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Monday, May 17, 2010

Animal Planet Documentary about Petland. Not to be Missed!

Monday, May 17th at 10:00 p.m

 This is Hank's mom reminding everyone to NOT shop at stores that sell puppies.

The documentary that Animal Planet is airing tonight hits very close to home for our family. In 2005 we happened to see a very small, frail and yet energetic pug in the window at a Petland owned sister store. We knew walking past him without a second though was an impossibility so we went inside to inquire about him. He had been there for 2 months and he was sick with 'kennel cough'. 

The manager practically paid us to take him home.  He was our first pug. We named him Tookie.

Talk about personality plus!

But, he was coughing ALL the time.  We went to the vet every week. And sometimes 2x a week. I was determined to find out why he couldn't kick his cough and I was tired of hearing it was a case of stubborn kennel cough.

We kept a sweater on him most of the time to see if that helped keep his cough under control. Eh, it didn't, but he sure looked cute!

His cough seemed to get better in the summer so we were optimistic maybe Tookie had finally kicked this thing. We were finally starting to let him play more. Everytime he played too much before, he would cough so hard we were afraid he'd have trouble breathing.

One of his favorite things to do was lounge in the sun and wait for one of us to come play with him.
But when fall rolled around again and we had our first chilly day, his cough came back full swing. We returned to the vet. And this time we were referred to a specialist that would perform all kinds of tests that would get to the bottom of Tookie's problems.

I met with the vet in the morning who explained the types of tests she would be doing on Tookie. They were all routine and we would be able to pick him up later that afternoon. I felt really good about finally getting some answers for our little man. Tookie really liked this vet too. He was jumping and spinning around the exam room trying to impress her. He was such a flirt!

That afternoon, Bruce came home early so we could go pick up Tookie together. When I called the vet to see when he'd be ready, the receptionist said they'd have to call us back because the doctor was in with an emergency. 

Ten minutes later our phone rang and it was the doctor. Her voice was shaky and she said she was so sorry to tell us that the emergency was our Tookie. While performing a routine procedure, inserting a small camera down his throat so they could get a clear picture of his lungs, a mucous plug dislodged from a hole in Tookie's lung. He went into cardiac arrest. They were performing life saving moves to keep him alive but it didn't look good. There were many mucous plugs filling holes in his lungs. We decided to let him go since he was already under anesthesia and not in any pain. 

We took Stella and went down to the vet's office to say goodbye to Tookie. It was the first time I had ever seen my husband cry. He was our baby and there was nothing we could do to make him better. We were devastated. 

Tookie crossed the Rainbow Bridge 2 days after his 1st birthday. 

The vet's final examination revealed that he had been suffering from sever lung disease his entire life. She believed he was born with it. Our vet was so upset by what happened she went to bat for us with  Petland and found out indeed he came from a 'breeder' that operated as a puppy mill.  Petland knew this and even returned all our money for vet bills, etc. But no amount of money could bring our Tookie back. 

People have to stop importing and buying puppies from puppy mills. They have to stop supporting stores that sell puppies. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats sitting in your local shelter waiting to be adopted. Or you can go through your local rescue group to find your next pet. If you do go through a breeder, make sure you visit them. If they are willing to ship your puppy...run the other way.

In Memory of Tookie
9/24/05 - 9/26/06


Kelly said...

What a heartbreaking story, you guys. I am crying.

And just like you said, these stories are FAR TOO COMMON. Nothing gets my blood boiling like puppy mills and the idiots behind them. I WILL be watching tonight!

RIP sweet Tookie. Your short time here was spent with the sweetest family ever and I am so grateful that you got to experience the unconditional love that you so deserved.

pam said...

This story is making our mommy leak. RIP Tookie!

Bobo and Meja

Those Elgin Pugs said...

Oh Shannon,
I am so sorry to hear about your beloved little Tookie.
You and your family did the right thing and his time he had with you guys was very enjoyable for him I'm sure! He looked so happy with you all! You all took such wonderful care of him!

I will watch that show tonight and stand in complete agreement about those types of shops. They are horrible! If I were to ever be sitting in a jail cell it would be because I would have stolen those dogs right up. My best friend in SC called me up from one of those places about four years ago crying hysterically saying that there was a sick dog that was in that same shop for about six weeks for 8,ooo
She was ready to put him in her coat and leave. I had to talk her down.
People like that really need to take a good look at life and the meaning. Animals are life! How the heck can you try to sell a dog for 8,000 an live with yourself.
My mother bought a Papillon from Petland five years ago.
She totally shared my beliefs.
She went out to lunch with her best friend one day and her friend begged her to go in there with her. My mom refused. Cookie (my moms friend came out crying) My Mom went in and their was a sick Papillon in there. Of course my mom who totally is against the place gave them an ear full. I had to hear about this too.
Two weeks went by and my mother called me...crying and crying about this dog...each and EVERY NITE! She told my dad she had to have her. She had to save her. My dad went in and the price was 6,000 and my dad got the people down to 4,400. It's sick. These people are making crazy money off life and not caring about these babies.
We have to figure out how to stop this and how to get these dogs that are already there out (without going to jail)
Thanks for sharing your story.
My heart goes out to you!

Stubby said...

Hi Shannon! Tookie's story just breaks my heart. All too often you hear about puppy mills getting shut down but what about all the puppies they've produced? It sickens me to think what some people will do to make money.

I will be watching this documentary tonight but may have to put my paws over my eyes. I hate to see my animal friends in dire straits. The sooner we get legislation to outlaw petstores that sell puppy mills puppies, the sooner the puppy mills themselves will be out of business.

