Petland strikes back: slams the humane Society of the United states

Petland strikes back: slams the humane Society of the United states

By: Patti Strand  Date: 01/15/2012 Category: | Animal Rights vs Animal Welfare |

Prompted by allegations from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), NBC recently ran an exposé on Petland, the nation’s largest pet store chain.

Pet stores are frequent targets of media campaigns. People love animals and the suggestion that puppies are being abused anywhere stirs emotional outrage, even in the coldest of hearts. And when accusations of neglect or cruelty are proffered with gruesome images of sick puppies in miserable conditions, they also generate TV ratings and fundraising dollars for the networks and organizations that team up to focus attention on them.

But following this particular ratings grabber, something unprecedented occurred: the target of the exposé cried foul and issued its own media advisory, a scathing indictment of its accuser. Among other claims, Petland offered evidence that the HSUS knowingly relied on images taken from unrelated investigations to make its media case against them and criticized HSUS for not reporting alleged abuse and substandard kennels to the proper authorities immediately. Instead they accused HSUS of holding onto the information for months until sweeps week when networks compete for ratings, an allegation that makes HSUS look cynical, self-promoting and like it’s more interested in exploiting cruelty for TV ratings, than actually trying to end it.   Petland also published elements of HSUS tax filings showing where their money goes and pointed out that despite their name, the Humane Society of the United States has no significant connection to the local humane societies that do all the work.

In defending itself from the HSUS attack, Petland issued a follow up statement that was stronger than the first  and provided an article outlining some of its programs and what it is doing to improve the care, handling and placement of dogs sold through commercial channels. Although we recognize that HSUS is in the business of making allegations (on which it subsequently raises funds), It’s interesting to ponder what HSUS has accomplished during the same time period to improve the welfare of dogs.

No matter how this clash turns out, Petland is to be commended for their courage in standing up to one of America’s most intimidating bullies.


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