Just when I was starting to think puppy mills would never disappear comes fantastic news: a prominent shopping center developer is banning the sale of live animals in no fewer than 74 malls across the United States.
Starting a month from now, Macerich has told pet stores it will no longer renew their leases if they continue to sell animals.
An animal lover from Los Angeles named Jennifer Peterson gets the credit for the new policy. Peterson started reading up on puppy mills after a friend of hers bought a puppy from BarkWorks pet store, only to realize days later that the dog was sick.
Peterson went to town pressuring BarkWorks to get out of the dog-selling business. She started a Facebook page, Boycott BarkWorks, where other victimized customers could share their stories. And then she contacted a friend of hers who just happens to be Macerich’s vice president of leasing. BarkWorks leases its space from Macerich. Her friend in high places, Randy Brant, was astonished to learn the harsh facts about pet store dogs. Together Brant, Peterson and Brant’s wife, Dahli, spent a year helping Macerich craft the new ban.
I’m so psyched by this news and by Peterson’s challenge. “If you see a pet store, write a letter. Complain,” she told a reporter. “Find out who the leasing company is and let them know about puppy mills. … People can do it.”
You bet they can.
Wondering if your local mall is a Macerich property? Here’s a link to help you find out.