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Former Petland worker given probation in drowned-rabbit case

PetlandAfter initially pleading not guilty to two counts of animal cruelty, former pet-store employee Liz Carlisle -- whose admission on Facebook that she'd drowned two injured rabbits at an Ohio Petland franchise drew the ire of animal lovers across the country and led to the store being closed -- changed her mind last month and instead pleaded guilty to the charges. 

Carlisle, 20, apparently drowned the rabbits after they were both badly injured during a fight with each other.  She later posted a photo, in which she smiled while holding the dead rabbits, on her Facebook page.

Carlisle's attorney, Ron Gatts, suggested that his client was not getting a fair shake, implying that store policy may have played a role in the incident and insisting that Carlisle was in fact "an avid animal lover."  (For its part, Petland was quick to distance itself from Carlisle and her case, noting in a statement that the Akron store "was individually owned and operated by a local franchisee" whose agreement with the company had been terminated in light of the animal-cruelty allegations.  "Petland will in no way, shape or form tolerate any abuse of animals in its care," the statement continued. "We are outraged at this gross violation of Petland's animal care standards.")

Last month, Carlisle abruptly changed her plea to guilty, despite Gatts' inclination to bring the case to trial. "As much as I wanted to try the case, [Carlisle] said, 'I did it,' which I think she has said from the beginning, and she said, 'I just want it to be over with','' the attorney told the Akron Beacon Journal

Although a judge could have sentenced her to up to 180 days in jail, Carlisle received probation.  She'll also have to pay a $250 fine and serve 120 hours of community service, the Beacon Journal reported.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Animal rights activists in Akron, Ohio, protest outside of the Stubbs Justice Center during an August court appearance by Liz Carlisle. Credit: Mike Cardew / Associated Press

 
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Interesting that Petland says they care about animal cruelty, when it seems they only really care when the evidence shows up on an employee's Facebook page - otherwise why would they buy and sell animals?


In fact, Petland is well-known to be one of the biggest customers of puppy mills across this country, where breeder dogs are kept for their entire breeding lives in tiny cages with wire floors, no sanitation, no fresh air, no heat when it's cold or air conditioning when it's hot, ZERO vet care, and no positive human contact.


These dogs spend almost their entire lives pumping out profit-making puppy after puppy, then when they get too old to breed regularly they're abandoned or killed.


Years after major chains like Petco have stopped stocking puppies, using living creatures as merchandise, Petland continues to support an industry known for its ruthless exploitation and cruelty to dogs, thereby becoming an active partner in the abuse.


Yet they're shocked - SHOCKED - to discover that they had an employee who drowned two rabbits.


If Petland cares about animal cruelty they should stop paying for it to happen every single day of the year.

I'd like to correct one part of my comment. Petco no longer sells puppies (I don't know if they ever sold kittens), however they do still sell a variety of reptiles, birds and rodents, all of which are living beings.


On the whole it's more humane to support pet supply stores, a local example of which would be Centinela Pet & Feed (and no, I don't work there) that not only don't sell animals, but which provide an opportunity, with weekend adoption events, for local rescues to showcase rescued dogs and cats.


Reptiles, birds and rodents' lives are important too.

Not enough...

PETA divided angrily last Thursday over feelings concerning their Lake Tahoe PETA members.
This chapter formulated a special bylaw for couples practicing cannibalism.Instead of meatless days they advocate tourist free days.It's a logical step from protecting animals. This Tahoe faction feels they should practice what they preach.
Prop 685 unites the latest efforts of understandbly angry Lake Tahoe citizens on the upcoming ballot next year.It has chosen the title below.
Spousal Leash Law
PETA chapter chairmen met on Thursday to publicize their expulsion of the Tahoe Chapter.Keep Tahoe Blue and Not Red remains their policy.


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