Controversial ‘designer puppy’ store planned for Lakes Mall

Posted at 5:14 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 17:14:04-04

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- A self-described "purebred and designer breed" puppy store planned for the Lakes Mall is causing an uproar on social media.

The store, which has not moved into the mall yet, is called The Barking Boutique.

People are worried that the store will sell dogs from puppy mills and unethical breeders.  Some are saying the focus should be on adopting shelter dogs instead.

Many are asking who the breeders are, and if the puppies are spayed and neutered.

The store posted its mission statement and a press release on its website:

The store also made the following statement on social media:

"The Barking Boutique was established so area families can share in the wonderful and rewarding experience of welcoming a puppy into their home. While shelters provide an excellent and appropriate alternative for many individuals and families seeking their life-time companions, we specialize in select puppies provided by USDA regulated breeders. At the time of purchase, all of our customers are guided through a thorough ‘puppy basics’ booklet which is a take-home reference guide. Our goal is to educate families about the best way to care for, raise, and train a puppy so families will have the best experience at home. All of our puppies have had their scheduled vaccinations, and to further our commitment that each and every puppy we sell has the best opportunity for a long and healthy life, the Barking Boutique covers all standard veterinarian care costs associated with the puppy’s first year of care including spay/neuter. The puppies also are vetted locally to ensure the best health and practices!​​"

The Barking Boutique is slated to open sometime in May.

The Lakes Mall issued this statement:

"The Lakes Mall has a lease agreement with the Barking Boutique and is aware of the store’s policy of offering only select puppies provided by USDA regulated breeders, and of providing the first year of standard veterinary care including spay/neuter at no additional cost."  

                              Sean Phillips, regional director, The Lakes Mall