View Full Version : Woof stores go poof: Turn tail after Herald report

06-13-2005, 08:57 AM
YAY!!!!! This 'glorified' puppy mill vendor's been shut down! I've never set foot into the store, and don't go into these type places, but too many puppies suffered before victory! ;) Good riddance!!
Woof stores go poof: Turn tail after Herald report

Embattled mall pet store chain Woof & Co. turned tail and quietly slinked out of Massachusetts last week, six months after a Herald special report spotlighted serious problems with the way the chain handled its high-priced pooches.

``We kept picketing, but, finally, we think the Herald articles put it over the top,'' said thrilled Jamaica Plain animal rights activist Mary Felthouse-Weber.

The Herald reported in December that Woof & Co. piled up 19 complaints and 27 violations of state pet store regulation in less than two years at its stores in the Square One Mall in Saugus and South Shore Plaza in Braintree.

An outbreak of the contagious intestinal parasite giardia at both stores a year ago prompted town health officials to intervene to protect the public.

Saugus health agent Sharon McCabe ordered employees at the Square One Mall store to get tested for giardia after the outbreak there.

Employee-turned-whistleblower Sara Purcell, who told the Herald the New Jersey chain routinely offered sick dogs for sale, yesterday said she was relieved to see Woof & Co. leave.

``It's a big thing. I didn't think they were going to close down this quick,'' she said. ``I figured they would have fought more. But every time I've gone by there (since the Herald series) it seemed like there were less and less people in the store.''

The manager of the Square One Mall said the company broke its lease and closed up shop at both Massachusetts stores last Tuesday night. Calls to the chain's New Jersey offices weren't returned yesterday, and both local numbers have been disconnected.

Helen Rayshick and other members of the Massachusetts Animal Rights Coalition picketed both Woof & Co. stores several times to protest the company's treatment of its pups.

``Thank goodness this company won't be able to do this in Massachusetts any more,'' she said.

The chain, which is incorporated under the name Rufus Inc., pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges and got slapped with a $9,800 fine in New Jersey last month for allegedly allowing a sick Shar Pei puppy to languish in the back of a store for 21 days without treatment. Inspectors also said they found dead puppies on ice in the store refrigerator.

06-13-2005, 11:38 AM
Good news.:) I believe this is the pet store chain that Mayor
Karen protested against. I think Sandra was also directly involved
in protesting. I'm so glad they finally closed.


06-29-2005, 02:08 PM
I don't know how many of you people have worked at the Saugus Woof & Co. store but if you did then you would believe that what the papers wrote was completely FALSE. I don't know where or from whom they are getting this so called "information" from but I know for a fact that the people who work for this particular store care and love animals. I can't say for the other pet stores out there because I don't know what goes on in there but I know that the Saugus store was not ur "typical" pet store.

Putting dead puppies in the freezer?!? OMG..the only freezer we have is in a mini fridge for the puppies vaccinations and/or antibiotics. I honestly want to know where this "info" is coming from and from whom. I do know that we did have some employees who were not doing the proper job of taking care of the puppies, so as a result they were let go, and of course some where very upset and would go and say to the public or the state that these puppies are all sick and abused. We are very very very picky about who is hired. If you're seen abusing a puppy in anyway or not doing the cleaning properly you will be fired, it's simple as that because we want OUR puppies to have the best care and love while they are in the store with us. But I know and so do those people that not one hair is touched on these puppies. But of course you never read in the papers that pet shop puppies are loved and kissed everyday like we do because that's not something people would gasp at and buy a paper right away. Papers saying "Pet Shop Horror" would be a much catchier headline and would increase sales dramatically.

Every employee who works at the Saugus store has dog(s). At least 99.9% of them have puppies from the saugus store: 1) because we fall in love with them and want to make sure they have the best home possible. 2)the puppy cannot be sold because of a hereditary disorder(i.e. hip dysplasia) 3)some jerk who bought the puppy abused it while they had him/or at home and now wants to return it because it "pees" (yes, we've had many people like that) and we do not want the puppy to get sold to someone we don't know and have it happen again. If you consider this "abuse" then let me know because I think these puppies are getting more love then you can imagine.

Lots of the puppies we get do come from actual dog breeders that are known and you can contact them and ask questions. I'm sure that some do come from puppy mills, I can't say for a fact, but if they do, then they do. All we can do is give them the best care and love until they find a permanent home. I hate puppy mills as much as the next person and would love to see it gone, but if you want to do something about the mills then go and petition the states (i.e. MO) and have them shut down. Don't protest the pet stores because we're the middle men. Everything begins at point 1. the mills.

