On Monday, May 17, 2010 at 10 PM (ET/PT), Animal Planet’s new special “Animal Planet Investigates: Petland” takes a close look at Petland. This special reports on a Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) investigation into Petland’s alleged sale of puppies from “puppy mills”– which the retailer denies — and a resulting lawsuit brought by Petland customers. Meet “Mike,” an undercover investigator for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), who’s investigating Petland, the largest retailer of puppies in the U.S. and its alleged connection to mass, commercial breeders suspected of producing unhealthy dogs. Mike begins his deep dive by sniffing out breeders who have sold puppies to their local Petlands. It’s a dangerous, ominous investigation as Mike comes across unwilling interviewees and roadblocks.
While hundreds of consumers have contacted the HSUS to complain about health problems in the puppies they purchased from Petland, the retailer firmly states they do not purchase from puppy mills. This special shows footage of employees saying that all of their puppies are provided by a USDA-certified breeder, yet Mike shows a connection between the retailer and breeders operating under questionable conditions.
Mike discovers a laundry list of possible violations and inhumane practices at numerous breeders including more than 140 dogs housed in chicken-wire kennels, water bowls encrusted with mold and containing green water, pungent aromas of wet dog and one breeder’s confession that she kills healthy dogs because of their less-than-stellar looks.
“In our ‘Animal Planet Investigates: Petland’ specials, we are committed to providing viewers with a raw and unrestricted access to crucial animal issues,” says Marjorie Kaplan, president and general manager of Animal Planet. “It’s our responsibility–however horrifying as it may be–to raise questions about the practice of mass dog breeding and to question whether hard profit is put before the welfare of animals.”
As commercial breeding of dogs has become a popular way to make a profit, more and more puppies are raised in revolting conditions and sold to pet stores. Too often, these dogs become seriously ill shortly after arriving in their new homes, and the consumers say they are left to pay the costly medical bills and suffer the emotional consequences including, in some cases, the harsh reality of an all-too-sudden death. “Animal Planet Investigates: Petland” features several heartbreaking stories of families affected by Petland’s alleged involvement with inhumane breeders.