Shopping Center Developer Initiates Puppy Mill BoycottPublished February 2, 2012
Flickr User ChrisGoldNY
According to a recent article on Global Animal Foundation, shopping center developer Macerich is banning pet sales through a sort of boycott in over 70 of its malls across the country. Macerich also announced they will not renew the leases of any pet stores that sell pets, and in their place they will open stores which offer rescued shelter animals for adoption. This nationwide humane policy took effect in December 2011, and hopefully will continue breaking the back of the puppy and kitten mill industry.
Included in the list of popular and busy shopping malls participating in the humane refusal to sell pets is the Scottsdale Arizona Fashion Square, The Richmond Virginia Towne Center, The California Santa Monica Place and the Los Angeles Westside Pavilion. Additionally, in association with the nonprofit Friends of LA Shelters, the Los Angeles Westside Pavilion recently opened a rescue store.
The Macerich pet sale ban took a year to come into fruition. Greatly contributing to its success was the work of Jennifer Peterson, an animal activist and film producer.
Peterson, a Los Angeles native and animal lover became dismayed when a friend bought a "designer" dog from BarkWorks, a pet store in the Westside Pavilion suspected of peddling puppy mill dogs. Shortly after the purchase, the puppy became ill, confirming the suspected puppy mill connection. It was then she became an animal activist.
Peterson learned a lot about how puppy mills operate, including the horrible conditions under which these animals live. Launching the Facebook page, "Boycott BarkWorks", she invited folks to share their experiences. Soon the page evolved into a place to protest puppy mills and the stores that sold puppy mill stock.
A friend of Peterson's, Randy Brant, Macerich's VP of leasing, and others working for the company were outraged when they learned the truth about puppy mills. As a result of that outrage and Peterson’s hard work, the company launched their nationwide pet sale ban policy in their malls.
This writer feels this heartening trend targeted at banning the sale of live animals in pet stores is gathering steam across the country, and fervently hopes that all pet stores will follow the humane example of the stores that only offer rescued and shelter pets for adoption.
Would you patronize a pet store that sells bred puppies or kittens? Share your thoughts in a comment.