmas.

    • thatjenk says:

      Shawna,

      Feel free to use any/all of what I’ve mentioned. And I’m interested to hear any further replies from Mr. Chandler, as well.

      While puppy mills are a huge part of the issue, allowing just anyone to purchase a cat, dog, or any companion animal on a whim is also a big problem. Petland – and others – are easily guilty of that.

      Also, there are plenty of pet stores out there that do just fine without selling actual pets (Unleashed, Pet Planet, Tail Blazers, etc).

  5. Shawna says:

    Great – thanks Jen!
    And yeah, buying on a whim or as a gift was precisely the point I was trying to make when I mentioned the commercial. I’ll try to reiterate that point again when I reply to Mr. Chandler.
    Thanks again — much appreciated!

  6. Shawna says:

    Hi Jen, I responded to Mr. Chandler on Monday, but I have yet to see a response. Thanks again for your help! I borrowed from what you wrote and added my own comments too.

  7. BowDog says:

    I would get some feedback/quotes from local rescue organizations. Having been involved in rescue for only a few years, I’ve talked to both bylaw officers and rescue volunteers who have been called in to collect animals from hoarding/abusive/mill situations where the owners says, “leave that litter, they have a home, Petland will be buying them from me”.

    This is not a hobby litter, but someone willing to sell the animals for more than the city would seize them for without thought or consideration to the conditions or homes they might be sold into.

    Having spoken to some previous employees of the business in question, it becomes obvious that many of the puppies/kittens brought in for re-sale are not in good health, and often parvo virus is spread throughout the stores kennels as they do “vet days” where every dog from every store is brought in to one store for “vet checks” or clearances for sale.

    The lights in the kennels are left on 10+ hours a day, not a natural or healthy environment for the puppies, they are not provided outside pen time, they are prevented from establishing separate areas to defecate in, eat in and sleep in by being kept in the same 2’x3′ crate with their littermates 24/7 and they are exposed to the whim of the general public bashing on their windows, walking unbalanced dogs in front of their cages, or requesting that they be brought out to be played with.

    Maybe Mr. Chandler should spend more time in the store observing and perhaps seeing the number of dogs surrendered to rescue organizations after families have failed to successfully raise the dog or consider the amount of work that comes with raising a dog, something the staff in these stores overlook when pushing the sale.

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  9. This conversation always sparks so much passionate debate, which is always good to initiate change! I agree that we need to eliminate substandard facilities where breeding occurs, however, banning the sale of animals at stores will not solve the problem. It is the EASY way out and will not obliterate any of the substandard facilities out there! Education of the public on what to look for is the key.
    As the Training Coordinator for our 18 company stores at Petland Canada, I too have very strong feelings on this topic.
    I proudly say that I work with a company who understands the importance of preventing the momentum of so called “puppy mills” and pet overpopulation in general.
    For us, as a company, the facility and the care of the animals are foremost in our mind. In our company, we have a kennel department team whose full time job is to go out and inspect (both announced and unannounced) each and every breeder that we work with. Things that our team are looking for include facility sanitation, animal socialization, vaccinations, veterinary care, and many other points (there are more than fifty points of inspection!!!). We have very strict standards for accepting breeders into our program. In the event that we come across a “Substandard Facility”, which doesn’t meet our standards or the minimum standards set forth by the SPCA, they are reported to the correct agencies for corrective action. Our stores are not the problem; rather we are part of the solution. If that is taken away, who will be out there, inspecting these facilities and looking out for the well being of the animals?
    Anytime one of our pets ends up in an animal shelter and we know, we take care of the situation. We retrieve that animal from the shelter and bring it back to our stores to re-home the animal. We are passionate about NEVER being any kind of burden to our local shelters!! As part of the process of getting an animal from Petland, every customer enters into our “Pets For a Lifetime” agreement which states that if their circumstances change and they are no longer able to care for their animal that they will return it to our stores so we can assist them in finding a new home for their pet. We offer either spay/neuter incentives or the altering surgeries are already performed.
    Banning the sale of pets in stores will not prevent or eliminate any of these substandard facilities.
    I work for a company which is passionate about doing the right thing! We believe in educating our guests through our Professional Pet Counsellors. We do this through an intensive training program for the staff, beginning on their first day of employment with us. Their training continues throughout their careers with us at Petland University where every team member learns about every type of animal that we carry, along with its specific care requirements. This is a company which invests almost painful proportions of its bottom line to their dedication to ensuring the sourcing of happy healthy pets, the education of its staff and guests in the proper care of pets to help them understand the responsibility of owning a pet. We proudly spend more on operations in our stores than any of our competitors. We do this because it is the right thing to do to ensure that we have happy, healthy, well socialized pets to offer to our customers (which incidentally come with a guarantee and warranty-could we do that if we didn’t know the source, health and history of where it came from?). Every member of the Petland Team in the company is here for the well being of the pets! We love animals, all animals! Our mission is to match the right guest with the right pet and meet the needs of both. And for those who already own pets, we are dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and enjoyment of the human-animal bond!
    I have worked proudly with Petland for nearly 7 years. If I didn’t believe in what they stood for, or did as a company, I would not be here. If you take away our company’s ability to sell animals, you take away our ability to impact the industry in a positive way. You take away our ability to help improve breeder practices and eliminate substandard facilities!
    Sincerely,
    Sherry Wasdal, CFS, CCS, CSAS, CRS
    Training Coordinator
    Petland Company Stores Division
    403.723.5210

