Humane Society Spies Go Undercover
HSUS undercover operatives went to 13 pet stores in Georgia to find if they were selling puppies from puppy mills.
Undercover operatives employed by the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) mounted a campaign against pet stores in Georgia trying to find that they sold puppies from so-called puppy mills.
Posing as customers they went to 13 pet stores in the state. In the HSUS report, released to the media this week, they allege that they “obtained visual information from paperwork about some of the breeders who supply to Georgia stores. Additionally, researchers examined shipping documentation for puppies shipped to Georgia stores from out-of-state during 2015, and reviewed Georgia Department of Agriculture pet dealer inspection reports. Investigators attempted to visit several of the breeders that supply to Georgia stores.”
In total, the activist group claims “17 pet stores sell puppies in the state of Georgia. HSUS investigators visited 13 of these stores with hidden cameras during 2015. “
They say that “documents obtained through Georgia’s Open Records law show that over a period of 60 days this summer, 551 puppies were shipped from out-of-state facilities to Georgia pet stores. Many of these puppies came from Missouri breeding operations—the state with the highest concentration of some of the worst puppy mills in the country.
“Some breeders found selling to Georgia pet stores have serious Animal Welfare Act violations on their inspection reports including: dogs with untreated, open wounds, severe eye discharge, feces in food bowls and heavily matted fur.”
One particular target was the Petland chain. HSUS alleges that “all 5 Petland stores in Georgia are supplied with puppies from Midwest puppy mills, several with violations so severe that animals were found suffering with conditions such as bleeding sores and encrusted eyes. Some of these violations were classified as 'direct' on federal inspection reports. Petland claims to have a policy of not buying from breeders with direct violations.”
HSUS quotes unnamed Petland store employees in the report.
The stores targeted were: 19 breeders of John’s Creek; Janine’s Noah’s Ark, Macon; Pet Stop, Thomasville; Petland stores in Columbus, Dalton, Dunwoody, Kennesaw and Rome; Pets & Pals, Albany; Puppies Galore, Lawrenceville; Tifton Pet Center, Tifton; Video Bazaar, Milledgeville; Village Pets, Gainesville.
What do you think of HSUS tactics against pet stores? Do they go too far? Discuss in the comment below...