Six puppies sold with illnesses at local pet store, one hospitalized

Posted at 1:13 PM, Dec 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-03 13:13:47-05

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan reviewed paperwork from puppy buyers who purchased ill puppies from The Barking Boutique (2939 Wilson Ave. SW, Grandville, MI). The puppies were diagnosed with a wide range of illnesses shortly after purchase including: giardia, kennel cough, pneumonia, hypoglycemia, and an ear infection.

The families have turned to a local law firm to seek damages. One puppy buyer, Kate Mead, also turned to social media to warn families:

“I bought him from the Barking Boutique in Grandville on October 19th. ..... I had no idea how horrible this place was until he started vomiting two days later and couldn’t stand on his own. He needed to be hospitalized for four days after they diagnosed pneumonia. He was only 2 lbs and had to also fight an infection causing him to be anemic! The store won’t cover any anything! “

“Grandville is a buyer beware city as the state dropped the Pet Shop Program ten years ago and the county does not license or inspect pet stores as a safety net.” stated Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness. “The only regulatory oversight the state provides is to ensure animals are properly vaccinated during importation into the state, yet the store continues to import animals without proper vaccinations even after an official warning letter was sent by the state last year.”

Since the warning letter from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), 22 more importation health certificates were rejected by the state (affecting 46 puppies). Two of these puppies were reported to be sold will serious illnesses.

On November 27, 2018 the MDARD denied records including importation certificates related to The Barking Boutique stating that their release would interfere with an investigation. The records request was submitted by Puppy Mill Awareness after six families reported buying sick puppies from the store between February – October 2018.

 The results of these complaints and investigations have brought to light a serious and persistent problem with The Barking Boutique: there is a lack of veterinary oversight.  
“Veterinarians are often seen as accomplices in puppy mill investigations because they are neglecting their due diligence to vaccinate these animals yet they are signing off on their health.” Sordyl.

 “Veterinarians have an obligation to promote the health and well-being of the animals under their care, and unfortunately, some of them choose to turn a blind eye to the conditions faced by puppy mill puppies. If lawsuits continue to turn up cases of veterinary neglect, veterinarians will be held just as accountable as pet stores, breeders, and brokers in the economy of neglect that results from puppy mills.” Sordyl.

Within it the first fifteen months of operation The Barking Boutique imported over 580 puppies from Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota and Indiana using multiple brokers, transporters and 82 different breeders making them high volume puppy store. Many of the store’s breeders had violations to the Animal Welfare Act. []

Local animal advocates are urging city officials to end the retail sale of puppies and protect families from irresponsible puppy brokers. “Cities should promote humane business models and encourage families to adopt from their local shelter or Michigan Certified foster-based animal rescue organization - many of whom specialize in specific breeds.” Sordyl

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness []


Links to related stories:

The Barking Boutique Breeder Information - USDA Breeder Violations & Photos []

Warning Letter sent to The Barking Boutique []

Bissell Pet Foundation secretly buys puppies from closed pet store []