Mall Chain Replaces Pet Stores with Adoption Centers

Editor’s note: Our original version of this story included an erroneous reference to a quote from Frank and Vicki Mineo, owners of Puppies ‘N Love. The business is thriving and well, and Vicki says they will continue to provide excellent service and products to customers for the duration of 2012 and beyond.

We stand corrected. In a recent conversation, Vicki explained that their business does not follow the typical pet shop model. In fact, she says they promote the highest standards in animal welfare by committing 100% to the puppies in terms of their health, safety and well-being, by nurturing each individual animal in their care, and they encourage responsible pet ownership through education and knowledge.

Their stores are advocates for spaying and neutering pets. Spaying and neutering is important because it
decreases the number of animals that could eventually become strays and therefore be put into shelters or put to sleep. It also helps stop the transmission of diseases. Research has shown that spayed/neutered pets also live longer,
and may be less likely to roam or become aggressive. To put power behind the cause, Animal Kingdom and Puppies ‘N
Love give customers incentive to spay or neuter by offering a free 20lb bag of dog food.

Animal Kingdom and Puppies ‘N Love are a Phoenix, Arizona based, family owned and operated company that have been in the retail pet business for over 40 years. They have built a reputation for providing quality pets to their customers and standing behind them in every way possible.

  • They have an exclusive Veterinary Evaluation Clinic with an on-staff Veterinarian that is licensed by the Arizona State Board of Veterinary Examiners.
  • They provide the most progressive written health warranty available.
  • Included is a free complete veterinary exam
  • All vaccinations are current at the time of adoption.
  • Each of their puppies carries up to a 4 year hereditary/ congenital warranty

What impressed us most was the Homes for Life Pet Placement Program. When is the last time you heard of a pet store that would rehome an unwanted dog?

“We know that our customers have every intention of properly caring for their pets. Occasionally, circumstances arise making it difficult for pet owners to fulfill that obligation. In the event of this unfortunate circumstance, we encourage customers to let Animal Kingdom & Puppies ‘N Love help place their pet through spreading the word through our 100 plus employees, their families and friends, as well as working with local no kill shelters.”

original article continued…

As part of a continued campaign to transition from pet sales to adoptions, the parent company of one of Phoenix’s major mall operators said it will not renew any leases with pet store owners who sell puppies and kittens.

Macerich, owner of Westcor malls in the Phoenix area, said retailers have been told to move to an adoption model or find a new place to do business.

“Our focus is now directed to working with local pet rescue organizations in our communities and pet accessory retailers to serve the needs of our shoppers,” said Melissa Rupp, assistant marketing manager at SanTan Village in Gilbert, a Macerich property.

A shift in public opinion regarding pet sales and welfare has caused retailers to reconsider live animal sales, and a number of independently owned stores across the country have made the transition successfully. But those stores still selling puppies and kittens say this is an unfair policy change.

Animal rights advocates say the switch is not necessarily bad for business, and that offering adoptable pets helps to draw in new customers while raising money for and awareness about animal overpopulation.

“Some people have this stigma around visiting a shelter, they may be sad … and then you offer people this unique setting,” said Arizona Humane Society spokeswoman Bretta Nelson. “It’s more cozy. It’s more homelike.”


  1. Yen says on  07/24/2012 at 9:55 am

    At least something good from Arizona!

  2. Tina says on  07/24/2012 at 9:55 am


  3. Susan says on  07/24/2012 at 9:55 am

    It’s A Start…

  4. That is an awesome action to take.

  5. Awesome! gth! I wish we could do away with PETLAND Puppy mills forever!

  6. Cynthia says on  07/24/2012 at 9:56 am

    Good start!

  7. Wow.

  8. Jennifer says on  07/24/2012 at 9:57 am

    That is an awesome start!!!

  9. Yen, what is that supposed to mean? Explain!

  10. Lynda says on  07/24/2012 at 9:57 am

    One down….and many more to go…but, as Susan Fisher said…’it is a start’. ;-]]]

  11. Kate says on  07/24/2012 at 9:58 am

    Definitely a good start. Let’s hope more places follow this lead!

  12. Awesome news!

  13. YAY!!!

  14. It’s so amazing that this happening more and more! Our Humane Society Satellite Adoption Center in Coastland Center Mall was once a pet store in Naples, Florida for over 20 years. September will be our one year anniversary! #AdoptDontShop

  15. Social consciousness is rising!!

  16. Tina says on  07/24/2012 at 10:00 am

    Thank God!! HOw AWFUL in Florida to see these tiny Puppies in a Glass Cage all Day and longer by themselfes :((((((((

  17. Robin says on  07/24/2012 at 10:00 am

    Tell Macerich Great Job & Thank You!

  18. Carolyn says on  07/24/2012 at 10:01 am

    Most of those places are in China. That has never stopped them. Did my own looking on the internet for pet sweaters. They are only pennies when bought in super large quanities.

  19. YAY!!!

  20. Lyneane says on  07/24/2012 at 10:02 am

    Finally !!!!!!

  21. wonderful,best thing that could have happened.

