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Old 11-26-2008, 04:17 PM   #1
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Default [News] PETLAND Manager Speaks Out

This interview speaks volumes!
Defend The Dogs

Former Petland Kennel Manager Speaks Out





November 20, 2008
Former Petland kennel manager Denise Jenke recently spoke to The HSUS about what she says she saw while working at the Wheaton, Ill., Petland: truckloads of puppies shipped to the store by brokers, many of them sick—and customers being regularly misled about their origins.
Although Jenke brought her Chihuahua home from the store during her employment, she agrees with The HSUS that the best way to stop puppy mills is to stop supporting pet stores that sell puppies. The following are edited excerpts from an unrecorded telephone interview with Ms. Jenke.
HSUS: When did you work at Petland?

Jenke: From October 2006 through January 2007. Did you have any idea about puppy mills before?

No, no idea. I had never heard of them. Take Action for Dogs:

Contact Petland now, and help end puppy mill cruelty »
How did you learn about where the puppies at your store came from?

When I first started, they [the sales manager and store owner] said the puppies came from 'USDA-approved breeders.' Me, being naïve, thought, "Well, USDA. That must be fine." Then when the puppies came in on trucks, they were in such poor condition. They came in with runny eyes, some were kinda lethargic and nervous, a lot of them were sick, many had upper respiratory infections and had to be put in nebulizer before sale. When I was trained to put [the puppies'] information into the computer I had to put in the names of the breeders into the computer. That is when I noticed that the guys who brought the dogs in from the trucks were not the breeders! I asked the sales manager, "Do these dogs come from puppy mills?" The sales manager told me, "Yes, these puppies are from puppy mills, but we don't tell our customers that. We just tell them that they are from 'USDA approved breeders.'" That is when I did my own research on the Internet and learned all about puppy mills.
What were your expectations for the job when you started?

It is a business, and they are there to make money. My position was kennel manager, so I thought I would take care of the dogs, make sure they were clean, healthy, and socialized. My job was the wellbeing of the animals. But it didn't quite turn out that way. Instead of helping the animals, I was working to promote puppy mills. Did you have any idea how widespread the use of puppy mills was at Petland and other pet stores?

During my interview for the position I asked where the puppies came from. They told me USDA. Since I didn't know much about it I thought, if they were approved by the USDA then it must be OK. What about the dog you brought home while you were working there?

He is a 15-pound Chihuahua named Chico. He has a Grade 1 luxating patella in one rear leg. [A luxating patella is a knee problem that can cause lameness in dogs.] He is really big for a Chihuahua! The breed standard is like 4-6 pounds. He obviously was not bred to fit that standard. But he is my world, and I love him to pieces. What is his story?

Well, he came in off the truck. When the puppies first arrived on the truck, it was my job to do a quick exam of each dog to see if they were OK. If they looked bad, the owner would send them back on the truck. When Chico came in on the truck, the sales manager was showing me how to do the exams. We are not vets, though! She inspected Chico and said that he had a Grade 3 to Grade 4 luxating patella and that he should be sent back to the breeder. She then talked to the owner who agreed to send him back. I decided to take him home instead. My personal vet says that Chico only has a Grade 1 luxating patella, not a Grade 3 or 4. The sales manager who examined him was not a vet, and she gave a wrong diagnosis. They should have had a vet check him instead of us, with no medical experience.

After the interview, Denise said that although she took Chico home during her employment at Petland, now that she knows the truth of the industry she was indirectly supporting, she encourages others to choose adoption.
Is there a message you would like to send to people thinking of buying a puppy from a pet store?

Yes, you go into a puppy store and you see the puppies, and a lot of people know they come from puppy mills, and they feel sorry for them and want to buy them. Or people buy on impulse. Bottom line is, puppy mills are never going to stop until people stop buying puppies from these stores! People need to be more educated about rescuing or finding a reputable breeder. I think customers who go in to these stores are getting ripped off. The pet store pays like $100 each for the puppies! People think they are getting a "purebred" but then the puppies have congenital defects and other problems. I just wish more people would think more about shelters and rescues .... People need to see what goes on in a puppy mill. When you see it, then it hits you.

Jordan Matyas
Illinois State Director
Humane Society of the United States
333 W. North Avenue, 259, Chicago IL 60610
Office: 312.643.0339
Cell: 312.206.2646
Fax: 312.277.7199
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:29 PM   #2
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Wow!! That was very revealing wasn't it??
Let's see Petland refute that!

I sure hope this gets passed around and the word gets out to more people!!! Thanks for posting!
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:29 PM   #3
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Wow!! That was very revealing wasn't it??
Let's see Petland refute that!

