Ohio Petland Closes After Deliberate Rabbit Drownings

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Ohio Petland Closes After Deliberate Rabbit Drownings

[Ed Note: Victory! See our alert, Ask Petland to End Rabbit Sales After Employee Rabbit Killings.]

By Heather Moore on Care2.com
August 2009

If you haven't signed it yet, there is a Care2 petition calling on the Akron Municipal Court to punish former Petland employee Elizabeth Carlisle to the fullest extent of the law for deliberately drowning two rabbits at a Petland store in Akron, Ohio on July 28.

Carlisle posted a photo of herself, smiling and dangling two dead, soaking wet rabbits by their scruffs, on Facebook. She confirmed someone's guess that she drowned the rabbits, and wrote: “the manager took the pic for me. [S]he reminded me that there were people outside as I was swearing at them to just hurry up and die but then she was so kind as to take this picture.”

Her other comments indicate that the rabbits had been allowed to “attack and eat each other” while in the store’s care and custody, and that they had sustained injuries as a result.

After being alerted to the photo, PETA asked Petland to investigate the incident, push for criminal charges, review the company's procedures for treatment and euthanasia of sick/injured animals and stop selling rabbits.

Soon after, news reports indicated that Petland officials had permanently closed the Akron store because of the incident, claiming that it will not tolerate any abuse of animals in its care.

It's a start! Petland still needs to take steps to ensure that abuse doesn't occur in any of its stores nationwide. The chain has no business selling any animals—its staff clearly can't supervise and care for them. The company has repeatedly been accused of selling sick puppies from puppy mills. (Petland claims it gets its puppies from "reputable breeder." It's irresponsible for anyone to breed animals considering that three to four million of them must be euthanized in shelters every year.)

In addition to signing the petition, people can help animals by urging the company to sell animal supplies—not animals.

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