  22. What I don’t understand is why people buy from those stores still when you have adoption clinics and not only that but breeders who have generally healthier puppies are actually a little cheaper believe it or not.

    • Denise says on  07/24/2012 at 8:15 pm

      That’s why the public needs to be educated on where dogs from pet stores come from. I know it’s hard for some of us to believe but many still don’t know. Not only that but pet stores are deceiving buyers. They tell them they do not purchase from puppy mills, they get them from breeders. Online I saw one pet store on FB say they get their dogs from USDA licensed breeders. Many animal activists were questioning them and with that answer you had the stores supporters sticking up for them and repeating the same thing. What those people don’t realize is that puppy mills are USDA licensed and they are known as commercial breeders. To me the store owners response just proved where the dogs came from by her choice of words. The public needs to be more informed.

  23. I don’t even know how these stores stay open any longer anyway-do people actually go to a pet store looking for animals anymore???? It’s so sad.

    • Stephanie LOVES her furbabies :) says on  07/24/2012 at 10:09 pm

      Sadly they do…I actually was in a conversation with some people, and one girl said that she had gone to our local pet store (shudder, sigh, scream!!) but she didn’t get a puppy there because it was too expensive. UGH UGH UGH!!! Our local shelter is overflowing with babies and the adoption fees are very, very low.. But someone had a very valid point earlier when they said that shelters can be a very intimidating place for people to go to… there is the general overcrowdedness, smells, and animals that you can’t take home with you which leaves a feeling of sadness even if you do adopt a baby in the end. I can see where the two different environments would make a HUGE difference in foot traffic. I think it’s a wonderful idea and HOPE HOPE HOPE it spreads like wildfire!!!

  24. Eleane says on  07/24/2012 at 10:02 am

    About time they were all doing that! Well done to the mall chain in Arizona!

  25. Sharon says on  07/24/2012 at 10:03 am

    Awesome news!!

  26. Elizabeth says on  07/24/2012 at 10:03 am

    this is great, bringing the animals out into the public that need homes.

  27. should become law!

  28. Tinya says on  07/24/2012 at 10:04 am

    KUDOS!!! :)

  29. Michelle says on  07/24/2012 at 10:06 am

    its about time!

  30. If there is a NATIONWIDE ban on mall puppy stores and the like, then these bastard over breeder mills will be put out of business. There really needs to be legislation introduced in Congress! Write your local politicians and voice your concerns. Waiting for the “next” person to take action results in no action!

  31. Beverly says on  07/24/2012 at 10:07 am

    One step at a time is better than no steps! Awesome news and maybe other malls will follow suit!

  32. Kim says on  07/24/2012 at 10:08 am

    Fantastic idea!! Hope it spreads like wildfire!!! :-) <3

  33. Fantastic news!!!!

  34. I know there are reasons to put some of these stores out of business but one of my most loved and long living dogs came from a mall pet store. Now I use high. Quality breeders but still not sure punishing the stores is the way to go.

    • Denise says on  07/24/2012 at 8:22 pm

      It’s nothing against the dogs themselves. The problem is that 98% of dogs in pet stores come from puppy mills. As long as pet stores are in business then puppy mills will be around. The point of all this is to eventually close down all puppy mills. It would be great if a law passed that can shut them all down but doesn’t look like that will happen. So best way now is to hurt their business and that all comes from pet stores. Sure the puppy at the store is cute but what about it’s mother living in deplorable conditions and being overly bred just to provide more puppies.

  35. Debbie says on  07/24/2012 at 10:11 am


  36. Good news indeed.

  37. Thank GOD

  38. Heidi says on  07/24/2012 at 10:13 am

    Its about time! I have walked out of pet stores when they could not prove to me that the pets for sale are from a reputable AKC breeder. When there are mixed breed pets for sale, and they cant prove it came from the shelter, they are selling puppy mill pets. report them and walk out! Besides AKC breeders dont need pet stores to sell their animals.

  39. Kilometers says on  07/24/2012 at 10:14 am

    I wanted to adopt a dog, but found they were charging $440.00 per for the privilege. Nuts. I could buy a puppy and have a far more committed companion to a dog who has been dispossessed. Sorry, but its too much to save too few. How much were these folk charging? Do they give them to the low income/pensioners/unemployed etc for free?

    • Denise says on  07/24/2012 at 8:32 pm

      First of all, not all shelters charge that much to adopt a dog. Also, I’m sorry but pet store dogs cost A LOT more. Many are over 1K and when they do deals it will still cost more than $440…another thing you fail to realize is that many places spay/neuter the dog before adopting it out and they are up to date on their vaccines so take that into account. Many places also take care of any medical problems and pay for all the vet bills before the dog goes up for adoption so you are still saving money and paying less than a pet store dog. If you purchase from a pet store you have to take them for shots right away. Most have kennel cough so you’ll prob have to pay to get that treated too. Then pay a couple hundred to spay/neuter your dog since they do not do that. That alone will cost around the same as the adoption fee alone.

