Tuesday, March 31, 2009

3-Bowl Elevated Feeders!

Got multiple pups? Why not let them eat in style out of one of Merlin's Bark Products custom made three bowl elevated dog bowl feeders. Three bowl feeders are must haves for multiple pup homes and for those lucky pups that need multiple bowls to hold their water, wet food, and dry food. Since our elevated feeders are custom made, they are always made to the perfect height and can be stained (or painted) the perfect color to go with any kitchen.

This elevated dog bowl feeder pictured was a custom order created for a customer and stained in traditional cherry. Check out Merlin's Bark Products selection of available paint (and stain) colors to find the perfect match for your home.

Did you know that elevated feeders are a great thing for a pup (or kitty) to have. Not only do they look nicer than just a plain old bowl setting on the floor, but elevated feeders are very beneficial for pets too. Does your pet eat too fast or cough and gag when eating? Giving them an elevated feeder to eat out of is the most common solution. Veterinarians recommend elevated feeders because they help ease digestion problems, and are easier for pets that have problems with arthritis, neck or back problems to eat out of. Also, using raised feeding bowls help provide pet owners with a more hygienic and cleaner house. How great is that!

Interest in doing a customer order? Just ask. Custom orders are always welcomed!

I'll be barking to you later!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kibble Dancing!

Now this is one silly corgi. Someone needs to tell Sparky that he is suppose to eat the food not dance with it!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Attention Pittsburgh Petland Customers!

Local Petland customers ponder puppy mill suit
Saturday, March 21, 2009
By L.A. Johnson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Kay McQuigg is looking into joining a federal lawsuit that claims Petland Inc. sold dogs bred at puppy mills to customers.

She's doing it for Murphy, her family's beloved 2Â 1/2-year-old lhasa apso-poodle mix, which died Monday, a week after liver shunt surgery. Murphy's medical care, including six surgeries for genetic bone and liver problems, cost more than $5,000.

"It's the principle, not the money," said Mrs. McQuigg, of Wilkins. "It's just heartbreaking for my kids to have to deal with this."

On Monday, six Arizona plaintiffs who purchased puppies from various Petland stores between 2005 and 2008 filed the federal lawsuit and are seeking class-action status. Patrick Howard, an attorney with the Philadelphia law firm of Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, said that anyone who purchased a puppy at Petland since Nov. 20, 2004, could be part of the suit.

Petland, based in Chillicothe, Ohio, doesn't purchase puppies from puppy mills, company spokeswoman Lacey Clever said.

But Mrs. McQuigg wonders whether Murphy was the product of a puppy mill. Since the lawsuit became public, she and others who have purchased puppies with health problems from local Petland stores have contacted the Post-Gazette.

She bought the 3 1/2-month-old Murphy from the Monroeville Petland store in October 2006. He had "kennel cough" when they brought him home, but antibiotics eventually cleared that up.

Then, she noticed Murphy's front legs shook a bit. The vet told her it probably was just a sign of a nervous puppy. So, she didn't worry too much about it. In May or June 2007, Mrs. McQuigg noticed a definite problem.

"Lhasas are bowlegged anyway, but he was severely bowlegged and could not hold up his body weight," she said. "If he stood for 10 or 20 seconds, he had to adjust his leg or lay down because it was going to give out."

A return trip to the vet led to a referral to an orthopedic specialist. A bone in Murphy's leg hadn't completely developed.

"The corrective surgery was to break his leg, de-rotate his wrist and use a bone plate and screws to keep it in place," she said.

There were setbacks. He developed infections. The screws had to be removed, but the bones healed and Murphy looked beautiful, she said. Then, they discovered the problem with his liver, and he underwent corrective surgery March 9.

"He wouldn't stop having seizures after the surgery," she said yesterday, trying to hold back tears. "My children [ages 11 and 15] had to go in and say goodbye."

Mrs. McQuigg approached Petland with a letter from her vet about Murphy's orthopedic problems in August 2007, telling them the surgeon believed the condition was genetic. Petland sympathized but initially said it couldn't refund her $750 because there was no evidence it was a genetic problem.

"Every puppy when it leaves is healthy to our knowledge," said Clay Slivko, owner of the Monroeville Petland. "If something happens down the road, our warranty kicks in up to the price of the puppy."

In Pennsylvania, people can return a dog to a seller within 10 days if the puppy proves to be a poor health risk, he said. Customers can request a refund and return the puppy or try to get money back for reasonable veterinary care.

"The seller also can require the puppy see its veterinarian to confirm it's a poor health risk," he said.

State law requires a 30-day warranty on dogs for any congenital or hereditary health problem -- something due to breeding -- for example, a joint problem or heart condition. Petland takes that further, extending the warranty on congenital or hereditary problems to three years from purchase, he said.

