I know what you are thinking. Here comes the diatribe from an angry, mourning woman who had just lost her soulmate dog and wants to rail against PetLand/Harbor Pets.
Absolutely. But hear me out! Am I thankful that I just so happened to be in that horrible store at the right moment where Maggie was unfortunately being discarded like trash? Yes! I am forever grateful that I was there at that second to pipe up and volunteer to take this little bundle of fur and wrinkles home!
Petland/Harbor Pets gave me my soulmate. The light of my life. My best friend.
But I will FOREVER educate and inform people on the dangers and poor practices they utilize and how these poor puppies are products of backyard or amish breeders and are usually sick, have health problems (and usually chronic issues) all while Petland/Harbor Pets laughs all the way to the bank.
Take Maggie for example. She was from an amish breeder that Petland purchased her for $150.00 and they were going to turn around and sell her for $3999.99. Do not fret! Petland was so giving to those who cannot afford these sweet babies a credit card with “financing”! [Insert gagging noise here!]
You think to yourself that NO one in there right mind would purchase a puppy from a petstore where they have to finance (or spend thousands of dollars for that matter) but I can tell you that in my daily work at a local veterinary clinic I see these puppies CONSTANTLY. I also see the shock on their faces when their new expensive bundles of joy do not have valid vaccination records, have health issues (such as hernias, heart murmurs, cleft palates and more) or that the petland “warranty” is basically just a glorified piece of toilet paper.
So how does Petland continue to get sales? In my honest opinion? They know how to play on the heartstrings of empathetic animal lovers that most likely have no idea what they are embarking on by purchasing one of these poor puppies. If you saw these sad, lonely puppies that live in groups with bars for walls and grates for grass wouldn’t it pluck at your heart strings?
My best advice? DO NOT BUY FROM PETLAND/HARBOR PETS! Ever. Point. Period. I know what you are thinking (or going to say) “But…But…this is where you saved Maggie from!”
You are right! This is where I rescued Maggie from but I only rescued her because I did not pay their prices thus supporting the vicious cycle. Maggie was considered trash to them, garbage, unable to profit them in anyway so of zero use to them.
Those that say they “rescued” their pets when they bought them from these stores I am sorry and I know this is an unpopular opinion but you BOUGHT an animal from them. You supported them. These stores do not care if you think you “saved them” or “rescued them” in fact they do not care what you do with these babies just as soon as your payment clears.
A former employee at Petland in Boardman summed up their thoughts on these animals with one melancholy statement, “A man came in and was looking at one of our rottie puppies. He was allowed to interact with her in one of the “rooms” where he suddenly began to hit her. I ran over and interrupted the abuse and was met with our manager who informed the man that he did not care what he did with the dog ONCE he bought it but until then the dog was Petland property and he was NOT allowed to behave that way…”
Petland did not care that this man was clearly a psychopath and hitting this dog, they did not care that the man was going to continue this cycle of abuse once he brought the dog home, Petland only cared that he purchased the dog first before “damaging” the goods.
Maggie Mae was the absolute light of my life and my saving grace in so many ways but it was no secret that I referenced to her as my adorable but very real “mutant” — she had bladder cancer, kidney stones, kidney failure (that had been years in the making), she came to me with an inguinal hernia, her dental disease was atrocious. She was every sense of the term a mutant but she was all mine. She was MY mutant and my best friend and I had an idea of what I was getting into by taking her home (and luckily I work at a veterinary clinic that helps take the “sting” out of almost bi-weekly veterinary visits, medications, diagnostics etc.,) but most families are overwhelmed once they fell in love with these tiny sweeties and take them to their vet’s only to find out they have a health condition or need a surgical procedure that choke you with dollar signs and not only that but takes a major emotional toll on you as well.
Personally I do not support breeders at all. I do not . That is strictly MY opinion but I tell families if they MUST buy from a breeder to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do your homework. Research the breeder, their practices, their policies, their veterinary care in DETAIL. Be almost intrusive and invasive. Ask to see where the puppies live, ask to see their mothers and their living spaces. Do not be suckered in by cute photos of puppies only to find you have been hoodwinked and out hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Ask your veterinarian if they have breeder recommendations (they may be able to help you).
The best way to defeat these horrible places is to NEVER support them. Do not purchase anything from them. Do not allow yourself to be sucked into their stores and pressured into applying for their credit card for a puppy. Do not let them tug on your heartstrings because you are only fueling the cycle again and again. These stores know what they are doing. They do not care HOW they get a sale they just want a sale.
Write to your local state government. Stage a peaceful protest at these locations. Create a petition. Report them to the Better Business. Use your voice to be the voice of these poor puppies but also for their “moms” who are left back at the backyard breeders who are living in horrible, deplorable conditions and continued to be bred and bred past the point of exhaustion. Fight the “good fight” and help shut these businesses down!
In honor of my sweet angel, Maggie Mae 09/13/2006-01/25/2021