Our sister site, puppymillfree.us is reporting jurisdictions that are passing bans that have active stores in them is on the rise. Our current count is 72, though there may be more.
The long-standing fight in Naperville, Illinois finally came to a righteous conclusion last month when a 6 year battle—only bested by our battle in Reno which has had overwhelming support for passage for 7 years—finally passed putting beleaguered Petland and Happiness is Pets on notice: when 2021 comes along, no more puppy mill store dogs and cats in your windows.
Olympia, Washington had a live animal sales pet store for only a matter of weeks before a veterinarian council member said, “Enough is enough!”
The council’s first reading (video timestamp 25:00) passed unanimously. Hopefully the small franchise’s store in Puyallup will undergo the same fate with an 8th ban passed in Washington state.
Very few might know this history: Reno’s current puppy stores got here because a convicted felon sold them when he went to jail.
The Franks family owned Brock’s Pups in South Lake Tahoe, Lil’ Pups in Carson City and Puppy World in Meadowood Mall.
In 2009, Old Man Franks was removed in handcuffs from his SLT store: arrested for drug trafficking to minors.
His grandson and another employee were likewise arrested for parole violations.
Found guilty and sentenced to 11 years, Mr. Franks put his stores up for sale.
Franks found buyers in Joe Young and Mike Schneider, who renamed the store Pets-R-Us. It subsequently closed, after mounting public pressure spearheaded by Puppy Mill Free Reno, including pressure from the conglomerate Mall Management based in New York City.
According to Mr. Young, Mr. Schneider and he were to go in halves on the purchase, but Mr. Schneider reneged on the deal at the 11th hour. Joe went ahead with the purchase and hired Mr. Schneider as general manager, which he performed for 6 months to the day when he quit and opened a rival store, the now scandal-ridden Puppies Plus. It could be inferred he had the funds all along.
Northern Nevada Can’t Let This Happen Again
Should the jury find Mr. and Mrs. Schneider guilty, everyone thinks the stores will close.
The store closing permanently is not the likely case!
Though the Schneiders may be barred from interacting with animals, they may be allowed to own the stores, but not manage them.
Or the judge may include in his sentence that the Schneiders may no longer own businesses having to do with animals.
And then they sell them.
And we know of at least one potential willing buyer. Actually, two.
That’s right. Guilty or not, jail time or not, stores could continue in Sparks, Carson City, Incline Village and other unincorporated areas of Washoe County unless councils and commissions all the way to Douglas County PASS THE BAN WE’VE BEEN ASKING FOR SINCE 2013.
Reno is taking care of the problem by passing a prohibition on the sale of dogs and cats in retail stores including current stores and hopefully effective immediately upon passage in the Spring.
All local jurisdictions must follow suit
Puppy Mill Free Reno/Sparks/Washoe asked our former Sparks City Council champion, now state senator, Julia Ratti last October to sponsor statewide legislation banning puppy stores. She heartily agreed.
Hopefully we’ll see a statewide ban after the next legislature meets in 2021, but the more towns pass a ban, the more likely a statewide ban would follow suit.
And there’s another scenario that has a 50% chance of happening: the Schneiders are found innocent. 😱
Reno, Sparks and Washoe County find themselves in the national spotlight from time-to-time. Sometimes with great news like the economic boon and rapid economic development after falling to worst place in the country for mortgage defaults.
But Reno gets equal bad publicity on the national front time-and-time again: for animal abuse.
Schneiders Torture and Kill Puppy, Practice Non-Standard Medicine on Dogs
The Schneider’s trial for abusing puppy mill store animals including neglecting one as it lay in the back suffering to death.
Sound familiar? KOLO TV reports over the past years including January 2014, Spring 2015 and late 2015 on conditions in puppy stores went far and wide and was one of the leading causes of getting the store in Meadowood Mall closed, a deal brokered by Billy Howard of Puppy Mill Free Reno.
Meadowood Mall Store — Dogs Dying Alone in Dark Back Room
In one KOLO report a young employee is in tears talking about the dogs dying alone in the hot back room: along, without aid, medicine, comfort to ease their pain. He said he continued to be employed there so he could help the puppies because the owners didn’t care.
