GRANDVILLE, Mich – Another round of protests took place in Grandville Sunday as demonstrators showed up once again to try and shut down ‘The Barking Boutique‘ which is a store that sells designer and purebred puppies.
While the business says the animals come from reputable breeders, protesters say they’re not healthy and it’s not right to sell them.
“These puppies they don’t look healthy,” says Lindsey Schmidt, who was out protesting on Mother’s Day. “They are cute but if you look at them you will see that they seem sickly. Their fur comes out, they just don’t look natural.”
Demonstrators decided to gather on Mother’s Day to recognize what they say are victims of puppy mills; mothers who are forced to repeatedly give birth to litters of puppies.
“Especially as an animal mom, I want to support the other animal moms who are out here,” said Schmidt.
The owner of the store continues to dispute the claim that his dogs come from puppy mills and invites those with concerns to visit his store as well as the facilities where he gets his animals.
“It’s a derogatory term they use to defame and cause confusion in peoples’ minds,” owner David Boelkes says about the puppy mill allegations. “What we do is we check out all of our kennels, we go and we check out the fathers and mothers and we get to play with them as well as our staff.”
“It’s important for us to talk about the parentage of our dogs. That’s something we’re very proud of and very happy to share with anyone who comes into the store,” says Shelia Noonan, manager at The Barking Boutique.
The Barking Boutique has been open for less than a month and has sold nearly 20 dogs, which sell for around $2,000 each.
Opponents plan to hold more protests and hope to one day ban the sale of retail puppies in the Grandville area.