Blog the Change: Time to Get Serious

Blog the Change

In my last Blog the Change post I shared the exciting news of Pets Unlimited’s decision to stop selling puppies and kittens in their stores. I admit, the announcement took me by surprise. A natural cynic, I never believed that change like this could happen. This time, I was thrilled to be proven wrong.

Since then, Pets Unlimited has thrown it’s support behind the Nova Scotia SPCA. As of Septemeber 1st, they are working with the animal welfare organization on a new adoption program that will provide another location for shelter cats to find new homes. According to the press release, “Each store will have a dedicated area for adoption organizations to hand out brochures/pamphlets, handle adoption applications, and show photos of adoptable pets.  Stores that can accommodate it will have kennel space reserved for shelter pets.” 

How fantastic is that? And it’s not just Pets Unlimited stores here in the Atlantic. Their parent company PJ’s Pets has also announced they will no longer sell dogs or cats. They are currently working with former kennel operations to find adoptive homes for breeding dogs and their remaining puppies.

It gets better.

Petland Canada has officially joined the ranks and jumped the puppy sales ship. Last month they issued a media release stating their intention to cease the sale of cats and dogs.  Instead, they are going to focus their energy on an Adopt-a-Pet program and the Petland Pets for Life Foundation.

What a landmark year it has been for pets across the country! I am stunned. Thrilled, but stunned. These momentous decisions have given me so much hope for similar changes to happen elsewhere. The public has spoken. We will no longer accept the abusive and neglect animals endure through the kennel to pet store cycle. We’ve made it clear puppy mills have no place in our society. That doesn’t mean the fight is over. If anything, it inspires me to gear up for a war.

Nikita, rescued from a puppy mill situation, now thriving in a loving home with my practically in-laws

Just recently in Quebec 500 dogs were seized from a puppy mill operation. The province is notorious for animal abuse. While this may be the largest case in the province’s history, it is by no means the only. Quebec has been known for a long time as North America’s puppy mill capital. It is believed there are over 2,000 operations currently running in the province. One only has to run a quick Google search to find dozens of similar incidents, though on a lesser scale. Fortunately, the Quebec provincial government is rising to the challenge and intends on creating tougher legislation that will empower law enforcement to crack down on puppy mill operators. However, while harsher penalties are needed, laws alone are not enough to stop the abuse.

There is a battle being waged in the US with Petland USA. Despite the positive changes made by Petland Canada, the American division of the company has decided not to participate. It’s unfortunate. I believe the best way to put puppy mill operations out of business is to stop shopping at stores that sell their animals. If the pet stores shut down due to lack of business – or, even better, change their policies – breeders will not have a purchaser for their dogs. The almighty dollar has more power than any other weapon. It’s time to make it very clear to Petland USA where the public stands.

How can you help?

1. Sign and share the petition. To make it easy, I have the link in my sidebar. Petland USA needs to hear from you that getting rid of puppy mills and supporting adoption is what consumers demand.

2. Spread the word across your social networks with a message like this: Tell @Petland USA to Stop Selling Pets! Sign the Petition: #BTC4A #Change

3. Let Petland know how you feel about puppy mills on Facebook and Twitter.

Most importantly

4. Stop shopping at pet stores that sell puppies and kittens. And make sure the store owner knows why.

If Pets Unlimited and Petland Canada can make the change, it’s only a matter of time before Petland USA joins in. Hopefully together we can make it happen before the next Blog the Change event. What a holiday gift that would be!

ETA: Apparently Petland Canada is not as ready to foster real positive change as I had naively assumed. The Back Ally Soapbox outlines just how far the company has been willing to go (ie. not very). It’s more than a little heartbreaking, but it shows the need to keep fighting.

25 thoughts on “Blog the Change: Time to Get Serious

  1. So thrilled to hear that Petland Canada is changing their evil ways. We hope that Petland USA will soon follow suit. I didn’t even know we had Petlands here … perhaps they are in the northern states? I’m not aware of any in Florida. Either way, they need to change their tune and quickly.

    P.S. Nikita is adorable! Would love an official update post on her at some point.


    • We don’t have Petlands in this part of Canada either. They are mostly located out West. I was very familiar with their stores when I lived in Alberta. Fortunately, they do seem to be losing ground to the larger chain, Petsmart. Hopefully that will be what eventually pushes them out, if they don’t make any major changes.

      She is super cute, isn’t she? From what I hear she is doing very well in her new home and has gotten to do a lot of travelling!