Mrs. McQuigg showed Petland a second letter, one from her main veterinarian in October 2007, stating Murphy's problems were genetic, and Petland refunded her $750.
"When there is an issue with a puppy, any sort of issue, that doesn't mean that puppy is from a puppy mill," Mr. Slivko said. "You're always going to have a percentage of animals that have issues, just like people."

In the past, Mrs. McQuigg had purchased a dog from a breeder and said she had been warned about buying dogs from pet stores.

"This one time, we decided to do it," she said. "I should have known better."

The American Kennel Club Web site recommends people buy puppies from responsible and well-respected breeders.

"Screen the breeder," the site states. "Ask to see at least one of the parents [the dam or sire] of your puppy."

The AKC also suggests potential buyers ask what possible health problems a dog may develop, how large it will grow, how old it will be before it acts like an adult dog, how protective it will be and how much exercise it will need.

Responsible sellers also should question buyers.

If a seller "doesn't show any interest in the life the dog will lead after it leaves his or her premises, you may want to look elsewhere," the AKC says.

For more information about breeders and rescue organizations, visit

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Petland Faces Class Action Lawsuit!

Checkout this great news story from the Humane Society. It is positive news stories like this that make my little bunny butt twitter with excitement!! 

Petland Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Peddling Unhealthy Puppy Mill Dogs in at Least 20 States

PHOENIX — Members of The Humane Society of the United States and other consumers filed a class action lawsuit alleging that Petland, Inc. and the Hunte Corporation are conspiring to sell unhealthy puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers in numerous states. Petland is the nation's largest chain of pet stores that sells puppy mill dogs and Hunte is one of the country's largest distributors of factory-produced puppies.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Phoenix late Monday, alleges that Petland and Hunte violated federal law and numerous state consumer protection laws by misleading thousands of consumers across the country into believing that the puppies sold in Petland stores are healthy and come from high-quality breeders. Many of the puppies sold by Petland come either directly from puppy mills or puppy brokers such as Hunte, which operates as a middleman between the mills and Petland's retail stores.

"Unscrupulous dog dealers like Petland and Hunte reap massive profits by pushing unhealthy puppies on well-intentioned dog-lovers who would never knowingly buy a puppy mill dog," said Jonathan Lovvorn, vice president & chief counsel for Animal Protection Litigation at The HSUS. "Families often bear the great expense of veterinary treatment for sick and unhealthy dogs, or the terrible anguish of losing a beloved family pet. This industry has been systematically lying to consumers for years about the source of the dogs they sell, and it's long past time for a reckoning."

The class action lawsuit is the result of many months of investigative and legal research, and comes after an eight-month investigation into Petland stores by The HSUS that demonstrated a direct link between multiple Petland stores and unscrupulous puppy mills. Numerous other reports have also surfaced of Petland's allegedly deceptive sales practices, including the marketing and sale of puppies with life-threatening genetic defects and highly contagious parasitic and viral infections.

The 34-page complaint includes numerous examples of sick or dying puppies that Petland sold, including:

* Mainerd, a Boston terrier, was diagnosed with a congenital spinal condition. Some of her vertebrae have not formed completely while others have fused together causing tissue to grow underneath along with possible nerve damage. Mainerd is now receiving steroid treatments for her ailments and may require expensive surgery.

* Minchy, a miniature pinscher, was sold by Petland at 10 weeks old. He was immediately diagnosed with coccidian, an intestinal parasite that causes diarrhea and weight loss. Minchy was also diagnosed with an inherited disorder, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, which will ultimately lead to permanent blindness.

* Tucker was sold at 4 months old. The bloodhound puppy experienced severe separation anxiety and various health problems before developing orbital cancer at only 7 months of age.

* Patrick, a Pomeranian puppy, was sold at 3 months old. He suffered from diarrhea and vomiting shortly after arriving at his new home. At 11 months old, Patrick was diagnosed with a genetic disorder, dual luxating patellas, which will require expensive surgery on both of his knees to correct.

Puppy mills are mass breeding operations where the health of dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits. The dogs are often kept in wire cages, stacked on top of each other, with no exercise, socialization, veterinary care, or loving human interaction. They are treated not like family pets, but like a cash crop. Petland denies it supports these substandard breeding facilities, and claims to follow "Humane Care Guidelines" developed in conjunction with the USDA. However, USDA recently informed HSUS in writing that it has no record of any such guidelines.

The class plaintiffs are being represented in the case by Saltz Mongeluzzi Barrett & Bendesky, PC; Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, LLC; Garen Meguerian, Esq. and lawyers in The HSUS's Animal Protection Litigation section. The suit requests a jury trial on behalf of the consumer class plaintiffs, and seeks reimbursement of the puppies' purchase price along with compensation for all related monetary damages for the class members.

To learn more about puppy mills, visit