Charleston-area animal groups protest Summerville pet store's puppy sale practice


Several Charleston-area animal advocacy groups and shelters are worried a local pet store's alleged sales practices will set back years of efforts to reduce shelter populations in the Lowcountry.

The Charleston Animal Society, Pet Helpers, Dorchester PAWS and other organizations are holding a press conference Thursday morning to announce opposition to Petland, a pet store in Summerville.

The groups say they no longer support the store after learning it sells puppies from commercial breeders at its Summerville location, rather than adopting out local shelter animals.

The groups also criticize Petland, saying it doesn't spay or neuter the puppies prior to selling them. Combined, the advocacy groups say the two issues will lead to more dogs in shelters, and ultimately more pets being euthanized.

Petland Summerville says on its Facebook page that it "support(s) professional breeders who spend their lives raising happy and healthy puppies."

"We do not support puppy mills. We support with professional breeders, rescues, AND shelters," the company said in replies to customers criticizing the sales practice on its Facebook page. "Many of our team members volunteer and foster as well. We do not support euthanasia. We believe that we can find a home for all dogs by creating good partnerships and helping our community reduce the number of dogs in shelters and rescues."

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