The Humane Society Sues Petland!

We should all know by now just how terrible puppy mills are. Dogs are kept in filthy cramped conditions, sometimes without food or water and a lack of medical attention. Puppies coming from mills can also suffer a host of illnesses, along with behavioral problems from a lack of proper socialization and attention.

This week the Humane Society and consumers have joined forces in a class action lawsuit against Petland under the premise that Petland and the puppy broker Hunte Corp. have conspired to sell sick puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers across the country.

The Humane Society said their investigation uncovered evidence of many puppies coming from puppy mills. With 131 stores in the states, and 61 overseas, that’s sure a lot of puppy mill support. 

“The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, challenges the companies’ conduct under the federal racketeering statute and under consumer protection laws of 20 states,” Humane Society lawyer Jonathan Lovvorn said.

Petland is, of course, “outraged and disappointed” by these accusations and is sticking to the claim that they sell only “healthy, happy and well-socialized” puppies from the finest breeders in their response to the lawsuit.

Again, what reputable breeder would send their healthy happy puppies to a pet store? Reputable breeders will not hand their puppies over to the first person that shows up with cash no questions asked.

Based out of Chillicothe, Ohio, Petland has received numerous complaints and criticism from animal lovers. Last December, an article came out regarding protests against Petland’s support of puppy mills in which Lisa Wahoff, director of the Franklin County Animal Shelter “pulled data in 2006 showing that as many as 7 out of every ten dogs coming into the shelter each day could be traced back to Petland sales.”

While many dogs don’t make it to the shelter because of their own faults, that’s still kind of a shocking statistic.

Mary O’Connor-Shaver, a spokesman for Columbus Top Dogs also added that “no rescue organization in town has ever been contacted by Petland in regard to developing a partnership for their Adopt-A-Pet program.”

Shame on Petland! Puppy mills are horrendous, and aside from causing thousands of dogs to suffer, they can also lead to heartbreak for uninformed people who wanted to welcome these dogs into their families, with many cases leading to outrageous vet bills and the loss of a new pet.

If you’re curious about what to look for in a quality breeder, check out the Humane Society’s guide to finding a good breeder.

For more info on how to help stop puppy mills, visit the Humane Society’s Stop Puppy Mills campaign. Remember, when you buy pound puppies die.

You can also sign Care2’s pledge to help stop puppy mills here


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William C
William C1 years ago


W. C
W. C1 years ago

Thank you for the news.

Rockz Parker
Rockz Parker9 years ago

wow Jessica C. I'm so sorry to hear about your situation with your puppy. That is so sad. It's too bad the staff go along with the managers and whoever buys those poor puppies and other suffering animals. I will never buy nor have I bought anything from there in a long while or ever again. I used to when they were first open, but I also didn't know the situation. I've also noticed they over charge on everything, so I guess that's another reason why I don't buy from there, They RIP YOU OFF GREATLY!!!! That is all!!!!!!!

Jessica C.
Jessica Yonis9 years ago

at the marietta ohio store i bought what was suppose to be a sharpee and english bulldog mix a little over a week ago and when i had him to the vet 3 days ago they said he was a begal mix sharpee and pug. they also did not have the full history of the the mother and father on what breeds they are. Furthermore they completely mistreated their animals he came home with a tummy full of tape worms a bloated stomache and really bad gas and dirreah. He was 4 months old never been worked with and was locked in a cage for his whole life and spent 500. So we had no choice but to take him back bc they misrepresented what type of dog he was and the sales guy called me a liar and said he told me this when he didnt. They are Liars scammers amd animal abusers! I wont even step in their store for a collar!

Lianne Lavoie
Lianne Lavoie10 years ago

"With 131 stores in the states, and 61 overseas, that’s sure a lot of puppy mill support."

There are also a lot of Petland stores in Canada, which is neither "in the states" nor "overseas." You Americans can pretend Canada doesn't exist all you want, but it just makes your country look ignorant.

javier v.
javier v10 years ago

those places have to ban

Kari V.
Kari V10 years ago

Yes, PetLand does sell sick animals!! Many of the animals are shipped to young, just so the buyer market see's cute, tiny adorable pets. Many suffer from worms, parvo, hypoglycemia, kennel cough and more. They will tell you that they have Vets come and care for the animals but overall PetLand accepts sick barely weaned animals to put on display. I believe that that all pet stores should be banned because they encourage puppy mills to make a profit!

Winfried Cyrach
Winfried Cyrach10 years ago

i will never ever buy a dog in a pet store -- period --
i do rather adopt a unwanted dog out of my local animal shelter .

Rockz Parker
Rockz Parker10 years ago

There are tons of unwanted and poor cats and dogs in humane society places like the spca that need homes. I would never buy an animal froma petstore because it's true, you have no idea where these puppies and cats are coming from.

At least when you go to a spca of any kind you know they are animals that are well cared for and the people there are taking care of them. There usually are too many cats and dogs found on the street that go to the spca, and people should make it their first priority to go the spca so these animals won't be enuthsitized.

So instead of going to petland or any pet store, try your spca, or humane society places in your area to find healthy dogs and cats and give them a good home. Most stores rip you off anyways. The only reason to pay big dollars is if they are coming from respectable breeders and your animal is purebreed, no other mix or cross breed.

Svenja G.
Svenja G.10 years ago

I'm sending my support from Germany! Over here, you can't buy dogs or cats at petstores, it is illegal. You have to go to the breeder directly (of course, they can behave irresponsibly as well, so you still have to choose carefully). Best of luck to the effort! Svenja