No Matter How Court Rules We Need Bans to End Puppy Stores

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. 😱

Mass Rally to End Puppy Mill Stores!

Saturday April 25
11a — 1p
Corner Neal Rd/S. Virginia

Looking for a big community turnout to let local elected officials and the court know:

Reno, Sparks and Washoe County want an end to puppy mill stores!

  • Bring your freshly painted signs!
  • Wear bright clothes or costumes!
  • Put on some face paint!
  • Bring a drum, cymbals or pots and pans to bang!
  • Bring your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers!

Let’s make a festival of noise for the animals!

75 people turned out in April 2014 to end puppy mill stores.

Let’s make this bigger and better than 2014!

Can we get 100 people to stand up to end animal torture in puppy mills and their retail stores?

Ping your social networks! Your family, friends, co-workers, and let’s get this done!

It’s up to you!


Puppy Mill Awareness Week at UNR. 1½ weeks of events.
ap 75 people turned out in April 2014 to end puppy mill stores.
Map to protest Puppies Plus, Reno.

Northern Nevada’s growing reputation for getting away with (animal) murder

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

4th Statewide Puppy Mill Store Ban in World, 3rd in US

Even whilst Maryland’s statewide ban is being challenged in court (it will lose like 13 other attempted lawsuits), Maine’s Governor Janet Mills has moved the legislature’s 6 month old bill to law.

Our sister site Puppy Mill Free US reports extensively on the history of Maine’s ban, which could have been the first in the world back in 2015 in their article Maine’s Convoluted Path to a Ban.

Meanwhile, the Puppy Mill Free.US global tracking map has a new blue state!



2020 State of the State: Bye-Bye Puppy Stores!

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…

(pause…. drama….)

NOT guilty!”

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

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.

We all wish it would be sooner than later.