  2. I think it’s amazing to hear that PJ’s Pets not only committed to no longer selling puppies and kittens but that they are also working to find new homes/rescues for current breeding stock.

    The problem with Petland USA is that the vast majority of the stores are franchises that can make their own decisions (a very small number have already stopped selling puppy mill puppies and instead host adoption events or have partnered with rescues).


    • Apparently, that’s the same problem here. Some Petland stores have changed in Canada and some haven’t – and refuse to do so. It’s very frustrating, isn’t it?


  3. Congratulations on your successes up in Canada. And thanks for blogging about the problems here in the US. Maybe we can take our lead from you folks and get rid of puppy mills once and for all.


  4. Great post! It’s great to see people rallying against retail pet sales in both countries.

    I think stressing #4 is most important for both Canada and the US – lower sales are the reason Petland Canada has quoted as ending their retail program. Well, in some, but not all, locations, anyway.

    I actually think there’s a risk of Canadians thinking the battle is over. But it’s not. Some Petland Canada locations will continue with the sales, and so will the smaller chains or independent retailers. Personally, I also favour Toronto and Richmond’s pet sales bans to ensure no stone is unturned in that area.

    Keep fighting the good fight!


    • Agreed. The best point of attack is always multi-faceted. I was disappointed to read that Petland Canada’s promise was fairly empty. It makes sense, I suppose, that if most of their stores are indepedently run they wouldn’t have the authority to force change everywhere. But it is disheartening.

      Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me what the reason is. Pets Unlimited didn’t change it’s policy just to be nice either. It doesn’t matter why they change, just that they do. The pet sale bans were pretty revolutionary! Unfortunately, I can’t see something similar occur in Lethbridge, Alberta. 😛


  5. I wish more pet stores were like the ones in Canada. I love that Pets Unlimited has decided to work with the Nova Scotia SPCA. I have no fantasy images of pet stores everywhere deciding to stop selling puppies anytime soon, but it’s nice to see that progress is being made.

    Thanks for educating me on Quebec too. I had no idea. It’s like Canada’s Missouri. Yuck!

    Thanks for spreading the message Kristine. You rock!

    Mel Freer


    • Worse than Missouri, I think, if I read the reports right. The situation there is pretty awful. I don’t think I even know half of it. 😦


  6. Isn’t it exciting?? This is all such wonderful news – and to think not long ago we couldn’t fathom any of this happening. Kudos to the stores by you that are working with shelters. Kudos to Petland Canada (although apparently that’s not cut-and-dried), and HUGE hugs to Nikita!

    Thanks for blogging the change for animals!
    Kim Thomas


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  8. It’s been very exciting to see all the different approaches everyone has to blogging about this issue. Your post highlighted some successes while reminding us we’ve got to keep pressing on.

    Great post! Thanks for the encouragement that comes from seeing how Pets Unlimited is working the Nova Scotia SPCA.


  9. Great post! We don’t have any pet stores around here that sell dogs or cats, at least that I’m aware of. I really hope that at some point Petland wises up and that consumers wise up as well!


  10. There has to be tougher legislation across the board for puppy mill operators– fines that increase when provincial or state borders are crossed, for example. And let’s not forget the online dimension. Change comes slowly, but it will come.


    • Kijijij is a whole different battle, I agree. There is only so much that can be done there as sellers aren’t doing anything illegal. Kijiji itself is actually very proactive and tries to educate buyers and sellers that use the site. I don’t know if they will ever institute a full ban of puppy sales, though. It is just much too profitable. But who knows? Education really is a key part of it all too. Every time sometime tells me they met someone in a parking lot to buy their dog I am dismayed. If Oprah can’t reach people, how can I?


  11. Great information Kristine, I will research which stores are owned by Petland and let them know in no uncertain terms what I expect from them. And what media outlets are available to voice my displeasure. 🙂 You can count on me!


  12. Even though Petland Canada hasn’t changed as much as we’d hoped, this is still a happy story. Pets Unlimited has made real change, and stiffening the laws in Quebec will likely drive more mills out of operation. We’re making progress – not as quickly as we’d like – but that’s the way it goes for most things. We’ll just keep fighting!


  13. I signed the petition and then went to Petlands Facebook and Twitter pages and there wasn’t one message re asking them to stop selling animals in their stores … so I wasn’t going to be the first person to post one! But I wonder if they are being deleted as they are posted?


  14. Great post… the progress is encouraging, even thought the fight’s not over! I hope that more people vote with their dollars until pet stores who sell pets get the message.



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