Let me tell you a quick story about a Silky Terrier that was bought by someone. Let's see if you think we still "abuse" them. A woman who was a nurse (yes a nurse) bought a male Silky from us. We didn't hear from her so we thought everything was going good with her and the pup. A few weeks later she brings the puppy back in the store saying that there's something wrong with him and that she wants us to have him treated and get her money back so she can buy him back after he's better. The poor thing was half dead, very lethargic, and overly dehydrated. We rushed the puppy to our Vet right away and asked her what had happened. She said she did not know, that the puppy "suddenly" became like that. We got the diagnosis from the vet, the puppy was Hypoglycemic. I hope all who reads this knows what this is. We called up the puppy's owner and asked her if she had been feeding the puppy and giving him water. She said she fed the puppy three times a day and had plenty of fresh water. But of course we knew she was lying. We told her the only way to treat the puppy and make sure he does not die is for her to tell us the truth because we needed to know. And she did. She was a nurse and worked 13 or more hours a day and kept the puppy in the crate while she was gone. Of course such a small puppy cannot go without food or water for that long. The puppy almost died 3 times at the vets and went into a coma and had IVs in him. Well the good news is that the puppy got better thanks to the vet and he was brought back to the store. When I saw him i wanted to cry, he was so thin and scared. He would not eat his puppy food so I got him some baby food and chicken and hand fed him. And believe me he was starving or just simply loved food (people food anyway) When I was about to leave for work I was so worried about him that I didn't want him left alone at the store so I got to take him home for home care so he could gain some weight. All the time I had the puppy home his previous "owner" called everyday wanting to know how "her" puppy was and wanted him back. But all we told her was we didn't have any updates on his condition because there was no way we were sending him back home with her. If she wants a dog she needs to get an older one or a bigger puppy. When I took this puppy home he was the cutiest little thing. I fed him every few hours and boiled him some fresh beef. He waited by the stove. He gained 2 pounds in a week and a half and kept gaining as time went on. At five months he was the size of a 3 month old Silky, he would not grow much in size but he would in weight. I had him for 2 months at home and I wanted to buy him so bad. But I had too many dogs already and could not. When he was better he was back at the store and he would go nuts when he knew I was there. Every person who wanted to see him, I "interviewed". I wanted to make sure that since I could not get him, that I wanted him to have a home where they have the time and love for him, and also to feed him. He eventually went home to a guy who's wife has been bothering him for a small dog, since they could not have kids. I cried when the puppy left and wouldn't let him go but I eventually did. I named him "Beau" and I hope that he is very happy in his new home. OK so I guess this wasn't a quick story but it's the truth.

Yes, commission is made on every puppy sold but there are alot of people at wood who could care less for it. I've talked many people out of buying a puppy because from talking with them they did not think about it and was rushing into it, and they thought of a puppy as a thing to play with, not something to take care of and give it food, water and love. Even people with very small children want to get a small dog and I let them know that they need more care then bigger dogs and they can get hurt if the kids don't know how to handle them properly. So if you think we only care about the money and don't care about where the puppies end up then you're mistaken.

Now let's talk about how the puppies have no toys, no blanket, no food, no water. Let's start with the toys. The puppies can have only certain toys while they're at the store. They can only have toys that can be sanitized properly so no puppy germs are spread. Kong's and any other plastic or rubber toys are allowed. So when the cages are being sterilized and the pups are being moved to clean cages they cannot have the toys because it's being sanitized. So unless of you want the puppies to have a dirty toy and get sick from that then they can have toys all day long, but I would rather have them not have toys for a little and then get clean ones later in the day. No blankets you say, well I give blankets to the very small dogs because they crawl right up on it and keep warm. The bigger dogs don't need it as much as the little ones, and they would eat it. And again, when sterilizing the blankets have to be removed and when they get moved into a clean cage they get it back again. Of course unless you want them to be lying on a blanket they soiled on all day long. No food and No water. People ask me why the puppies don't have food, here's the reason. They get fed in the morning before sterilizing starts and when they're done we take the bowls and sterilize them then they get fed later in the afternoon. If a puppy finishes his/her first bowl they get seconds. None of them ever go to bed hungry. But unless you want the puppies to have food in their cages all day long then we will, they'll just get sick from overeating and create a bad habit of letting them eat whenever they want to and we won't be able to monitor if they're eating enough throughout the day. They also get treats too. As for water, they get a fresh bottle of water twice a day. Once in the morning and late afternoon. You can't see the waterbottles because they are on the other side where the cage doors are. But if you open your eyes and LOOK they're there.

Some stupid people ask if we drug our puppies so they sleep all day so they don't bother us. I would drug that stupid person for asking that then drugging a puppy. The only times they get any kind of medication is when the puppy has a cold and is prescribed by the Vet. The puppies are put into another room where they're taken care of in there as not to spread the cold to the other healthy puppies. When the puppies had Giardia every precaution was taken to make sure they got all the proper dewormers. And NO, Giardia is not something that will kill a human. It's a parasite that causes diarrhea and makes you lose weight from it and all you need to do is to take the proper medication. If you've ever gone to another country and came back and had constant diarrhea it's probably because you caught Giardia from eating or drinking that was contaminated. But you get over it. My puppy that I got had Giardia and it has no life long effect. It could be dangerous to a very small puppy but only if it doens't eat and keep hydrated properly. Just like you and me, puppies can catch colds. If your child caught a cold are you going to return him/her to the hospital from where he came from. I don't think so. If you think of yourself as the "mommy" or "daddy" of your puppy then you should do everything possible to make sure they get their medication and get over the cold. The only medication out puppies get are Dewormers, antibiotics, and eye/ear ointment(if they need it) Nothing more, nothing less. I take more medicine (i.e., advil, tylenol, Nyquil, etc...) then these puppies with a cold get.

Just one last thing before I finally finish. Lot of you think that the puppies get no human contact. BULLSHIT!! When i't's nice outside we use to take the puppies outside the parking lot with on a leash and collar and let the get fresh air and get use to the outside. They usually come back in and they're so tired they pass out immediately once they're put back. When the store isn't busy I would take a puppy out to run around the store and train them to sit, give paw, lay down. Just the routine stuff. I don't know if any of you were ever there when I was working but there was always a puppy out to run. And we make sure each puppy get a good amount of excersize every day, especially the large breed pups.

I hope that some of you who took the time to read this now has a better understanding of how our puppies are treated. They are treated like they are our own and we get emotional when one of them goes home because we've become so attatched to them. Like I said, I can't say what goes on at other pet stores or other Woof stores but I do know for a FACT that the Saugus store had people working there who loves animals and they are treated with all the love we can give them. If you think I'm lying then see how the puppies interact with us. They usually don't want to play with the people who wants to see them, they always look for us. So if that's not love we're giving our puppies then I don't know what is.