Group protests outside of Petland in Fayetteville

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A group gathered outside a pet store in Fayetteville on Saturday to protest the sale of puppies. The protest comes as this store is in a legal battle with the city.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Protesters rallied outside the new Petland location in Fayetteville on Saturday, September 10, hoping to get a message across. They held up signs with messages that read, “Don’t buy, save” and “Say no to puppy mills, say no to Petland.”

“Go to an animal shelter, there are a lot of animals that would love to be at your home tonight, would be at your home soon, that have been in a shelter, sometimes for years,” said Presley Ramey, the organizer of the protests.

After his websitePetland sells up-to-date health-certified puppies who have undergone a preventive care plan.

It also claims to adhere to strict best practices for animal welfare, but Saturday protesters say it doesn’t.

“Many people have bought pets from Petland. Such places say they have parvo and need to take them to the vet just days after purchasing these animals,” recalls Ramey.

Aubrie Rayburn says she bought a three-month-old English bulldog at Petland’s Rogers store two years ago.

“She was ill when I got her and I didn’t know it so for a couple of months I kept taking her to the vet who they have partnered with who they say will pay your bills. And I’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of dollars on all kinds of drugs and she’s never gotten better,” Rayburn explains.

Rayburn says the problems lasted for months, her dog wasn’t well until she was a year old and she eventually had to pay the vet bill.

Saturday’s protest comes amid Petland’s lawsuit against the city of Fayetteville. Last month, a judge issued an injunction allowing the store to continue selling puppies, even though the city council unanimously voted to ban retail sales of puppies and kittens before the store opened. This ordinance is an attempt to encourage adoption from animal shelters.

Rayburn says she will encourage people to adopt from shelters and do their research in the future.

If the court upholds Fayetteville’s pet ban, it could force Petland to stop selling puppies. 5NEWS reached out to the owners of Petland’s Fayetteville store on Saturday, but has yet to receive a response.

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