Dog Shelter to Sell Puppies to Pet Store

Plan may save up to 150 animals a year, but it has its critics.

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Officials in Athens County, Ohio, have struck a deal that will allow a national pet-store chain to buy puppies from a local animal shelter. The pups would then be sold at a profit.

County officials have agreed to allow Petland to pick from the pups at the Athens County Dog Shelter  after paying the going price of $55 and sell them at the chains Athens, Ohio, store.

Athens County says the deal will save up to 150 animals a year that otherwise might be euthanized, but critics say the arrangement gives Petland a cheap source of profitable dogs.

Petland operates over 175 stores, including 29 in Ohio. Under the agreement, it will sterilize most puppies acquired from the Athens County shelter, according to Lana Planisek, the countys dog warden and Athens humane officer.

The intention is for all pound animals to eventually be sterilized, but owners of pups sold before they're old enough for sterilization will receive a certificate to have the dog spayed or neutered at no charge.

Petland will quarantine the shelter puppies at its veterinary center for two weeks to vaccinate and deworm them before putting them up for sale. Dogs from the shelter that are deemed to have problems after being examined or do not sell in the store will be sold at a deep discount or given away, but will not be returned to the shelter.

Also, as part of the agreement, Petland has agreed to display adult dogs from the shelter outside its store in order to encourage their adoption from the shelter.

Posted: April 20, 2006, 5 a.m. EST

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