Petland opening greeted by shoppers, protesters

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GROVE CITY (WCMH) — At the grand opening of a new pet shop, both customers and protesters came out in full force.

Grove City council members are in their last stages of a new pet sale law that could affect stores like the newly-opened Petland, but pending legislation did not stop the store from opening at their new Grove City franchise on Saturday.

Protesters who were on scene at the ribbon cutting ceremony said they wanted to educate people on more humane ways for stores to buy and sell cats and dogs.

Mary O’Conner-Shaver, Ohio Voters for Companion Animals, said she wanted “to require all businesses who sell puppies and kittens to source them from humane societies, licensed rescues and also shelters within Franklin County.”

Petland in Grove City

Petland officials said they are aware of the perception that some pet stores use controversial breeders, but Elizabeth Kunzelman, Director of Public Affairs with Petland, said they will work with Grove City to balance their interests with community concerns about where their puppies and kittens come from.

“There are bad breeders, there are puppy mills, we do not like them either,” she said. “We do not want them in existence; they give everybody a bad name. That is not where we are purchasing our puppies.”

Grove City Mayor Ike Stage said there has to be balance between what his protesting locals want and business interests for the city.

“There were years in Grove City when we would beg to have any kind of business come into town,” Stage said. “That has been a number of years ago and we are still tickled to death when we get a new business, especially a retail business.”

Grove City officials could vote on the sale of pets law on March 7.

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