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Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Northern Puppies: Facebook Furor And Mean Memes



Another critic of a local pet shop on the Facebook page,
Wake Up Northern Puppies!
(Click on image to enlarge.)


PLATTSBURGH CITY – 4/2/12

Ask one person about Northern Puppies and hear how it’s a bad pet shop, don’t go there.

Ask someone else about the same business and hear only good things about it and its owner, Tammy Staley.

So what’s the real story?

Hard to say.  I stopped by Northern Puppies today but the owner wasn’t in.  I left contact info with an employee and later emailed the owner to request an interview.  With the great controversy raging on, I can understand that it might take her a while to get back to me.

I was unaware of the uproar until someone without my permission added my name to a Facebook group called Wake Up Northern Puppies!. I haven’t deleted my name from the group because I want to track it as well as two other FB groups, the Northern Puppies business page and supporters of the shop, Support Northern Puppies.

Accusations and counter-charges are flying all over among the three groups.

Somewhere in this messy dog food fight might be the real story.

Wake Up Northern Puppies! was created to express concern about certain practices and issues with the NP pet shop.  While the original intent was good, the group has lost its focus with extremists posting comments more emotional than rational.

Maybe some of the incidents that commenters have reported did happen but anecdotes about unnamed parties who had problems with NP aren’t evidence.  Stories from a friend of a friend are only good for urban legends.  Saying something doesn’t make it true but with a medium like Facebook truthiness memes are easy to spread.

It seems that with WUNP! owner Staley can’t catch a break.  

Someone posted a photo of NP puppies in an enclosed common area spotted with canine feces.  Staley has said the photo was taken early in the morning when her shop first opened and that the area is promptly cleaned up at the beginning of each business day.

So one of the NP critics complains on WUNP! the shop is using too much bleach to clean the puppy pen and the poor animals are exposed to it all night.

Another critic complains that the puppies don’t get enough exercise.  So volunteers come in and walk the dogs outside.  This leads to more criticism.

One commenter observes: “I hope she is getting them their shots because bringing them outside without them can make them very sick.”

Another adds: “No kidding if there is any contamination in the soil around that place (parvo can live in the soil for years!) those puppies are screwed.”

That’s not to say that some WUNP! commenters don’t raise some valid points.  For example, responding to the issue of the puppy pen feces, Staley said on her business page that she wasn’t aware that the enclosed common area was a health risk.  She was making changes, planning to hire someone to stay at the shop overnight to keep the pen cleaned.  In the meantime, she would kennel the dogs at night, even though she didn’t like to do that, preferring to let them run free.

So mentioning that she would have someone stay overnight and clean the pen was an opportunity for another WUNP! critic to make a snide comment.  When someone said that the store didn’t look that busy on Sunday and apparently NP didn’t need the money, a commenter replied: “no, they were still tired after spending the night in the store watching the animals...LOL”

And on and on it goes.  It reminds me the heyday of CB radio when responsible people tried to carry on intelligent conversations but a few yahoos showed up and dominated the airwaves, making insulting remarks, provoking fights and carrying on heated verbal feuds.

There aren’t enough valid signals in the noise at the WUNP! group.  One person wrote that she was quitting because it was becoming immature and childish. She added: “I originally joined because I wanted to help turn what looks like a negative situation into a positive one, but instead has become more of a bash fest…”

And that’s unfortunate.  There could be real issues that have to be addressed with Northern Puppies but people who care are being turned off by the extremism of others.  I get the impression that a few WUNP! members hate pet shops in any form and no matter what the owner does they’ll never be happy. 

Wake Up Northern Puppies! got off on the wrong foot with some people by the way they ended up being group members.   Like me a lot of people were signed up by Facebook “friends” without any heads up.   At one point the total membership number for WUNP!  was impressive but meant nothing considering how many were involuntary members. 

If someone really has valid criticism about any local pet shop – and not some “a friend of a friend” dog crap – please contact me.  Show me the evidence.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Tina said...

I unfortunately did not take pictures of the abuse. I wish I had done so. First hand, I saw 5 bunnies dyed to create an "Easter Bunny" effect. Red dye can hurt and kill animals. She should have known that and also had known that it is illegal t sell altered animals. These bunnies were cramped up in a 10 gallon aquarium.

Also I had seen three ferrets inside a 10 gallon aquarium. Ferrets need exercise. Not to mention their aquarium was filled with urine and feces.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Melissa Gokey said...

I have been to Northern Puppies. I Do no have proof because I refused to buy anything there. It was not a good experience at all. I will start out by saying It was well after noon and there was a mess in the dog pen. (feces and Urine) The person working did apologize for the mess and told my friend and I that it had been and busy morning and she was trying to give all the puppies their baths. But while she was busy washing one puppy others would poop and or pee in the pen again. Well the clean wet dogs were running through the new messes spreading it all over the pen and the ones that hadn't been bathed yet had feces and urine on their feet/legs and bellies from laying in it the night before. Also the white/cream colored puppies had discolored coats. The whole time we were there this one tiny puppy cowering in behind the crate in the corner and a much bigger puppy was biting at making the puppy cry out. When we mentioned this to the person working all she said was "omg he does that all the time" meaning the bigger dog. She did nothing about it but watch so we kept mentioning it and FINALLY she got in the pen made the other dog move on (which he just went on to attack other puppies) and took the other one out from its hiding spot to the open. After a bit we let and I remember my friend saying to me how long do you think it will be before "the bully" (as we named the bigger dog) gets ahold of that little one again? There was only the one crate in the pen and no bedding or toys. I cant comment about water or food because I honestly dont remember one way or the other.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Coral_Dreams said...

The 11 kittens that survived their nightmare experience have been surrendered to Elmore SPCA. All of them are sick. The shelter is asking for help to take care of the kittens. They have posted what they need on their website. http://www.elmorespca.org/
I think Northern Puppies should foot the bill for all of this. They created this mess. They should be held responsible for cleaning it up.

9:31 AM  
Anonymous Kaleigh said...

Check out the inspection report, it speaks for itself. Nothing but the truth there from an honest professional who inspects many kennels, dog control Officers and licensed pet dealers. You can look it up on the NYS Ag & Markets website :) I hope it helps

11:01 PM  

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