The owner of the store agreed to stop selling puppies from puppy mills and gave a trial to being a supply store with adoptable animals featured from shelters and rescues, notably the Nevada Humane Society. [But activists had to use some strong arm tactics to get that far including escalating protests including inside the mall and 2 activists willing to handcuff themselves to the mall’s doors near the store after a letter-writing campaign to New York based Mall Managers.]
7 Dogs Dismembered, Beheaded By Young Man
Gruesome details emerged not long after of a former Reno High School Student President who used drug addiction as his defense when he acquired 7 puppies and recorded how he tortured, dismembered and beheaded them in a hotel room before being caught by authorities. The perpetrator admitted in court he grew up and loved hunting. The judge watched the videos and fought back tears. Luckily that sentence is strong: 28 years with possible parole in 12.
Young Man Taped Torturing Boyfriend’s Dog For An Hour Including Waterboarding
Early in 2019 an hour long video of a man torturing a chihuahua in Reno including punching her and waterboarding her in a shower stunned the nation. The dog’s mother may also have been killed. The perp was sentenced in early 2019 and might already be out on parole.
Will Reno make the national news again and again if there are stores open?
The only way to make sure this ends is to pass a ban on the sales of dogs and cats in the cities and counties. And we’d add rabbits, ferrets, pot-bellied pigs, long-lived birds, large reptiles and certain chicks (not dyed and in lots) and certain turtles with propensity to shell diseases.
Some think the anger at the Schneiders and the results of the trial will be all that’s needed, but we say
All Local Jurisdictions Should Ban the Sales of Dogs and Cats and Other Animals Formally
Have talked to a lot of elected officials over the past 4 months: one thing seems to be clear at the start of the new year: they all signal they are DONE with puppy stores.
To the person, they all think the trial will find the Schneiders guilty followed with the requisite closing of both stores they own.
Makes us uneasy as the trial could go either way. And frankly—it seems anyway—the more confident a party the more the surprise when the jury foreperson declares
“We the jury have found the defendants…
Asked about such a contingency they all have declared, “Well, then we’ll have to see what steps we will have to take….”
Making it feel pretty certain that one way or another the stores will be closing, whether through ordinance such as in Reno or by the recent licensing requirement of the stores that could have Animal Services bear down on them in such a way the owners would cry “Uncle!”
Reno’s ban was unanimously voted by Council to include the current store on October 23rd after activists pitched a fit at the September 19th emergency meeting when staff told Council the current store would have to be exempted from the ban. Billy Howard spoke in public comment again at the conclusion of the meeting asking staff to cite what ordinance or state law precludes the current store from a ban and that we were going back to the problems of 2015 with staff being the “tail wagging the dog.” The community has wanted an end to puppy mill stores since 2013 and staff has made the appearance of countering that mandate from its inception.
At the subsequent October 23rd meeting, the City Council was unanimous in including the current store in the ban. PMFR was in constant contact with staff liaison Angela Fuss during that period providing statistics on bans that included current stores and the average frequency of amortization, which was low: 1 month, with a number of recent bans effective immediately. That was then included by staff in the pitch to the council for the ban going forward.
Staff has until April 24th, 6 months from passage, to produce an ordinance (and its placement in code) for the Council to vote on, likely yet another unanimous vote. Bonnie Weber was against us when she was a county commissioner, citing the northern territories of Washoe County are adamantly against any kind of animal rights or even animal welfare protections, but remained silent during council comment period. Council Member Brekhus is a contentious player, but even she voted to include the current store under a ban which passed unanimously.
Timeline to passage
If staff is able to produce the ordinance by the deadline and doesn’t ask for an extension, Council will vote on the ordinance—which seems very likely to pass—then another period has to go by of either 2 weeks or 1 month for the second reading of the ordinance to become law. There’s another period of 2 weeks to 1 month where state law requires an ordinance change to be published in the local newspaper before the law can be enacted.
Activists have to be prepared that there may be a request for an extension because of the convoluted nature of Reno’s laws within the entanglement of the “Interlocal Agreement.” Humane Society of the United States lawyers have offered to produce an ordinance, but it cannot be the cookie-cutter version that was originally pioneered by local activist Dawn Armstrong in South Lake Tahoe in 2009. To get it right and without objection from Washoe County, that could take time. PMFR activists are involved in this process after Mayor Schieve directed staff to work with us on the matter.
