KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
February 21, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy residents have taken to social media to share their concerns over the planned opening of Petland on North Fry Road. Several other locations of the pet store chain have been accused of working with puppy mills and mistreating the animals in their care.
Petland to Open in Katy
Petland, a large pet store chain, is set to open in just a few weeks on North Fry Road in the Hobby Lobby shopping center. Several Katy residents have tried to visit the store and have been told by a manager that they are waiting for approval from the fire marshal before opening.
Educating the Public
Several Katy residents started a Facebook group, Stop Petland Katy. The group has over 600 members all expressing concerns about this store coming to Katy.
“We really want to educate the public,” says a local pet shelter volunteer. “I don’t think they really know where these puppies are coming from.”
Statement from Petland Website
On their website, Petland says they work with local shelters to find homes for homeless pets:
"Petland opens some of its highly visible kennel windows to homeless pets from local animal shelters, pet rescue groups and others in the community, who may have unplanned litters. The goal is for Petland Pet Counselors to work with pet welfare groups and members of the community to find suitable families for homeless pets. Since 1998 Petland stores have found homes for over 350,000 abandoned or unwanted pets."
A Store with Controversy
Petland stores have a history of controversy. Some stores have been forced to close due to concerns over the well-being of the pets they sell. Several customers have filed complaints after their pets died shortly after adoption. In some reported cases, Petland continued to send bills for large amounts afterward.
For years, the Humane Society of the United States has been reporting on the conditions of multiple Petland locations across the country. Their website includes stories from dissatisfied customers and undercover visits to Petland stores. Visit their website here.
One of Petland's store policies is offering discounts on neutering and spaying of pets, but customers are required to use their veterinarians. Petland also offers financing for the pets, which promotes impulse shopping which is rarely the best for the animal.
“They claim that they get their puppies from reputable breeders but no reputable breeder sells puppies to a commercial store,” says a volunteer coordinator at a local shelter.
Katy Pet Stores
Katy already has several chain pet stores including PetSmart, Pet Supplies Plus, and Pet Co., and smaller, boutique shops like Patsy’s Pet Market and Brittney’s Pet Depot.
Research Before Adopting
Katy has many shelters and rescue, foster-based organizations that can help Katy residents find the best pet for them.
“I want people to do their research when getting a puppy,” says Katy Magazine's source. “Getting a puppy is an adoption and never a purchase like this store is treating it. Finding the right puppy for the home greatly lessens the chance of puppies being returned to shelters, or worse dumped.”
Katy's Stray Pet Population
Katy, like many cities, has a growing stray pet population. In the past, Petland has stated that they help communities near their stores find homes for homeless pets, but they have never explained how. This failure to disclose the source of the animals they are selling, has raised a lot of questions and prompted heated discussions on Facebook.
Animal Cruelty Task Force
The Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force works to protect animals in the Katy area, but they need a specific concern to open an investigation.
“If anyone believes that animals are being cruelly treated or neglected, they should file a report at 927paws.org or call 832-927-PAWS,” states the task force. “Should any business move into any area of Harris County, we will be happy to look into the case and address the specific reported issue.”
Katy Magazine reached out to Petland corporate for comments. After two days, their company representative had not responded to confirm whether the Katy Petland location will sell puppies, or if they have made arrangements to work with local shelters.