Written by Editoral Columnist, Alicia Rose Williams
I am devastated. PetLand Summerville is now and selling purebred and “designer” mutts to the public. We all know that I am personally against any type of breeding. I strongly believe that there is no such thing as “responsible breeding” as long as there are animals dying due to lack of space in shelters. However, this is so much more than just adding to the overpopulation of dogs. It is setting us back decades in the animal welfare world.
It is incredibly frustrating that PetLand Summerville has opened in Berkeley County of all places. Berkeley County Animal Shelter has to euthanize animals simply because there isn’t enough room to board all of the unwanted animals. That’s right, perfectly healthy animals are being killed while a few minutes away, animals are being “sold.” The shelter itself is not to blame. The shelter has a staff that genuinely cares for the animals. The staff of the shelter has to make the heartbreaking decision of who stays and who goes.
I am very disappointed that Mayor Wiley Johnson of Summerville reportedly gave Brad and Kristin Parker (owners of PetLand Summerville) his blessing to start SELLING puppies at their Summerville location. Honestly, how could you (Mayor Wiley Johnson) do such a thing? You must be out of touch with the animal overpopulation crisis within South Carolina – within your own neighborhood. While local animal rescue non-profits are financially struggling to stay alive, PetLand Summerville is regressing our work while making a profit at the same time.
Mayor Wiley Johnson, did you research Mr. and Mrs. Parker? Did you research PetLand? My hope is that you gave them your blessing without doing so – because had you done some research and still willingly gave them your blessing – I would be concerned about your motive. With one click of a search engine, you would find what the Parkers and PetLand are associated with pure negligence. The Humane Society reports that PetLand Kennesaw (a store also owned by Brad and Kristin Parker), received puppies from a breeder who had “more than 840 adult dogs on site.” The same breeder has many other violations including: “failure to provide veterinary care to dogs with open wounds and other serious veterinary conditions, inadequate floor space and ‘fecal material mixed in with the feed’ for several dogs.” I could go on with the other horror stories connected to PetLand Kennesaw, but I think my point has been made – this is a shady business out to make money at any cost.
Yes, PetLand Summerville is booming with business – but it’s booming for all the wrong reasons. Even if we made a new ordinance that banned PetLand Summerville from selling animals, homes would still have to be found for those currently for sale at PetLand. See how vicious the cycle is?
So again I ask, Mayor Wiley Johnson, why would you give PetLand Summerville your blessing? The animals are literally dying to know.