More than 1,500 people have signed a petition to stop a national pet store chain from coming to Tulsa.
Petitioners claim Petland has a history of mistreatment to animals which the company denies.
"It has a very bad track record across the country," said Erin Shackelford, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Alliance for Animals.
Shackelford helped create the petition to stop Petland from coming to 71st and Garnett.
The Humane Society said its investigations showed Petland previously obtained animals from puppy mills. In May, the Florida Attorney General sued the company and accused a store of selling sick and dying puppies.
In 2018, the CDC linked puppies sold at Petland to an outbreak of a bacteria that made more than 100 people sick.
"The CDC sent them a letter because they were perpetuating a disease spreading to humans," Shackelford said.
The store has already been approved for a building permit, but the city said Petland will have to apply for a commercial animal establishment permit. The city said if or when Petland applies for that, it will see if Petland meets the city's requirements.
"The state of Oklahoma and Tulsa has a pet overpopulation crisis," Shackelford said. "Introducing a pipeline of unsterilized animals to the city doesn't make sense when the shelter has to euthanize for space."
Petland said they are excited to come to Tulsa and said their puppies do not come from puppy mills. Instead they come from USDA licensed breeders, hobby breeders who raise their dogs humanely, or are local adoption pets that are vet-checked.
The city said if Petland opens without applying for the commercial animal establishment permit, they will have to review the store for compliance.
You can read Petland's full statement below:
"We are excited to bring the joy of the human-animal bond to Tulsa. We believe in the consumer’s right to choose where they want to find their family pet, whether it be from a shelter or rescue or from a responsible pet store that provides complete transparency. For more than 50 years, Petland’s number one priority has been the health and welfare of its pets. Each Petland store has a state-licensed consulting veterinarian who establishes a program of veterinary care for the store. Petland does not buy from puppy mills, which are unregulated, unlicensed facilities. Our puppies come from three primary sources:
1. USDA licensed breeders and distributors with no Direct or Critical NCIs for the last two years and who have a veterinarian-documented socialization and exercise program and follow veterinarian protocols for skin, coat, nail and dental hygiene. They also cannot have specific Indirect NCIs on their latest inspection report (Section 2.40).
2. Hobby breeders as defined by the Animal Welfare Act, who raise their dogs in a humane manner.
3. Local adoption pets that are vet-checked.
Our in-store, state-of-the-art animal husbandry systems and pet socialization practices at Petland are the result of more than half a century of fine-tuning to bring the best health care practices to the pets in our care. We look forward to serving the community of Tulsa with family-friendly pets and pet supplies.'
You can read the City of Tulsa’s full statement below:
“If/when Petland applies for a Commercial Animal Establishment Permit, the City of Tulsa will review Petland’s commercial animal establishment permit request or we will review for compliance if they open without applying. All commercial animal permit requests are subject to the following City ordinance, Title 2 - Animals.
Under Definitions: Petline is defined as a - Commercial Animal Establishment (Type B)
Section 110. - Commercial animal establishments provides among other requirements:
(A) Animals are kept in such a manner as to prevent a nuisance or health hazard to humans and to avoid injury and minimize illness to such animals, including healthy and sanitary conditions
(B) Upon receipt of a signed report or complaint alleging animal abuse or other conditions not in compliance with this section at any commercial animal establishment, an investigation shall be made by Animal Control. Its findings shall be documented and appropriate action taken.
(C) All operators of a Type B commercial animal establishment shall apply to the Director of Finance for a permit to operate such establishment in the City of Tulsa. No Type B commercial animal establishment shall sell animals in the City without the permit. The Director of Finance shall perform a background check encompassing the past ten (10) years, to ascertain if the applicant has been convicted of animal abuse or cruelty charges in that time. Conviction of animal abuse or cruelty shall be grounds for denial or revocation of a commercial animal establishment permit. The permit fee shall be Twenty Dollars ($20.00) annually. An application processing fee of Twenty Dollars ($20.00) shall be assessed for the first application.”