  10. Trish says:

    … “but Richmond’s Mayor Brodie said it best: “It seems to be acknowledged by all the parties that there is a problem with so-called puppy mills, that sell dogs in very high volumes and that are subjected to inhumane treatment. So it’s a question of how do we deal with that. At the local level, there are only a few levers at our disposal, and we want to do what we can.”

    So, you agree then that the puppymills and “kitten factories” should be held accountable. Why do you think that banning sales at a pet store level is going to help the cause? You should concentrate your efforts and work to regulate the puppymills and backyard breeders, not the pet stores that actually do the right thing and adhere to the local Humane Society standards.

    And please don’t think for a second that the breeders you are recommending (be it CKC kennels, or “approved professional breeders”) aren’t making a profit on their animals. They have a few litters a year with very little overhead and a high turnover. When they are charging upwards of $2000+ for some breeds, they are making almost pure profit. Most breeders do not offer any kind of health warranty. Many are supplied free dog/cat food by dog and cat food companies. They do not have a staff of people looking after their puppies all day, everyday therefore avoiding a huge cost. I myself spent $1500 on a rare breed cat only to finally get him and find out he has a congenital heart defect, to which the breeder ignored my repeated requests for answers on the parents of my cat. This is a well known breeder with “champion” cats. At the end of the day, any breeder can fill out the paperwork, pay a fee, and become a “certified breeder”.

    If you still don’t believe that Petland is doing the right thing, why not focus your passion to have Petland regulated? Petland already has the Humane Society come in and do random inspections. Petland already does breeder inspections. Petland works hard to ensure all animals are well socialized and get plenty of free play time every single day. Petland prides itself with their “open pen” concept, meaning the animals are there for people to play with, touch, and train. Petland works with vet clinics all over the city to ensure that our animals receive the best vet care while in our care.

    Banning the sale of puppies will simply drive people to internet sales, and it’s been well proven that the internet can be a dangerous place to do business. The health and welfare of the animals that will end up being sold online are just as important as the health and welfare of the animals in the pet store. I would like to know what you will do to regulate internet sales? Is the Humane Society expected to inspect the hundreds of supposed breeders homes?

    Petland and its employees are passionate about animals. Please understand that both sides of this issue want the same result – happy, healthy animals.

  11. Martina Frensemeier says:

    Hi all,
    I have read with great interest all of the comments that have been put forth. I would like to address a few of them. My name is Martina Frensemeier and I am the Warranties Manager for Petland companion animals in 18 stores. I am a veterinary technician as well as being a behaviour consultant for dogs, cats and small animals. I have been with Petland for over 11 years. I am an animal lover and originally took a kennel technician job at Petland, as I too believed that no good comes from selling animals and that all pet stores are only interested in the bottom line. I thought that if I worked for Petland I could expose this. The reason I have been with them now for over eleven years, is that I found them to be very conscientious when it comes to researching their breeders as well as the care they provide for their animals while in the store. As a kennel technician I was able to provide hands on care for all of the animals in my store. As the Warranty manager I now provide aftercare for all of our animals including any care and behaviour questions that someone might have. I am also available to our customers 24 hours a day.

