Breaking News: 70 Malls Across US To Ban Pet Sales
October 11, 2011
GLOBAL ANIMAL EXCLUSIVE, by Madison Rootenberg
Global Animal just received news that shopping center developer Macerich is
banning sales of live animals in more than 70 malls across the US. This new
humane policy designed to break the puppy mill business chain is taking
effect nationwide within 30 days. Macerich confirmed that they will not
renew the leases of existing pet stores that sell animals and in their
place, are opening humane stores offering adoptions of rescued pets.
of the high profile shopping malls include Los Angeles' Westside Pavilion,
which is opening a rescue store this month in association with the nonprofit
Friends of LA Shelters, Scottsdale's Fashion Square, Chesterfield Towne
Center in Richmond, Virginia, and Santa Monica Place.
Jennifer Peterson with a menagerie of dogs. Photo credit: J. Peterson
The mall developer's pet sale ban was a year in the making and in large
part, is the result of the efforts of animal activist, Jennifer Peterson.
Hers is a story of how a personal experience can illuminate one's calling
and be a beacon for larger change.
Ms. Peterson grew up in Los Angeles
adopting animals and surrounded herself with likeminded rescuers. When a
close friend purchased a "designer" dog from BarkWorks pet store in Westside
Pavilion, the animal lover became an animal activist.
"I had a gut
feeling it was bad," Peterson explains. The pet store dog became sick within
a week of purchase, and Jennifer began to suspect a puppy mill connection.
Jennifer Peterson contacted BarkWorks and according to Peterson, the pet
store refused to take any responsibility for the sick pup.
researching puppy mills and how the industry supplies pet stores with dogs
who endure horrific conditions. She started a Facebook page called "Boycott
BarkWorks," where people could post their experiences and reactions. The
page developed into a place to protest puppy mills and stores like BarkWorks
that sell bred animals.
Jennifer reached out to her friend Randy Brant,
who is Macerich's VP of leasing property. Brant and others at Macerich knew
little about puppy mills and were appalled by what Jennifer Peterson had
"I thought if I talked to him about how terrible it is, maybe there was a
chance they might go humane," Peterson said. She contacted all 74 Macerich
shopping centers to find out how many pet stores offered rescued animals for
adoption versus those with dogs bred for sale. The numbers were
disheartening for any animal lover.
Jennifer Peterson, Randy Brant and
his wife, Dahli, worked for a year to help Macerich develop the companywide
pet sale ban in their malls.
"Communities love and support adoption. We
are hoping this starts a domino effect with other mall leasing companies
across the country. Let's get these shops out of business," said Peterson.
Macerich is proud of their trailblazing pet sale ban and hope to
demonstrate that animal welfare is good business. Encouraged by this
landmark policy change, Peterson is redoubling her efforts to shut down the
entire puppy mill industry. She's certain it can happen by "ordinary" people
"If you see a pet store, write a letter. Complain.
Find out who the leasing company is and let them know about puppy mills. Get
involved and reach out to who you know. I did something about it and I'm not
special. Two years ago I had never even been to a protest. People can do