Tookie did not die in vain. His memory lives on and his plight is a reminder of caring individuals like yourself that do whatever they can to save these poor babies. He was loved and will never be forgotten.

Stubby xoxo

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh my goodness what a sad story about Tookie. You did the best you can for him and I am sure you made his last days happy
Benny & Lily

agent99 said...

Thank you for sharing Tookie's story. Momma knows how hard it is to lose a special furbaby. We know that Tookie had the best possible life, even if it was too short. Please keep telling his story to help other puppymill dogs who cannot speak for themselves.

Gen & the Foo

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Sorry about the short (but quality) time Tookie was here.
Petland has had a HORRIBLE reputation for YEARS. My sister Lori, got a wonderful GOLDEN Ret. from a Petland in Columbus. Three days after they got him... she noticed a lump. It was a cancer. Lori's vet went toe to toe with Petland and they finally paid for the operation,,, and "gave back " what she had paid for Cisco. THEY FINALLY ADMITTED THAT THE KNEW HE HAD CANCER!!!. The good news was that the vet was able to get it all... Cisco lived 10 magical years.
Petland actually started in Chillicothe, Ohio. When they got going good ... a "company" bought out the original owners and... the horrible stories began.

dw said...

What a sad story -- that didn't have to happen! With word being spread, Tookie's death will be in vain. When I'm ready to adopt again, I will definitely get a rescue pup. No doubt about it.

Lola and also Franklin, too said...

What a very sad story. Your hearts must have been broken to lose Tookie like that. To tell the truth, there aren't so many pet stores that sell dogs or cats in our county anymore. I think there are still a few, but not like there used to be. There are stores that sell fish,reptiles and some birds and small furries like hamsters and guinea pigs, as well as supplies for pets. Not so much dogs, though. I guess that's a good thing. We sure have plenty of shelters and rescues, but even so, not enough of them.

BRUTUS said...

Absolutely heartbreaking.... I have the DVR set to record the APL program, althought I fear a lot of Kleenex may be required. A snoring Frenchie on my lab will also be a requirement, as I need to give Brutus constant hugs throughout.


Hank said...

Excellent post, Shannon (although sorry for your loss).

I will say it again and again and again until I get through to even ONE person:

A. Do not buy ANYTHING (even a rubber ball) from pet stores that sell dogs. They ALL get their dogs from puppy mills. How do I know this? Because a REPUTABLE breeder does NOT sell dogs to a broker. A REPUTABLE breeder wants to see to whom their puppies are going. How can one possibly know what kind of home their dog is winding up in if they don't meet the owner?!?!?

B. If a pet store tells you "we don't get our dogs from puppy mills" they are LYING THROUGH THEIR TEETH. (Again, see above.)

C. Hard as it may be, do NOT "rescue" a dog from a pet store. You are only putting money in their pockets and perpetuating the business.

Whew! Sorry for the rant, but I can't say this enough!

Brutus, Ellie, Pippa and Otto said...

Such a heartbreaking story...mom's all leaky :(

Thank you for sharing your story about Tookie.

Pugs & Kisses,

Yoda & Brutus

mayziegal said...

Oh, my moms eyes are very, very leaky. Poor Tookie and poor you to have lost your little guy so soon. Those places are very, very bad. They do horrible things to the doggies and horrible things to the peoples who luvs the doggies. We hope that everybuddy in the whole country watches that show.

Thank you ever so much for using Tookie's life story to remind everybuddy that there are better places to finds their next furry family members.

We're sending you lots of gentle wiggles & wags!


Tweedles -- that's me said...

We remember this storie of Tookie.
Our hearts are breaking all over again and we just cannot stop these tears from falling.
"Tookies Song" is being echoed through bloggie land. His voice and spirit live on- to ensure that the word gets out about getting puppies from petshops.
"Tookies Song" is drifting across the heavens- I can hear it. Yes I can. How can one little pug say so much?

Wilma said...

Oh Shannon,
we had no idea you all went through such a sad experience. What a sweet little baby. Sharing Tookies story helps to reinforce how important it is to boycott pet stores who sell puppies. It sickens me to think of how those poor animalsare treated. I could never understand being treated with anything less than love and admiration.

Mollie Jo and Bobo said...

What a sad story. We watched that special and it was just as heartbreaking.

Run free Tookie!

Wags and Licks,
Mollie Jo & Bobo
& Uncle Puppy

Melissa said...

I am so SO sorry about Tookie :( I refuse to shop at Petland, and have for years. I can't even go in there to look. It breaks my heart, especially when they try to tell me that the pets they get are from "responsible" breeders. People here try to tell me how awesome they treat their animals, and I ain't buyin' it. Never have.

I hope that Petland gets shut down. It can't come soon enough.

Freya's Human said...

RIP Tookie. What an awful thing to have to go through. I'm so sorry.

Winston Wilbur said...

Oh this is making mum bawl. There is always a special place in our hearts for our first pugs. Tookie was such a gorgeous boy. How wonderful it was to have him even for a short time.

PS we gots our thank you card in the mail!


Oisín said...

Thats so sad! :(
RIP Tookie!

Manda and Oisín

Sketching with Dogs said...

I am so sorry to read about poor Tookie, it must have been heartbreaking for you.
It's obvious from those pictures he had a very happy life with you and loved you very much.
We have puppy mills here too, how people can make money from the suffering of dogs is beyond me.
Thanks for sharing these precious pictures of Tookie with us.
Lynne xx

Salinger The Pug said...

Oh poor sweet Tookie!!!! What a terrible story (and GREAT testimonial as to why one should ADOPT). Mom's eyes are all leaky, but we're glad you shared your Tookie with us!