    All Petland animals leave the store with a Petland warranty. I will comment mostly on the puppy/dog warranty as that seems to be the main issue here. Our puppies leave the store with a minimum of a one year warranty which covers the puppy for $1000 for anything considered pre-existing (something the puppy may have had when it left the store), congenital (born with) and hereditary (passed down from the parents). Pre-existing is something that can happen in any kennel situation, congenital is something that just can’t be accounted for (it is the luck of the draw, just as any child can be born with a congenital problem) and hereditary is checked with great care by our Companion Animal purchasers. Because of the warranty we cannot afford to offer substandard animals; it would put the company out of business in no time flat, so it is because of the care that our purchasers put into selecting our animals that Petland has been a business leader in the community for many years and hopefully, will be for many more years to come.

    As for the “contributing to the overpopulation of shelters”, Petland will always take its animals back and we find new homes for them. We have a very rigorous surrender program in place for all of our animals to ensure that this does not happen to them again. If one of our animals finds themselves at the Calgary Humane Society, they call me right away so that we can collect our surrender and find a new and loving home. We also provide a spay and neuter incentive for all Calgary animals and in many of our satellite stores offer a free spay or neuter with the adoption of a Petland puppy or kitten. Should one of our surrenders come back over the age of 6 months and is still intact, we will have them spayed or neutered before adopting them out. Should a family decide to surrender their elderly family member, I make sure that we do geriatric panels and dentistry if needed before being put up for adoption and all surrenders go home with the same warranty that we provide for our puppies and kittens.

    I could go on and on about the things that Petland does to ensure that our animals come from reputable breeders, however I think that it would be best that if anyone has any more questions about our animals and the care and aftercare we provide, that you may contact me at 403-723-3801 and I will answer any further questions or concerns that you may have.

    Sincerely,
    Martina
    M. Frensemeier CD, AHT
    Companion Animal Warranties
    Manager & Behaviour Consultant
    Petland Company Store Division
    (403) 723-3801 (Calgary)
    http://www.petland.ca

  12. “At Petland, we are dedicated to matching the right Pet with the right Guest and meeting for the needs of both. To our guests that already own pets, we are dedicated to enhancing their knowledge and enjoyment of the human-animal bond.”
    I am the Director of Animal Care and Kennel Operations for 18 Petland Superstores across western Canada. Seven of my stores are in Calgary. I purchase the dogs for these stores that some say have puppies that come from “puppy mills”.
    I have been with Petland since 1993 and have watched our company grow from a few small stores to the great company it is today. I have been involved in every part of the animal related aspects of our stores for over 15 years. We have our own set of buying standards that we created (with the help or our veterinarians) when we realised that there were no set guidelines for us to follow.
    We have great breeders that ASK the humane societies in their jurisdiction to come and inspect them. Every year they spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on routine veterinary care for their animals. They agonize over what the best food is to feed. They are always looking for ways to improve if and when improvement is needed. They comply with changes that we may require of them with regards to vaccination timing or deworming types (based on vet recommendations). They are held accountable if they sell us a puppy that ends up with a warranty related problem.
    There is a common (and legitimate) concern about “impulse” purchasing. I’m assuming that these people have never tried to adopt a puppy or any animal from a Petland in the past. Anyone wanting a pet gets taught about an animals’ four basic needs (behavioral, environmental, nutritional, maintenance). All adoptions must be approved by a manager, and if there are concerns about the animal not being the right fit for the guest, then the sale can be declined.
    Is there more or less room for impulse buying in one of our stores vs. calling a “breeder” on Kijiji and getting a puppy out of the back of their truck in a parking lot?
    Another concern that seems to be prevalent here is the seeming inablilty of anyone other that the breeder being capable of finding their puppies a home. I would respectfully disagree. We care passionately for our animals-while they are in our stores, while they are being adopted, and after they have left our stores. Good breeders will be there for you for the life of your pet- so will we. Good breeders will take your dog back if you can’t keep it anymore. So will we. Good breeders will help you with behavior questions and concerns. So will we. And I have yet to find any breeder that has a warranty as comprehensive ours.
    As a society we have recognized that there is a pet overpopulation problem and that something needs to be done about it. It is now time for us to all work together to DO something about it.
    I’m finding I must restrain myself from typing a novel, as my passion for our animals is very strong. Should anyone wish to contact me to have a reasonable discussion about who we are and what we do, I would be happy to participate.