  40. a few malls in our area (NJ) have taken the same stance as well

  41. It makes me so happy to see these changes. There is a pet store near me that sells puppies and I know many people who have gotten puppies there. They all say ” He doesn’t sell puppy mill puppies. He only deals with breeders” and my response is always ” Would they tell they got their pups from mills and not everyones definition of breeder is the same”

  42. This is great! In defense of anyone that has purchased an animal from those mall pet stores, they typically don’t know any better. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were first time pet owners who purchased an animal because they couldn’t say no to their child as they walked past the window.

  43. Great News

  44. This makes my heart sing! I work at a veterinary clinic and we see dogs purchased from puppies n luv with numerous health and hereditary issues, such issues don’t come from so called reputable breeders.

  45. Karen says on  07/24/2012 at 10:27 am

    YA-HOO!! Compassion overcomes greed!! Thank you! Small steps start the journey…..

  46. Qué bien que se empiece a hacer algo contra la venta y tráfico de animales. El boicot es lo mejor mientras conseguimos que cambien las normativas.

  47. Now how do we stop breeders?!

  48. Yea Arizona!!!

  49. Kevin says on  07/24/2012 at 10:31 am


  50. Mari says on  07/24/2012 at 10:33 am

    About time !!!!

  51. Judy says on  07/24/2012 at 10:35 am


  52. yeahhhhhhhh…There’s a light at the end of the PUPPY MILL tunnel.

  53. Sue says on  07/24/2012 at 10:37 am


  54. Kelly says on  07/24/2012 at 10:37 am

    Yes! We need to close all stores that sell puppies and encourage people to adopt instead! Great news!!!

  55. Cindy says on  07/24/2012 at 10:43 am


  56. excelent!!!

  57. Put an end to this type of animal slave trade! There are plenty of pets available in shelters across the USA and they are wonderful! All my pups have been from shelters and they have been wonderful companions through the years! Adapt a pet and save a life!

  58. this is soooo goood!!!!

  59. Kasia says on  07/24/2012 at 11:11 am


  60. I am glad. Petco and Petsmart do the same

  61. Denise says on  07/24/2012 at 11:20 am

    this needs to happen at every store!!!! what a differnce in the lives of so many if all stores would have shelter animals<3<3.. we are slowly making it to more and more stores!! this is wonderful<3

  62. Nancy says on  07/24/2012 at 11:24 am


  63. thats wonderful!!!! Now maybe more stores will follow!!

  64. Wendy says on  07/24/2012 at 11:28 am

    We had a good nanny dog from a puppy mill, and another good dog from a pet store. But, we were very lucky. There are so many shelter animals that need to be adopted. How many of these originally came from a pet store or puppy mill, and the owners had changed their minds?
    This is a good move on the mall’s part. If more would just follow this step……

  65. well done!!

  66. Thank You, Thank YOu, Thank You !

  67. Jenn says on  07/24/2012 at 11:41 am

    Hallelujah!!! I wonder how long it will take the rest to follow suit…

  68. Kathy says on  07/24/2012 at 11:41 am

    It’s about time

  69. Thank you very much for this civilized decision, Mall Chain!

  70. Finally – common sense prevails!!

  71. Linda says on  07/24/2012 at 11:47 am

    I like Arizona more every day

  72. Wonderful, wonderful news. Why can’t ALL malls do that?

  73. Been hearing much great news for animals lately … so wonderful and gives hope for a change in the world for animals !

  74. Thank you to the owners of the Mall, God bless your hearts! Please fix you pets, there are toooo many and sadly the majority are put to die, lets all be responsible and work to save them all, Vets please have your prices reduce, make payment arrangements to qualify people.

  75. YEAH!!!

  76. Good for them…all unauthorised pet stores should be banned.

  77. a win!!

  78. This is a good thing, as well as a not so good thing. So where will these dogs go? Hopefully they will not be put down. It kills me when animas are exploited for $$$.

  79. Maybe they can become adoption agencies instead.

  80. Terry says on  07/24/2012 at 12:38 pm

    what a wonderful news!!!! the rest should follow this example is the right thing to do!!!!!!

  81. GREAT!

  82. This is wonderful – I had this very idea but did not know who to contact in my township. Glad to see change is coming around.

  83. I actually went in the pet store in SanTan Village in Gilbert and got into a discussion with the woman there (owner? employee?) about puppy mills … her last retort was, “we have to get them somewhere!” Kudos to these mall proprietors!

  84. Very cool

  85. Smart!

  86. great!

  87. KUDOs to this mall!!! Help save lives NOT kill animal shelter’s chances of finding a forever loving home!

  88. Jeanette says on  07/24/2012 at 1:54 pm

    It is about time

  89. Great.

  90. Cheryl F says on  07/24/2012 at 2:42 pm

    SOMEBODY in Arizona has a heart, a brain, and a commitment – YAYYY and Thank You!

  91. Denise says on  07/24/2012 at 9:56 pm

    Maybe it’s time to starting writing to all the mall in our own states encouraging them to do the same. The mall nearest to me has a no kill shelter to adopt dogs. Gonna find out what other malls around my area have pet stores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.