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JoAnna Lou
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NYC Clothing Store Sells Puppies Amid Protests
Unpomela illegally uses puppies to attract customers
Unpomela has puppies living in their storefront window, right on top of the clothing displays.

Sometimes, I feel like we’re making a lot of progress against puppy mills and pet store dogs—PetCo and PetSmart have in-store adoption centers; puppy mill exposes have been featured on Oprah and Nightline; and celebrities, such as Katherine Heigl, regularly promote rescue pups.

However, last week I was discouraged after hearing that Unpomela, a New York clothing store is selling puppies from their display window. My guess is that their operation will be shut down soon, since they don’t have a license to sell animals (although they did post a ‘not for sale’ sign after a local shelter employee pointed out this fact). But it was shocking nonetheless that a clothing store would even think this was a good idea.

Sure puppies are probably quite effective at luring people into a store, but I wish Unpomela thought about teaming up with a local rescue group instead. Macy’s in San Francisco did this last holiday season, attracting hordes of shoppers and facilitating in the adoption of hundreds of animals. A win-win for all involved!

In Unpomela’s case, a negative public outcry is helping to ensure this doesn’t happens again anytime soon. Local shelter Animal Haven organized a protest last week and many people have already expressed their views on the customer ratings web site, Yelp.

How do you think we’re doing in the fight against puppy mills?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Animal Haven.

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Submitted by C | April 11 2011 |

Thanks so much for writing about this!

The puppies had already been removed from the store window by Friday (the day after the protest) and were housed in the back of the store in crates. The manager told me they were supposedly "adopted" and going to Miami, whatever that means.

One thing's for sure, they were very tense and defensive about the whole topic and I am certain they won't try this again. The protests and calls definitely left an impression. Go Animal Haven!

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