    Sincerely to all,

    Jennifer Brown, B.A.
    Director of Animal Care and Kennel Operations
    Petland Company Stores
    jbrown@petlandsuperstores.com

  13. Janine Saurette says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I am the Kennel Operations Supervisor for 12 of our Petland Superstores. I know our puppies come from reputable breeders, as some of my colleagues have spoken in detail about above. I would like to take a moment to talk about some of our standards of care once our puppies arrive at our stores.
    Each puppy is inspected by our lead kennel technician upon arrival. This inspection includes checking the puppy’s general condition, their socialization, their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, coat condition, cleanliness, gait, fontanel, and weight. Puppies who do not meet every point of this inspection are not accepted.
    All puppies that pass our inspection are immediately put onto a daily care regime which is carefully documented. Each of our puppies has a health record, birth certificate, and daily observation chart. Puppies are vaccinated one week prior to coming into the store, and are done every 3 weeks while they are at Petland. Puppies are also dewormed prior to arrival, and then dewormed again upon arrival and every month after while they are at Petland. Puppies are weighed daily, and have their temperatures taken. Each puppy receives a high calorie supplement daily to stimulate appetite and prevent hypoglycemia. The kennel tech does daily observations of the pups, checking hydration levels, noting bowel movements, trimming nails, grooming, and just giving the pups lots of love and attention.
    Within 2 days of arrival, all puppies are checked over by a Veterinarian. After passing this 12 point body systems health exam, puppies are ready to go home. Until they do, each puppy kennel comes out to play in our puppy playpen or puppy corral several times a day. All guests are welcome to play with the pups, and it is great exercise and socialization for the puppies. Each kennel room has a schedule set up to ensure this is happening. Also, all of the stores have an egg timer that is set to go off every 15 minutes to do “poop runs” to ensure that the kennel messes are cleaned up in a timely fashion.
    Our kennels are designed with the puppy’s well being in mind. Each kennel has a bed, toys, a water bottle-to make sure the water supply is clean and doesn’t spill, and having grates in the kennel help ensure the puppies are not walking around in their urine or feces. These kennels were designed with the help of veterinarians and humane societies, who agree this is the cleanest environment we can keep the puppies in.
    Both Calgary Kennel Operations Supervisors visit each store at least once a week, often more. We are there to support the kennel techs, do extensive training with the kennel techs, and do monthly evaluations of each kennel room. We are constantly checking to ensure that all of our animals needs are being met- behavioural, environmental, nutritional, and maintenance. This is very important to us, and the result is that we have healthy, happy pets!
    Besides the daily socialization the pups receive in the store from our guests and staff alike, our puppies (among lots of other animals) get to go to birthday parties. A trained staff member will bring a great mix of animals to a child’s birthday party where they get to play with our animal’s one on one in a safe environment. It is educational, and fun for everyone involved.
    I am very passionate about animals, and I am excited about everything we provide for them. I’ve been with Petland for over 13 years now, and I would not be here if I thought the care of the animals was being neglected. I am proud of what I do, and proud of what we do as a company. I too am saddened by facilities that provide substandard care for animals. We have a common goal, and my hope is that we can work together to get there.
    Janine Saurette
    Kennel Operations Supervisor
    Petland Company Stores
    jsaurette@petlandsuperstores.com

  14. Margaret Schmidtke says:

    Hello,

    My name is Margaret Schmidtke. I have enjoyed a career with Petland Canada for 23 years. Previous to that, I worked for another full line pet store for 3 years. I have had 26 years being involved in shaping the pet industry to what it is today; Petland Canada has a lot to be proud of.

    Petland Canada has 25 Petland locations company owned as well as independently owned and operated across Western Canada. We are an independant Canadian franchise that has been providing quality pets and supplies to Canadians for over 30 years.

    I appreciate that everyone who is responding to your ‘blog’ are very caring individuals. The passion relayed for animals is duplicated by the hundreds of dedicated staff that work for Petland Canada, including myself.

    There are petitions circulating on different websites that are requesting that petstores do not sell puppies. I subscribe to the HSUS email newsletters and frequently visit their site. I am aware of the “Puppy Friendly Pledge” form, just as I am fully aware of the HSUS agenda, which is eerily similar to PETA’s (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) which is the ABOLITION of owning any domesticated animal of ANY kind.