I sure hope this gets passed around and the word gets out to more people!!! Thanks for posting!
Ditto! All I have to say is WOW!!! If her testimony doesn't sway people, then what will???
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Old 11-30-2008, 07:20 PM   #4
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I am glad I read this article. It is sad how they trick buyers into buying puppy mill dogs. I cannot believe they buy dogs for $100 and charge the buyers at least $600 dollars for a puppy (where I live).
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:21 AM   #5
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:When I moved here more than a year ago, I used to go to the pet stores to look at the puppies,this is before I had Beatrice.I didn't realize then that those puppies came from puppy mills.When we decided to get a puppy we knew that we wanted to get one from a reputable breeder. The funny thing is the prices for yorkies at the pet store were about $ 200 more than what we paid for Beatrice.I could tell the difference in the quality of the puppies too.So, you know they're jacking the prices way up from what they pay for the puppies.The breeder that we bought Beatrice breeds and shows champions here in Canada, and her prices for well bred puppies, that we know their heritage of, are lower than the pet stores.

So, I guess my point is.............EDUCATION.........If people knew that they could buy a better quality,healthier and well cared for puppy that the breeder can proves it's pedigree......why not buy from a breeder ?
Also, they can always cotact the breeder when they have questions regarding anything that might seem abnormal, or just for info.
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Old 12-01-2008, 11:03 AM   #6
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Wow!! That was very revealing wasn't it??
Let's see Petland refute that!

I sure hope this gets passed around and the word gets out to more people!!! Thanks for posting!


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Old 12-01-2008, 02:16 PM   #7
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It's so great that she spoke out. I hope alot of people read this... it is SO important. Thinking of all those poor babies being shipped in on trucks and packed in there like sardines just brings tears to my eyes May God Bless them ALL
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Old 12-01-2008, 02:22 PM   #8
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I am glad I read this article. It is sad how they trick buyers into buying puppy mill dogs. I cannot believe they buy dogs for $100 and charge the buyers at least $600 dollars for a puppy (where I live).

Here some petshop owners buy for $50.00 and sell $800.00 and more . One woman have an ad in a newspaper asking for free litters , when someone give her a litter of pup , she sells them $500.00
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:45 AM   #9
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Here some petshop owners buy for $50.00 and sell $800.00 and more . One woman have an ad in a newspaper asking for free litters , when someone give her a litter of pup , she sells them $500.00
This information is very sad.
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Old 12-02-2008, 08:09 AM   #10
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Go manager...the truth will slow unveil itself...regardless who works at petland they are still human...they will feel for the puppies...and one day will speak for the puppies...
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Old 12-02-2008, 05:48 PM   #11
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all i got to say is wow i hope my sisters terrier dont get sick
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:11 AM   #12
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Can you imagine what these puppies go through? Probably way to young to be taken from their Mother. Stuck on a truck for Lord only knows how long...be it cold or hot. Then arriving at the pet store, handled by strangers, sick and if they aren't healthy enough, sent back with no medical care. Sick puppies being shipped back and forth. And we are supposed to be a civialized nation? It makes me sick!

Anyone who knowingly supports this kind of action must have no heart whatsoever!
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Old 12-03-2008, 05:44 AM   #13
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I always went into Berlin Pets in amish country here in Ohio. It never crossed my mind that these pups were from a mill!! My Chloe(who I recieved from my neice when she didnt have time for her)started limping and needed surgery ,after surgery they thought she might have luxar petalla(she doesnt).But anyway,another YTer looked a few things up and found out Chloe came from Amish Ohio,from a puppymill.I have been educating myself ever since,I cannot stomach what I have seen! They are holding a puppy action in Farmerstown in December,I have never heard of these before either! I have been going to Amish since I was little,the shops ,,restaraunts and yes the puppy stores! I have even been there on the weekends these things are held and never heard a thing! I will be outside with my sign and protesting against this one,to give my little Chloe a voice.All these people need to be closed down!! I will never look at those poor little pups the same again! When we are in the pet store I'll say they usually sell atleast 2 while I'm playing with the pups,and these puppies sure arent cheap! It really surprises me because the pet store is really clean and the pups look okay(I guess,I'm not a vet)they just look well cared for,,,,boy was I fooled!
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Old 12-04-2008, 08:55 AM   #14
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Wow this really makes me sick. Those poor puppies =[ My heart goes out to them.

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Old 12-06-2008, 11:47 AM   #15
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Although I am sure that most of what the manager said was true I believe she was mistaken about what the pet stores pay for the puppies as by the time they get to the pet store they have been sold a few times already first by the breeder to a broker and then the broker sells to the pet store or whoever else is willing to buy. There would be no profit in the business for anyone at that price. The breeders have to feed and shelter the dogs they are breeding and provide at least minimal medical care for them as well as the pups until they are sold. The broker has to keep them healthy enough to sell so there is a few dollars more expense for them after they have paid the breeder. Maybe she meant the puppies are sold for $100.00 profit over what the pet store paid for them? Just wondering.
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