Reno’s ban, therefore, could be enacted as early as May 22 or as late as July 1. And that’s with an “effective immediately” clause. If there’s a 1 to 6 month amortization period, the effective date could be pushed out to next fall.
PMFR activists have been working in the background to push for an effective immediately clause in the ordinance. It is the most common amortization as we have demonstrated through the data found on Puppy Mill Free.US.
Subscribe to our calendar and this blog for timeline updates.
Sparks, by the way, is excluded in all this. They just simper at activists from the dais when asked to meet with them. The Libertarian juggernaut that is the Sparks Council is immovable. But when Schneiders are found guilty, the matter will, finally, be out of their hands. We’d sure like to see an ordinance there preventing any future stores from coming in and starting the whole mess 0ver again. Anyone who does any mild amount of research will come to the same conclusion:
There are no good puppy mill stores.
An awful lot of questions remain and we blanch at the cavalier attitude to a jury trial, especially after witnessing the Writ hearing where it was clear to all the DA of the day could have been stronger.
But the bottom line is as in our top line: Local officials are sick of the hot mess that are puppy stores and the community is marching to end them.
Of course the clown liars are going to plead they won’t be able to get a fair and impartial jury in the local area due to all the news coverage, protests, blog posts, FB page firestorms, et.al.
And another reason to get these people out of dodge for the trial: the judge and Mike’s prima donnalawyer could have some bad blood. Judge Freeman was wife-murderer Darren Mack’s initial lawyer. Rick Cornell, Mike’s liar, er, lawyer, got Mack a retrial at a hearing based on his argument that Mack’s first lawyers—Judge Freeman among them—didn’t instruct him properly.
So, there is no doubt in my mind they will beg the court to let them try the case somewhere else. Will probably sue for a venue in the most rural part of Nevada they can hope for where puppy mills could be part of the landscape and sympathies may run with “victims of the animal rights/vegan agenda.”
Might try to head to Las Vegas, but there are long battles over puppy mill stores there with Las Vegas the only city in the country to have passed a ban only to retract it. Though they could pass it again and perhaps soon.
And there’s the puppy store owner who tried to light the store on fire with 27 animals in it! So heading to Vegas for trial doesn’t seem like a wise trick. Somewhere along the Loneliest Road in America would be just about right, the only place they could get what they think is a “fair” trial. Somewhere between Eureka and Austin where the inbred hunting crowd is pissed off at animal rights activists for spoiling their fun.
Now of course they won’t bring that plea up for awhile, sometime into the middle of next Spring. And if the case has to move to a new venue, that could add months to the time the trial actually gets under way with jury selection.
And all the while the accused perps could have their mitts on puppies and kittens, doing who knows what to them, injecting them with “fluids” and vaporizing them in a desperate attempt to keep them at least 10% alive going out the door. Because once they are gone they are—in most cases if the Yelp reviews are to be believed—forgotten.
Good news though: Judge hasn’t budged on any of the other shenanigans the Schneiders’ liars have come up with. So hopefully he’ll make them stay here and take their medicine like they forced those poor dogs to do even though they themselves aren’t qualified as veterinarians!
Judge Freeman denied the Writ of Habeas Corpus asking suit against Schneiders be dropped.
Freeman took 13 business days to produce his ruling. Will be interesting to read the judge’s brief.
You’d think the Schneiders would consider new lawyers after the technicality kings couldn’t budge the judge. Though people accused of animal abuse don’t usually get to pick the cream of the legal representation crop, unless of course, they are pleading insanity. Which might be the best case for them anyway.
The community is still in disbelief the Schneiders thumbed their noses at a speedy trial, allowing them to continue to make profits off the backs of suffering animals through the impulse purchase holiday season.
The jury trial won’t even begin for another 4 months and 20 days! And then there will be jury selection which the clowns liars will stretch out to the bitter end, of course.
Puppy Mill Free Reno was born on 7/11/13. Here’s to hoping the trial will be over by our 7th anniversary.
The Reno community is outraged that the Schneiders and their lawyers WAIVED their right to a speedy trial!
