Grove City residents concerned about Petland coming in to city

GROVE CITY, Ohio (WCMH)–Animal rights supporters packed the Grove City council chambers Monday, hoping city leaders would vote to ban pet stores from selling dogs and cats from “high volume breeders.”

Petland is set to open a store on London-Groveport Road. They got the special permit to sell puppies and another animals late last year.

City Council rescinded an ordinance that was up for a second reading that would have initiated such a ban.

Instead they will work on an ordinance that will encourage pet store owners to sell rescue animals.

“We don’t oppose Petland coming in,” said Leslie Cohen-Smith with Ohio Voters for Companion Animals. “We would gladly open our arms to say ‘welcome to our city and prosper.’ It’s where they are getting their dogs from.”

Elizabeth Kunzleman, Petland Director of Public Affairs, said the stores have seen measures like this before.

“We’ve seen some of these bans starting to pop up, mostly in south Florida,” she said. “But not when we are in the middle of opening a store.”

Those for and against the ordinance, which would only allow pet stores to only get animals from shelters, rescues and humane societies, testified.

“Please give us a chance,” said Hope Gregory, who works at Petland. “And stop reading everything you read online, everything that you see on the Internet, not everything you see is true.”

Victoria Corbet, with Speak for the Unspoken, said she did not trust Petland.

“Petland says they get their dogs from reputable breeders. But breeders that I know don’t need to sell their dogs to pet stores,” she said.

This prompted more discussion from council members.

“This ordinance that we are working on does nothing to address puppy mills that you are all so angry about,” council member Laura Lanese said to the audience.

“It’s going to be difficult to verify. It’s going to be extraordinarily difficult for us to enforce. To me the best model to go to is the shelter rescue model only.”

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