More horror stories of sick Petland puppies emerge

By on October 28, 2019 with 14 Comments

Imagine spending thousands of dollars for a puppy and seeing the delight in your children’s eyes as they cuddle their new family member, only to find yourself in a veterinary emergency room days later, with your puppy on an IV, struggling to live. Worse, imagine that beloved animal dying just over three weeks later.

This is the true story of a family in Florida, who bought a new puppy for more than $3,000 last month at a Petland store in the Orlando area. “Although the purchase was costly, it didn’t matter, our goal was to complete our family and to see our children’s reaction when [they met] the newest member of our family,” the mother explained in an email.

But the night he came home, their new puppy kept coughing and appeared depressed. The mother told us the family was up all night monitoring the puppy’s health. By Tuesday, the puppy had to be taken to the veterinarian, who informed the family that he had bronchitis and giardia. He was promptly put on treatment but continued to get worse and wasn’t eating or drinking. He began vomiting and his breathing was troubled. They took him back to the vet only to learn that he now had pneumonia. The family reached out to us while their puppy was still in the hospital, but soon after, he died because of his illnesses.

As the owner found out later, their puppy was not the only sick one at the store. The veterinarian informed her that they were treating other puppies from Petland who were also in quarantine because of a coronavirus infection. Her puppy also had to be treated for coronavirus, a disease that can easily be prevented in puppies with adequate vaccinations. “My kids are devastated, crying every minute. They don’t even want to go to school,” she said.

This story, as heartbreaking as it is, is not new or surprising to the staff of our Stop Puppy Mills team. In addition to the horror stories of sick and dead puppies and rabbits that have emerged at seven Petland stores we have investigated undercover since last year, we have heard from hundreds of Petland customers who have their own, similar horror stories to tell.

We also heard from many other buyers, including three who bought puppies from Petland stores in Summerville, South Carolina, Monroeville, Pennsylvania, and Frisco, Texas. All three puppies were found to be suffering from severe pneumonia, and the puppy bought at the Frisco store died of his illness.

The reason why there are so many problems with puppies bought at pet stores is because most of these businesses source animals from inhumane puppy mills, where dozens of dogs are crowded together and diseases spread like wildfire. Petland has a history of buying from mills, including dealers that have been cited for Animal Welfare Act violations, and instead of cleaning house, the chain has focused its resources on battling commonsense laws designed to end the sale of puppies in pet stores.

That’s why we are working hard to expose Petland’s history of selling sick puppies from questionable sources and to pass ordinances that prohibit the sales of puppies in pet stores. To date, we’ve helped pass 325 such ordinances, with 69 of them in Florida. Recently, ordinances were adopted in Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Breckenridge, Colorado; and Springfield, Illinois. Two states, California and Maryland, have also prohibited puppy mill sales in pet stores, and more are considering similar bills. We are looking forward to another successful legislative season in coming months, and to continue passing laws that crack down on puppy mill outlets where these laws are needed most.

The HSUS is laser focused on ending the abuses of puppy mills, and the pet stores who buy from them. If you purchased a sick puppy, please speak out. Our complaint form is online. The complaints we gather help us to see trends and collect data to support policy changes and legal action against those who cause immense and unnecessary animal suffering.

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Companion Animals, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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  1. Kris Modaff says:

    How can I get involved to stop the sale of puppies in stores in Wisconsin? Janesville, WI has a Petland store and also a pet store (Fury Babies). I believe Madison still has Animart that sells puppies. This has to stop! Where do I begin?

    • Kathy Bartkus says:

      Start at the local level. Get friends and like-minded people involved and present petitions to local government to outlaw live animal sales in stores. Then move on to state government. I believe there are major cities throughout the United States that have successfully stopped live animal sales in pet stores. Check Los Angeles — I think they were successful, but I’m not sure. Google reliable sources… good luck!

  2. Tammy says:

    This is not anything new. In 1994 we bought a puppy from Petland in Pittsburgh PA. When I took him for his first booster shots he literally died after the injection. I remember the vet looking at me and saying: “May I do what is necessary to save him?” Of course I said yes and he grabbed the puppy and ran from the room. Turned out he was deathly allergic to any form of vaccination. Fortunately he survived and we had him for 15 years. However, he was never able to receive any type of vaccination again. I had a letter from the vet that I had to use whenever he went anywhere or we applied for his license. I have owned 9 dogs since then….not from puppy mills and they have had no health issues like this.

