13 Investigates


New undercover HSUS video accuses Petland chain of having sick and dying puppies

Petland Virginia store
HSUS Petland photos
HSUS Petland photos
HSUS Petland photos
Posted at 5:01 PM, May 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-29 13:59:52-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Petland is the only remaining nationwide chain of pet stores to sell puppies, kittens and bunnies.

It's been called into question here in Las Vegas before.

In fact, an ordinance passed banning pet stores from selling animals that came from anywhere other than shelters or rescues. But the City Council ended up reversing that ban.

The new Humane Society video includes stores in Florida, Texas, Virginia, Michigan and Georgia. Click here to read the full report.

It shows scared puppies with many illnesses including nasal discharge, seizures, diarrhea, severe breathing problems and the deadly and contagious parvovirus.

Back in December, 13 Investigates reported on an HSUS undercover investigation of the Las Vegas Petland store in Boca Park on Charleston and Rampart boulevards. The video showed a Maltese puppy with a health condition.

HSUS claimed Petland was warehousing the dog, just waiting for it to die.

At the time, the store owner said HSUS fabricated events and didn't tell the full story of the dog's condition or care.

Petland sent the following statement in response to the newly-released video of HSUS' expanded investigation:

"At Petland, the health and welfare of all our pets is our number one priority. We work closely with and take direction from respected, professional animal care personnel such as veterinarians, and local, state and federal animal agencies, all of whom frequent our stores and inspect our operations.

As for the specific claims this month, it is once again ridiculous that HSUS would sit on information for six months without making Petland aware of any specific animal welfare issues. And, once again, these allegations coincide with a time period when an undercover representative of HSUS was employed at the store.

Petland is aware of an activist who has been moving from state to state, apparently under HSUS’ direction, to work at the stores mentioned in the report. At three of the locations, she worked for less than a month and in one case, less than two weeks. She has lied on her applications and has initiated or manipulated situations for video and for the current report that would best serve HSUS’ agenda ­– an activity that is potentially illegal.

Regardless of HSUS’ recent history, legal problems, and downgraded charity status, Petland has continued attempts to have meaningful dialogue with them and, rather than engage in our open offer of productive discussion, they continue orchestrating exaggerated public “Gotchas.” Kitty Block and John Goodwin have committed themselves to destroy the regulated sources of pets in favor of the black market.

HSUS is a politically-oriented fundraising group that is out of touch with the animal world. HSUS has demonstrated they lack acceptable ethics and has lost their place as a credible source to those who truly put animal-welfare first, evidenced by their ‘D’ rating from Charity Watch. We can’t imagine the number of animals that could be helped if they spent just a quarter of the energy and money they use targeting regulated sources of pets and instead, focused on true animal welfare."

Humane Society of the United States response to Petland statement:

"Petland has failed to take responsibility for the puppies who got sick or died while in their care. Instead, Petland is trying to divert attention away from its unethical business practices and the images of dead puppies and rabbits in Petland store freezers by attacking the Humane Society of the United States and staff who have dedicated their careers to protecting animals.

We are proud of the work we have done to shine a light on the suffering of animals at the hands of Petland and others who are responsible for animal suffering.

Despite Petland’s insinuation, the investigations conducted by the HSUS are conducted by trained investigators in order to ensure compliance with local law. The training our investigators receive includes emphasis on being model employees in any venue being investigated, and the importance of documenting evidence without compromising it.

Acting on information provided by the HSUS, the Fairfax, VA police department executed a search warrant on one of their stores, finding 31 dead rabbits and a dead puppy in that stores freezer. That store is now closed.

Petland’s statement only further proves that this company rejects accountability and has no intentions of doing the right thing for the puppies who generate so much profit for their executives and franchise owners. Animals deserve better than Petland."

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