    In JenK’s letter to the mayor she stated:

    “I am requesting that our new city council work together on a by-law to prevent the sale of companion animals (dogs and cats) in pet stores. This is a slight expansion on Richmond’s by-law, since I AM PROPOSING Calgary ban the sale of ALL companion animals in pet stores, not just dogs…”

    Jen K…this is the agenda of PETA. For your readers that are not up to date with what you have written, let me make this perfectly clear. The agenda of Animal Rights activists such as the HSUS and PETA, is to eradicate pet ownership. For those of you who live on farms, are horse lovers, cattle farmers,etc-this means YOUR rights to own ANY domesticated animal will be taken away.

    Jen K wrote:
    “Calgary is a very progressive city when it comes to its By-Law and Animals Services, and we are held as an example world-wide on how we deal with our animal laws”.

    We do indeed need to be progressive. This means FOLLOWING THE LEAD of Manitoba and having Provincial legislation put into place for licensing and regulations of ALL breeders and pet stores. Petland Canada has been heavily involved regarding this legislation up to and including the training of all regulatory bodies when inspecting any facility.

    Should you wish to speak without ignorance, I suggest you research the HSUS. I have provided a youtube news video, however there are a plethora of articles available to read about the HSUS. Copy and paste the link.

    The HSUS is not the organization you think they are. They are proficient at making up stories in order to receive donations to bankroll their agenda. The HSUS is a cunning organization that has a huge amount of money to market their agenda to the general public. They play on the heart strings of those of us who love animals, thereby getting money and support to fuel their no-pet philosophy from unsuspecting pet loving people such as ourselves.

    Regarding your comment:
    “…based on an 8 month study done by Humane Society of the United States in 2008..”. Through court action, the HSUS could not come up with any paperwork, no facts to back up their slanderous claims against Petland US. Unfortunately they already did the damage.

    This second link will give you the definitions of Animal Rights Activists (and their agendas) and Animal Welfare Movements (and their agendas). People need to know the difference. Copy and paste the link.

    Petland Canada has been, and continues to be, supporters of animal welfare.We are 100% behind irradiating puppy mills (substandard breeding facilities).We do not purchase or advocate any substandard breeding facility.

    We are absolutely in favour of the abolishment of substandard breeding facilties- not in the abolishment of pet ownership. Manitoba, not Richmond, has the right idea. Go to the source. Regulate and license.

    I would encourage everyone reading this to write their city counsellors and ask them to “Go Provincial”.

    Everyone has the right to own a pet. Our belief is that pets and people belong together. We believe in responsible pet ownership and are a strong advocate of education. We do not support organizations whose agendas involve manipulating people’s emotions (pieces of film spliced together, cut interviews and decietful video footage) in order to get great ratings and subsequently gross amounts of donations for their sponsers (HSUS). I would like to think that the general population in Calgary is intelligent enough to research their passionate beliefs and not speak through ignorance. Look through the outside veil to appreciate the gravity of Animal Rights Activists who speak through the guise of loving animals.

    As Jennifer Brown has said recently:
    We need to come together as a group and set standards for all aspects of the (companion) animal industry- and then govern the criteria that is put forth. As a retail supplier of animals, Petland would love to be able to say they only purchase from “licensed, inspected, government approved” breeders. Breeders should be required to register themselves and advertise said registry in any ads they have promoting their puppies to the public. Pet stores should be required to follow set standards and be subject to inspections by this governing body. Humane and rescue organizations should fall under their own set of standards (set forth by regulatory government bodies)as well”.

    My hope is that reason and intellect will prevail.

    Sincere Regards,
    Margaret

    Margaret Schmidtke
    Petland Canada Inc
    P:1-403-723-5217
    margaret@petland.ca

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  16. thatjenk says:

    Thanks to all for your comments, and I of course welcome more!

    You’ve all given me a lot to discuss, ponder, and research – hence the delay in my reply and follow up questions.

    But I have one now, and instead of adding to the length here, I’ve put it all in a new post I invite you all to check out. I look forward to your responses.

    https://backalleysoapbox.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/in-response-to-petland/

  17. Anonymous says:

    I worked at Petland for about a year several years ago and I fully support your letter. I want them to stop selling animals. They can take some overflow from the shelter and give those animals a home, but I want them to stop selling baby animals in their stores! And fish/reptiles. All of it. Just stop!

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