Puppies for adoption, Boerne Petland grand opening

Petland, a franchise-based pet store, was founded in 1967 in the town of Chillocothe, Ohio. From its small roots, it has grown into a multinational franchise with stores as far away as Tokyo. Many folks have fond memories of going to Petland as a child, looking at the cute puppies and adorable kittens. But in recent years Petland’s image has tarnished, as animal advocacy groups have educated the public about the horrors of puppy and kitten mills.

The outrage against Petland’s practices grew so strong that recently, The Humane Society of the United States began an 8-month investigation into allegations of animal cruelty. On November 20, 2008 HSUS presented a press release about the findings of this investigation. In part, it stated that “Petland stores investigated by The Humane Society of the United States are perpetuating the abusive puppy mill industry, where dogs are treated not like pets, but like a cash crop. They know that consumers won’t stand for the cruelty inherent in mass-breeding facilities, so they make outrageous claims to hide the reality that the dogs came from puppy mills. People have the right to know exactly what they are buying, but the real victims are the breeding dogs who are confined to life in a cage for as long as people are duped into buying their puppies.”

Amidst the controversy surrounding Petland, one location stands out above all the rest—but for all the right reasons. When owners Paula and Richard Horner opened their new store in Boerne, Texas on May 21, 2011, it wasn’t stocked with puppy or kitten mill products. Instead, these owners have opted to become one of the few Petland franchises in the United States to offer adoptions at their 1375 S. Main Street location. As the initial phase of their new store construction began, the Horners contacted the Hill Country Animal League to announce that they would not be selling puppies or kittens. Instead, they wanted to offer space for the organization’s weekly pet adoption events. And, they have extended this offer to other rescue groups as well, ours included.

Spreading the word in Boerne: low cost spay/neuter

When we spoke with Jennifer Blackson (J.J.), Director of Animal Services at HCAL, she was very upbeat about this partnership. She hopes it will boost pet adoptions and community awareness about low cost spay/neuter and animal rescue work.

Last Saturday (June 18), Texas Animal Guardians were on hand to meet with Paula and Richard Horner. We were pleased to see an active interest in the puppies and kittens offered for adoption that day. The Guardians brought Shiloh along for her adoption-event debut and she basked in all the attention that she received from both the staff and customers. Blackson took applications on two dogs that were available for adoption and ultimately, found homes for nine animals on the grand opening day.

We are hoping that this Petland store will become a beacon for other Petland franchises. By stepping in and offering dogs, puppies, cats and kittens a chance at finding a forever home through their store, they are setting an exciting new trend. And we do hope that many other Petland stores will follow their example. It’s the right thing to do.