SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Ten pet shelter and rescue groups in the Lowcountry say they are no longer working with a Summerville pet store to adopt animals, calling the relationship "ruined."
People who work with animals every day say finding them a forever home is a priority. But representatives from a group of shelters spoke out together Thursday to plead with Petland, a Summerville pet store to not start bringing in dogs from breeders around the country.
"We simply can't take anymore, Dorchester Paws Executive Director Kim Almstedt said. "The threat of having more animals, puppies, purebreds, what have you, come into our community is astonishing to us and we are pleading with Petland not to bring these bred puppies from commercial facilities in"
In the past, Petland and the shelters worked together on adoptions. But now the groups say they are cutting all ties with Petland.
The pet store says as they sell these new dogs, they still want to help shelter dogs get adopted, too.
"We want to work with rescues, we want to work with shelters, and given the outreach that we have, we are more than happy to feature their puppies on our websites, work with them in any way to place their puppies and adult dogs in homes as quickly as possible," Summerville Petland Social Media Director Lauren Petz said.
Shelter leaders worry that the Summerville Petland will allow dogs to be adopted before they're spayed or neutered.
"All of the shelters and rescues in this area will be even more crowded than we already are," Almstedt said
Petz at Petland says it's just about the timing.
"We do encourage spay and neuter, average typical time for a puppy to be spay neutered is four to six months," Petz said. "These puppies coming in are eight to 12 weeks."
Shelter representatives say if those animals are abandoned before they are spayed or neutered, they end up in the shelters or on the road.
There is no word so far on a compromise. Petland is still planning to sell dogs from breeders.