Much like in a residence, most visitors to the Puppy Parlor enter and spend their time in the front section (or parlor, if you will). Few ever step foot in the rear of the building, and definitely no visitors. The back room of the Puppy Parlor in Lisle has apparently been a well-kept secret – until now. Concerned citizens have expressed that it seems to be a puppy factory in its own right, within a store that sells dogs from puppy mills.
|The Puppy Parlor in Lisle, IL: Back Room|
Image from DOA reports
While no one knows for sure what goes on in that back room, there are a few unmitigated facts. Companion Animals Protection Society (CAPS) recently obtained inspection reports from the Illinois Department of Agriculture about the Puppy Parlor. These reports state there were 40-60 adult dogs housed in the back room, two to a cage, with the cages stacked three and four-high.
“I walked in the alley behind the store and could hear the dogs screaming and crying. Do they ever get out of the cage? Just where do these dogs go to the bathroom? In the cage? Do they get any vet care? Do they get anything at all? The smell by the back door is horrendous!”, reports Ida McCarthy, CAPS Chicago Campaign Coordinator.
The Puppy Parlor, owned by Tammy Coglianese (who has been banned from the AKC for life), was inspected by the Department of Agriculture five times in 2012 alone. In 2011 the store experienced an outbreak of parvovirus. Mills are notorious for not vaccinating their puppies, leading to outbreaks of such illnesses. In 2012, Happiness Is Pets experienced an outbreak of distemper, another preventable illness, which caused illness and even death among some dogs, and led to a now-ongoing class-action lawsuit against the business.
The Midwest is known as the home to most puppy mills, with states like Missouri, Iowa, and Indiana coming to mind. But mills can be found in any state, and in any quantity. Chicagoland, however, has not been known to harbor puppy mills, perhaps because the presence of farms are long-gone from the area.
It is, however, home to many pet shops that sell dogs from mills. Last Fall, the Humane Society investigated several pet store chains in the Chicago area. The results can be found in the investigations report. Puppy Parlor is included in that report. Documented within it are some of the puppy mills and brokers these stores do business with, including some which CAPS has investigated – Prairie Lane Kennel, owned by Dennis and Donna Van Wyk, is one. You can view results of three investigations by CAPS here.
Whether or not that back room is hiding a breeding operation, it is most definitely a denizen of inhumane treatment. Unsanitary conditions are a given, and it’s certainly not the caring treatment of these dogs that any consumer would ever consent to. No one who appreciates pets would condone such careless, even cruel, treatment of dogs. The only way this store sells to unwitting customers is through lies and deception. And keeping them from the back room.
What can we do about this?
Granted, this is the story of one pet store in one local area. Regardless of where you live, however, the standard rules about pet stores apply here as well:
- Do not buy from a pet shop* – adopt from a rescue or shelter, or buy from a responsible breeder. How to find a responsible dog breeder. (And remember – there are many purebreds in shelters/rescues waiting for a loving home!)
- Become aware of the stores in your locale and their practices.
- Educate yourself on the issues behind pet shops and puppy mills.
- Petition your village board/city council to enact strict controls over these businesses, or better yet — plead with them to consider becoming a humane community, as Villa Park recently did when they banned the sale of pets in their town.
- Join CAPS volunteers in peaceful demonstrations – you’ll be raising awareness of the truth behind pet stores and puppy mills, educating potential consumers, perhaps even helping a shelter pet get a home.
The backward, evil behavior of those involved in this Lisle pet shop truly stunned me – it’s way too close to home. Puppy mills are supposed to be in other states, other areas. But this does not have to be a stain on our communities, nor must we tolerate such treatment of dogs just because these businesses already exist. Change is occurring, one small step at a time, in our country as well as others.The dogs may not have a voice, but someone is speaking on their behalf, someone is fighting for their freedom to live a humane life.
Kudos to those who stand out in whatever weather Mother Nature offers to speak on behalf of the innocent puppies – and their equally innocent but horribly mistreated parents. My utmost respect and admiration goes out to all those who dedicate their Saturday or Sunday afternoon to educate their community on this issue.These people have shown that it doesn’t take much, but it does take a decision to do something.
Today is Blog the Change for Animals day – a quarterly event to blog and/or read about…and be the change for animals. The volunteers who protest pet stores and the heinous puppy mills they support are already change agents. Join them.
Be the Change for Animals.
|Click here for more great blogs for change|
*Exceptions for the few but growing number of pet shops that offer pets from rescues and shelters. These stores are clearly working with the organizations, as opposed to many stores that imply “adoption” as a way to deceive you. A great example of a good pet shop selling pets is Dog Patch Pet and Feed in Naperville, IL.