An invitation from PetSmart had Jennifer Miller ecstatic. An event called puppy’s first playdate was being organized and they had an in-store social for puppies. To say she was enthusiastic would be an understatement. She couldn’t wait to take Dale, her four-month-old pup, to the event and have him meet other pups his age.
But her much-awaited event turned into a chaotic one after she reached the shop located off Virginia Beach Blvd. And Rosemont Road alongside Virginia Beach.
“Dale saw all those friends to play with and started wiggling his butt a mile a minute”, Miller wrote.
Little did they both know that Dale wouldn’t get to have any fun at all. In fact, he wouldn’t even play with others of his kind or even get inside the program.
When Miller took Dale to the register, the employee there stopped them because she was unsure if Dale could attend the event. When asked for a reason, she said it was because Dale looked like a Pit Bull. Even after she returned from talking to the manager, she wasn’t permitted it. “I’m sorry,” she said. “He can’t stay, he’s definitely a Pit Bull.”
It’s no surprise that this turn of events upset Miller.
“Dale was just looking into the playroom with all those puppies that were staring back at him waiting for him to come to play.” Miller continued. “My heart shattered into a million pieces as I had to turn around and walk out.”
Of course, she was agitated and furious at the store.
“These dogs are not dangerous. They’re not aggressive. It’s all about how you raise them.” Miller said. “I just don’t know what could’ve happened that was so bad that they could just turn away a whole entire breed of dog.”
It was then that it was found that PetSmart’s corporate policy included Pit Bulls, along with other bully breeds, were unwelcome in every group play activities. While they could come into the store for grooming and training purposes, they weren’t left off-leash in the Doggie Day Camp “for the safety of their associates and other pets.”
PetSmart published on their website, “We cannot accept dogs of the ‘bully breed’ classification or wolves/ wolf hybrids including American Pit Bull Terriers, Miniature Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bull Dogs, Bull Terriers or mixed breed that have appearance or characteristics of one of these breeds.”
“This policy reflects careful consultation with our veterinarian staff and safety experts as well as our deep knowledge and experience interacting with these pets in a wide variety of settings. It also reflects our desire to provide a fun, safe experience for our pets, customers and associates.” One of the PetSmart employees said.
But they do admit that they have never discriminated between dogs because of their breeds during other activities.
Again, a woman named Jasmine Marzini approached PetSmart to know if Pit Bull were allowed. She received a similar answer.
After their disappointing answer, she then approached Petco with the same question. To that, they responded, “We welcome all breeds inside our stores and events. This includes Pit Bulls and Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, German Shepherds, Huskies, mutts of all types, and the list goes on.”
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