Puppy Barn under fire over diseased pups

Aspen Earnhart, Feature Editor

The Puppy Barn is a popular attraction for high school dates and famous among those with a Twitter. Utahvalley.com describes it as, “Get your puppy cuddles on at the Puppy Barn! Play with lots of different kinds of puppies from big to small! It is a free activity that is fun for families, groups, or dates!” However, Puppy Barn has also garnered a lot of controversy over its conditions, customer service, and even outbreaks in parvo.

In recent years, the pushback against Puppy Barn has grown greatly. A Facebook page, petitions, and protests have been organized due to outrage from Puppy Barn. The Facebook page, “Puppy Barn Victims” has been around since 2015, and currently has 1,643 followers.

An online petition also started around the same time gained over 8,000 signatures by its closure in 2016. As well, there were multiple demonstrations and protests outside Puppy Barn

The primary offense that Puppy Barn has been accused of is selling puppies infected with parvo to unknowing owners, and not taking responsibility after the fact.

Parvo is a virus common in puppies that is caused by canine parvovirus. According to the American Kennel Club, “This virus is highly contagious and spreads through direct contact with an infected dog or by indirect contact with a contaminated object.” Parvo attacks the digestive system in dogs and is usually deadly, or very expensive to treat.

Young puppies are the most susceptible to contracting parvo. “Puppies younger than six-weeks-old still retain some of their mother’s antibodies, assuming that the dam[mother] received her full series of parvo vaccinations. Puppies are vaccinated against parvo at approximately 6, 8, and 12 weeks of age,” according to the AKC.

Recently, Puppy Barn has been accused of selling puppies that are either too young to be taken from their mothers or unvaccinated, even though they market their puppies as having their shots.

There are many stories on the Facebook page claiming that individuals purchased puppies from Puppy Barn that were examined by vets and found to be younger than 6 weeks old, or unvaccinated.

It is often advised that puppies shouldn’t leave their mothers until at least 8 weeks of age, due to socialization aspects as well as the immunities from diseases like parvo they receive from their mothers. Several states have laws against how young puppies can be sold, however Utah doesn’t have such laws. Due to this fact, activist groups have struggled to find legal ground against Puppy Barn.

As of currently, Puppy Barn is still in business and the petitions and demonstrations seem to have been a dead end. However, the Facebook page has continued to grow supporters as well as viral stories.