Animal lovers protest puppy mills in Scituate

A crowd gathered in Scituate to protest puppy mill dogs in pet stores on Sunday.

Animal lovers met in Scituate on Sunday, hoping to put a stop to what they say are pet stores selling dogs from puppy mills.

The people at that protest say they believe every dog sold at a pet store is from a puppy mill, or a large breeder that may not treat animals well. They're hoping a petition will help them get a town ordinance to ban the sale of puppies in Scituate.

"If people knew what was going on in puppy mills, we would never have pet shops that sell puppies," said Stephanie Tucker Vaughan, of Scituate.

"I would say 100 percent of the puppies come from puppy mills, and the breeder dogs at these facilities live in just miserable, horrible conditions," said Camille Carrigan, of North Dighton.

But pet shop owners in town say they're not doing anything wrong.

NBC 10 reached out to the owners at The Perfect Puppy, a pet store in East Providence and Scituate, after accusations that they're among those who sell puppy mill dogs. They say that's simply not the case.

"It's false. If they were from puppy mills, they'd be illegal. I mean, puppy mills are illegal, puppy mills are not allowed to be in business," said Carlos Munoz, manager at The Perfect Puppy.

Munoz tells NBC 10 the shop has sold more than 2,000 dogs in the last year and that they go out to check about 90 percent of those to see the conditions in which the puppies live.

For about 150 dogs, Munoz says they work with a broker, Hunte Corporation, which is often criticized for being a puppy mill. Munoz said that company is a USDA regulated breeder.

"The [protesters] don't want anyone selling pups," Munoz said. "They want everyone adopting pups, but I don't think that's a bad thing at all. I actually think it's a good deed, but not everyone should be forced to adopt a pup."