Animal Crisis: Summerville Petland to Sell Puppies Brought in from Other Parts of the Country

Lowcountry Animal Organizations Issue Plea to Petland Not to Import Puppies

Summerville, SC – For more than three decades, Lowcountry animal advocates have worked to build strong relationships with area pet stores to adopt out animals from local shelters and rescues in their stores. These efforts have paid off and thousands of homeless animals have been saved thanks to these community-minded stores who see the benefit in helping to adopt local, homeless animals.

Sadly, this lifesaving Lowcountry tradition is being threatened by Petland in Summerville. The new owner has made it public that starting Saturday, August 4th, Petland will be selling puppies purchased from large-scale commercial breeding facilities in other parts of the country.   These animals will not be spayed or neutered upon their sale to the public.

“The implications of this decision critically impact Dorchester County along with every shelter and rescue in the tri-county area. Our campus is at or above capacity all year long and with record-breaking admissions of over 50 animals in one day while working tirelessly to end unnecessary euthanasia – we are pleading with the store owner to drop these plans and urging the public to ADOPT, DON’T SHOP. Unaltered dogs can produce 2 litters of puppies per year with an average of 6-10 puppies. The math is simple, with the overcrowded shelters and limited amount of homes, this decision will revert the tri-county area backwards 30 years” said President of Dorchester Paws Natalie Hutt. There are numerous pet stores in our community that only carry animals from local shelters and rescues.

After discussions with Petland’s owner about his decision to bring in animals from large-scale commercial breeding facilities, Dorchester Paws and other animal rescue organizations made the painstaking decision to drop their relationship with the store until this practice changes. “We cannot in good conscience move forward in a relationship with a business knowing that the animals they are bringing into our community will overwhelm an already taxed system,” said Hutt.

“We have all worked for decades to reduce the numbers of animals being euthanized across South Carolina due to not enough homes. Our understanding is that Petland is one of the nation’s leading retailers of puppies bred in commercial facilities and that currently there are no other Petland stores in our state,” said Pearl Sutton, President of the South Carolina Animal Care and Control Association. “Last year, over 30,000 animals were euthanized in South Carolina, mostly due to overpopulation. The last thing we need are commercially-bred imported puppies,” said Sutton.

Carol Linville, Founder and President of Pet Helpers, states, “At a time when the Tri-County area is flooded with homeless animals, it is going to be much more challenging to adopt homeless animals, when we will now be flooded with animals from outside our community too. And, selling unsterilized puppies will explode the population of unwanted animals. I fear this will erode the gains we’ve made in the last 30 years.”