Paxton Investigating Puppy Mill Allegations

Petland Storefront | Image by Eric Glenn/Shutterstock

Texas officials are launching an investigation into alleged wrongdoings by retail chain Petland.

The Texas Office of the Attorney General (OAG) announced that it is officially launching an investigation into allegations against Petland, including that the pet store chain sources some of its animals from puppy mills.

The OAG issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) for alleged violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices – Consumer Protection Act, according to CultureMap Dallas. The OAG asked that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) provide whatever information it has compiled regarding Petland’s practices as well as puppy mills that may have allegedly supplied animals to this chain.

Puppy mills are facilities whose entire purpose is to breed animals for sale. According to the HSUS, oftentimes, at these facilities, the mother and father are either discarded or killed when they can no longer breed.

These facilities are often poorly sanitized and lack appropriate care for the animals they house, which often results in health issues. The animals are also overbred.

The organization reports that about 10,000 of these mills are in operation within the United States, and about 500,000 dogs are used for these breeding purposes.

The HSUS alleges that Petland sourced puppies from facilities where violations were found, including Monroe County Puppies in Missouri, Chris Kauffman in Iowa, Mervin & Lizzie Yoder’s facility in Missouri, Chris’s Kennel in Oklahoma, and Loveable Puppies in Missouri.

Petland currently has nine locations across Texas, including one location in Frisco. A former location in Dallas is now permanently closed. While these locations do sell puppies, the chain denies that these puppies are sourced from puppy mills.

HSUS alleges not only that Petland sources from puppy mills but that the puppies were kept by the mills in extremely unsanitary conditions, including infestations of rodents and insects.

John Goodwin, senior director of the Stop Puppy Mills Campaign, told CultureMap that pet stores are the “worst place” to adopt an animal.

“There’ve been so many people with sick puppies or that have been harmed by Petland’s deceptive practices that the AG’s office decided to open this investigation,” said Goodwin, according to CultureMap. “They’re opening this investigation for the same reason that Dallas and Houston and other major cities have enacted local ordinances.”

Dallas previously passed an ordinance that banned the sale of puppies and kittens for pet stores in 2022, as reported by The Dallas Express. Due to most pet stores not selling puppies or kittens, only Petland was subject to this ordinance.

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