  3. Barbara Robinson says:

    Pls shut this horrific place down
    This is devastating that all these precious babies r dying
    This sickens me🥵🥵🥵

  4. Sherryl says:

    Yes!! There is a female boxer I was going to purchase but instead I noticed she was running a fever and was way to small and skinny for her age, 3 months, I asked for the manager and immediately pleaded with him that this puppy was dangerously sick and needed vet attention ASAP. They left her at the store for another week (In the back quarantined) before the Vet finally took her back to his clinic, she’s been there almost 3 weeks. I’ve called Petland manager checking up on her constantly but haven’t heard any news in a week. I know there was a Dalmatian puppy in the cage in the back with her who was also very sick. Someone needs to do something about this store! And why “their” veterinarians aren’t blowing the whistle on the store. These Vet’s are outside sources with Thier own practices.

    **please look into this!!!!! I can provide the proof in paperwork, deposit given back and text messages back and forth from one of the managers at this Orlando Petland.

  5. Kathy N says:

    They opened a Petland recently here in Rogers, Arkansas. Many people were sharing and sharing articles here and tried to keep them from opening. They opened and people are buying puppies from them. Makes me so sad. I have heard this is the same owner of the Joplin, Missouri Petland.

  6. Dajaun Reddick says:

    Please stop the overbreeding of puppy mills. Don’t shop, Adopt from your local animal shelters! 😢

  7. Krystle sinton says:

    This has got too stop. How do these people sleep and live with themselves. One way or another they will be punish when they least expect it. My heart breaks for these dogs everyday. It’s a sad world we live in. It’s people that are our problems never animals. There are just too many of us.

  8. kathy says:

    exactly what happened to us! Bought a purebred Yorky from the Petland in Frisco Texas and the next day gave him medicine for a bad cough and ended up in the emergency room and then an overnight stay in the hospital, all costing us money out of pocket, But his seizures and trauma, he was brain damaged badly. had a very severe genetic defect called a Shunt. Was totally devastated.

  9. Luanne Polsley says:

    Why does petland b able to continue to sell puppys …makes me sick and heartbroken ..there was a issue with someone who brought 2 white labs ..they had seizures and would need the meds for the rest of their life …they returned them …sad tho ..they needed meds u couldn’t do that for them ..

  10. Janette Mejia says:

    They passed a law in Brandenton and Sarasota, Fl banning Petland Stores from selling dogs years ago, but they’re still selling them. Nothing we have tried to do has made them follow the court ruling. And now there is a Puppy mill in nearby North Port, Fl, where they probably get many of their dogs from. It’s just a horrendously cruel business and nowhere in Florida is there anything being done to stop the spread of Puppy stores. It just seems like no one cares where these dogs are coming from or how they’re being treated. People who buy dogs are either uninformed or just don’t care what they’re promoting. I wish there was more we could do besides protest these stores especially since people act like we are the bad guys, not these unethical retailers.

  11. Shirley says:

    I was in a Petland a week ago in Pittsburgh and I thought my heart was going to burst I was so upset, you don’t have to be a vet. to know that several of those poor puppies are sick and the cages their in are to small and it’s to hot in their cages. It’s not only the owner that is doing wrong what about the people working there? They stand there and lie right to your face about the dog and then flash a false document in your face, there are other jobs! Someone please do something!

  12. vanla ramoso says:

    Hi, I’m looking for my pup. This BLK TAN Yorkshire Terrier DOG Id: 2654544 was born on 1/20/2020 here at Petland #2680. I told them that I was gonna go pick up on Sunday morning for mother’s day. But when I was on the plane going back to Columbia, SC one of the worker have txt me stating that he went home. So I’m just wondering if he did went to a new owner I’m happy for him because he much a sweet boy. My family misses him so much! And I just want to make sure he went to a good home, it would make me so happy to know that! I was just 1 day to late to pick him up. I regret it so much and think of him everydays.
    Thank you so much!

  13. Sharon Trainor says:

    I went to Petland South in Orlando today, March25, 2021. The puppies were 4 or more to each small cage and they were not very clean. I enquired about the price of a puppy , which they claim came from a reputable Breeder not a puppy mill.
    They were charging $5,500.00 for a poodle which is “Highway Robbery” I also viewed the tropical fish & every tank was in deplorable condition.
    This place should be fined for the treatment of those poor animals!

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