Just days after the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released video footage of pet shop employees abusing and neglecting puppies, over 50 animal rights activists and local area residents staged a protest at the store, Chelsea Kennel Club. NY Animal Defenders, the grass roots group that organized the protest, said that the video taken by an undercover investigator at HSUS “shows violence toward and rough handling of young puppies, neglect of sick animals, failure to disclose illnesses to customers, and other shameful behavior.”
NY Animal Defenders said the purpose of the protest was to demand an immediate investigation into the businesses of Dana Derragh, who owns several pet stores in NYC, and for the immediate closure of Chelsea Kennel Club. Participants also used the protest as an opportunity to inform neighbors about the abuses taking place inside and to encourage the public to adopt dogs instead of buying them from pet shops, which sell puppy mill dogs.
“This is what happens when profit is placed ahead of animal rescue and welfare efforts – abuse, cutting corners to save pennies, and lying to customers,” said Leo Nardo of NY Animal Defenders. “Instead of buying an animal companion, New Yorkers should adopt at one of the city’s many animal shelters, which are full of dogs and cats who desperately need a home.”
A day before the protest, several activists entered the store to confront the owner and inform unsuspecting customers about the abuses.