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Erie, PA County & Millcreek Township: Citizens Want Animal Welfare & Consumer Protection

This petition had 1,791 supporters

To the local elected officials of Erie County and Millcreek Township, PA – there are at least 2,929 local citizens and voters that have identified a local problem. They’ve done their part in research and organization. They’ve been peacefully, tactfully, and factually educating the community on this problem, and now they need you to help them make change.

What if I told you there was a business in your community that not only supported animal cruelty, but it was repeatedly deceitful to consumers and also placed a burden on local taxpayers? What if I told you that over 130 other local municipalities (townships and cities) across the United States have passed ordinances that protect consumers and animals from these injustices, while allowing the local business to remain open? How about if we throw in that we’re working on writing that Ordinance for you? Our research shows us that this type of ordinance needs to be passed at the township level, with the county support. The best news: these ordinances have repeatedly held up in federal court.

Puppy mills are the problem. Perhaps you’ve heard of puppy mills before, but if you haven’t here’s the quick facts. “Puppy Mills” are commercial dog breeding facilities where puppies are mass produced for the purpose of profit via re-sale in pet stores, among other avenues. There are an estimated 10,000 puppy mills in the United States (both regulated and not), and they are the home to large scale animal cruelty. Some mills are regulated by the USDA, and some aren’t. Even in the regulated mills, dogs are legally kept in conditions that would get you or I convicted of animal cruelty. Do you remember Rocky's story? Dogs in puppy mills live like Rocky did. Only it is legal in puppy mills. ( They are called puppy mills, but the biggest victim in these facilities is the breeding stock. ( These mills mass produce an estimated 2.7 million puppies a year for resale. Via unsanitary, unsafe methods of mass transportation, the puppies are shipped via semi or airplane to pet stores across the country. Our records show that over 900 of those puppies end up at Heartland Pets in the Millcreek Mall in Erie, PA each and every year. (

Once at the store, the employees clean up the pups to make them presentable and then offer them for sale to the public. Employees repeatedly use something dubbed “pet store doublespeak” to truly trick customers into believing they are purchasing a healthy, compassionately bred puppy. ( Unsuspecting customers are tricked into supporting animal cruelty and then they must suffer the consequences when their new family member falls ill. You see, poorly bred puppies that are raised in filthy conditions and shipped with poorly functioning immune systems are especially susceptible to many diseases, including deadly forms of pneumonia. Your local Erie County and Millcreek Township consumers are then forced to make tough and expensive decisions. There are plenty of stories of consumers investing thousands of dollars into their new family member, only to have it pass away despite excellent medical care. Plenty of other local citizens find themselves heartbroken when their young adult dog falls ill with a severe, expensive, congenital health issue due to overbreeding. Many of these sick dogs end up at already crowded local animal shelters. In the US, an estimated 2.4 million dogs are euthanized every year strictly due to overpopulation. With 2.4 million “extra” dogs in our shelter systems each year, you can see why the mass production and resale of dogs via puppy mills and pet stores is an outdated and unnecessary practice.  Additionally, euthanizing and care of these abandoned animals places a burden on local taxpayers.

For the last year, a group of concerned citizens has been researching Heartland Pets. We’ve accumulated nearly 90 pages of evidence proving that Heartland Pets has shipped in puppies from at least 30 different puppy mills. In the process of educating the public, we’ve heard story after story of heartbreak from local consumers and past employees who watched puppies suffer and die due to the conditions which they were raised.

This is the good news: There is an answer. Heartland Pets stay open, retain its employees, and experience business growth by switching to the humane model. ( The citizens of Erie have organized and spoken, and they want your help. We want Erie County and Millcreek Township to Go Humane. We want you to contact your citizens at so that we can talk to you about our Companion Animal and Consumer Protection Ordinance, and we need your support to do the right thing. We’re not asking you to regulate the many puppy mills in our area. We’re asking you to prohibit the sale of commercially bred dogs, cats, and rabbits in Millcreek Township. We want to Change Erie. Our friends in Pittsburgh and some stores in Philadelphia have already made the change. We won’t be first, but we don’t want to be last. Please, step up, speak up, and help us move Erie forward.

Your citizens are speaking up, and they need your help.

Today: Erie Puppy Mill Awareness is counting on you

Erie Puppy Mill Awareness needs your help with “Brian McGrath, John Groh, John Mayer, Kathy Fatica, Kathy Dahlkemper, Andre Horton, Fiore Leon, Jay Breneman, Kyle Foust, Edward DiMattio, Carol Loll: Erie, PA County & Millcreek Township: Citizens Want Animal Welfare & Consumer Protection”. Join Erie Puppy Mill Awareness and 1,790 supporters today.