Thursday, May 12, 2005

Animal rights group targets shop for selling sick pets

Though not local still shows why one should never buy any animal from a "pet" store.

Animal rights group targets local shop for selling sick pets
Protesters say goal is to shut down business
By Charlie Weise
Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2005
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An Orlando pet store has been targeted by an animal rights group for allegedly selling sick and dying dogs to customers who complained that the animals either died within a few days or were slowly nursed back to health.

The Puppy Store, on the corner of East Colonial Drive and Bumby Avenue, is besieged by Protesters from the Orlando Animal Rights Alliance that claims the store owners sell ailing dogs after purchasing them from puppy mills out west. These mills run kennels that raise dogs in cramped, crude and filthy conditions. The conditions often resemble factories and the animals are treated like machinery.

The store owners, Barbara and Donald Glatz, could not be reached for comment.

"The store obtains puppies with false medical records in order to bring them over state lines," said Sarah Miller, the president and founder of the OARA. "Mothers and their litters often suffer from malnutrition, exposure and a lack of adequate veterinary care. Female dogs are bred twice a year and are usually destroyed when they are no longer able to produce puppies."

An array of OARA members set up shop on the sidewalk in front of the Puppy Store every Saturday with hopes of deterring prospective buyers, Miller said. The throngs are banned from protesting in the parking lot and their cars towed if they park close to the store.

They sport protest signs and pamphlets as they wave and holler at passers-by. Some signs alert drivers of passing cars to honk if they love animals. It's a request that is frequently answered.

The Protesters want any prospective buyer to speak with them before entering the store. Some members hold up signs urging potential buyers to adopt from shelters instead.

"They know we're out here," said protest coordinator Heather Carpenter. She is one of the core members who shows up every week and could be found holding a sign that says, "Ask me where to adopt."

"We refer them to shelters. You can get a puppy there without spending $2,000," she said.

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