Who on Earth doesn’t want a speedy trial?
People who are gaming the system so they can keep on selling puppies all through the impulse purchase holiday season, that’s who.
Of course their technicality-proficient lawyers, especially Tau-Schneider’s, have a knack for getting clients into retrial hearings by exploiting technicalities.
That’s what they are trying to do on 12/03/19 at 10:00a: get their clients off on a technicality of improper jury instructions. Yes, that old chestnut. Good luck!
If their lawyers aren’t able to make a strong enough case that their clients’ egregious charges should be dropped, we have a painfully long wait until these two accused animal torturers are put in front of a judge again.
And jury. How long will it take the clownish lawyers to go through the jury selection process. They’ve already accused no one in particular of prejudice against their clients for being black, though at the 11/09 hearing did not present any evidence for their outrageous claim. But we can expect more theatrics and drama from the opera singing lawyers that could extend the trial for who knows how long. All good, if the lawyers are able to extend the owners’ selling dogs even one more day. That’s what they are paid for.
Next court day of note is 5/11/2020 when the trial
f ~ i ~ n ~ a ~ l ~ l ~ y
We have a countdown clock on our site on the Home and Courtroom pages.
“The approval of this measure by the Congress and the president marks a new era in the codification of kindness to animals within federal law. For decades, a national anti-cruelty law was a dream for animal protectionists. Today, it is a reality.”
The penalty for violating the law can include fines, up to seven years in jail or both, according to the legislation.
We’ve been in on meetings to develop the ordinance language for the Reno ban that City Council Members voted unanimously t0 not include a grandfathering clause. The entire council aims to end puppy and kitten sales in retail stores as soon as possible.
We’ve submitted to City Staff ordinances with very strong penalties per instance per day, ($2500) and strong definitions of rescues to spear the problem California is having with David Salinas.
Our immense local hardcopy signature petition of 20,000 stated on each and every page the retail sales of:
We also now would include:
Royal Oak, MI: Ferrets
§ 195-36 Sale of dogs, cats, rabbits and ferrets by retail pet stores prohibited.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it shall be unlawful for a retail pet store to sell or offer for sale a dog, cat, rabbit, or ferret. A retail pet store may provide space to an animal control shelter, as defined in MCLA § 287.331(f), or an animal rescue organization, as defined in this article, to offer to the public dogs, cats, rabbits, or ferrets, provided that the retail pet store shall not have any ownership interest in the animals offered and shall not receive any fee for providing space or for the adoption of any of the animals.
Pot-Bellied Pigs from Mesquite and North Las Vegas bans
6.13.145 – Limitations on pet shop sales
A. No pet shop shall display, sell, deliver, offer for sale, barter, auction, give away, broker or otherwise transfer or dispose of a dog, cat, rabbit or potbellied pig, except for a dog, cat, rabbit or potbellied pig obtained from an animal shelter, nonprofit humane society or nonprofit animal rescue organization.
Pet means a dog, cat, rabbit, ferret, or guinea pig.
Sec. 10-255. – Prohibitions.
(a) Sale or transfer of pets. No pet store shall display, sell, trade, deliver, barter, lease, rent, auction, give away, transfer, offer for sale or transfer, or otherwise dispose of pets on or after the effective date of this section unless the pet store is exempt under [section] 10-256.
Certain Chicks and Turtles from Sandy City and Midvale, Utah bans:
It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, offer for sale, barter or give away any fowl under two (2) months of age in any quantity less than six (6). Such animals shall not be artificially dyed or colored. Nothing in this provision shall be construed to prohibit the raising of such fowl by a private individual for his personal use and consumption, provided that he shall maintain proper brooders and other facilities for the care and containment of such animals while they are in his possession.
Cambridge MA: arachnids, birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles
6.20.020 – Prohibition on Retail Sales.
A. A pet shop may offer for sale only those arachnids, birds, mammals, amphibians, or reptiles that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with:
1. An animal care facility, as defined in section 6.20.010 of this chapter; or 2. An animal rescue organization, as defined in section 6.20.010 of this chapter; or 3. An animal sold or displayed for agricultural uses; or 4. Dead animals sold or displayed as breeder animals.