Protesting a West Side Pet Shop

| 20 Jul 2015 | 04:54

The signage out front of Manhattan Puppies and Kittens on Columbus Avenue and 87th Streets reads “Pet Boutique and Grooming.” Even inside the store, it’s not obvious they also sell puppies and kittens, which are kept out of sight.

Some locals are not pleased. Holding posters, seven people spent a recent Saturday handing out flyers about pet adoption and puppy mills, while politely asking neighborhood residents to boycott Manhattan Puppies and Kittens until they stop selling animals.

Jannette Patterson, a real estate agent who lives a few blocks away, said, “It’s simple, there are too many animals and not enough good homes. We want to educate people about the thousands of lovely puppies, dogs, cats, and kittens, waiting for homes in shelters”

Manhattan Puppies, in business since March, offers the usual collection of dog beds, leashes and collars, and a grooming price list. But off to one side, there are three large cubicles where interested parties can sit with and meet puppies.

While the storefront doesn’t seem to promote its sale of puppies and kittens, it’s a strong focus of the website. The home page description begins as follows: “Manhattan Puppies specializes in the sale of healthy puppies and kittens from certified breeders, with whom we have enjoyed long-standing relationships.”

Store manager Meghan refused to give her last name and politely stated that she is not allowed to speak with reporters. Numerous emails to the store went unanswered.

Steve Lunny, 40, has an adopted dog, and was surprised to hear from the protestors that the store sells animals. “I thought they just sold supplies and offered grooming. Knowing that [they sell puppies and kittens], I will not purchase anything from them.”

Mary Atwater pushed her recently adopted senior pug in a stroller and lives around the corner from Manhattan Puppies. “I completely agree with the demonstrators out front. They don’t have to sell puppies and kittens to be successful.” Atwater, 25, adds that the store can work with rescues and adoptable animals instead.

Patterson plans to have a presence in front of Manhattan Puppies and Kittens every weekend. “As long as we have at least two people, we can and will keep the pressure up.”