This girl put her foot down, decided that enough was enough, and quit her job. Then, she pulled back the curtain on what really went on behind the scenes at the store where she had worked. We have the photos, and you can decide for yourself if she did the right thing.
Katelyn Cerciello, an animal lover, eagerly took a job at the Petland in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, but after just one month of working there, she “couldn’t watch the owner refuse vet care for sick puppies anymore, ship them back to the Hunte Corporation to be euthanized, or in general sell puppy-mill puppies for thousands of dollars to the unknowing public.”
The ex-employee not only quit her job, she went to social media and the internet, writing Facebook posts as well as a Blogspot blog to tell her story. With her posts and blog, she included pictures to prove her complaints, and the Pennsylvania pet store that once employed her found itself under fire, facing heavy criticism, after the ex-employee’s accusations surfaced online, claiming the store was abusing its animals.
“You could tell they were sick,” Cerciello told reporters with WPXI. “9-week-old puppies should be bouncing and playing, but they’d be lying on the floor.” She also claimed that, despite her insistence to help the animals, the store’s owner, who was more concerned about money than the animals in his store, did nothing to help.
“I kept telling him something needs to be done, and he wouldn’t do anything,” she recalled. That’s when she decided to take matters into her own hands. After being stonewalled, she wrote her scathing Facebook post and blog, both of which not only described in detail the alleged abuses that the animals would suffer and what she saw but also included the photos to seemingly back up her claims.
“I ended my job at Petland in Robinson, after only a month, and let me show everyone why,” she began in a Facebook post before adding, “I came home in tears, more than a few times because my heart was so heavy for these poor animals. Everything negative that has been heard about this pet store is true I’m sure, if not even worse.”
After explaining that she’s been involved in animal husbandry and breeding for many years and that she never saw a set-up like Petland, she added that she had “been documenting and taking pictures of what goes on at that store for the last month.” She continued, “Hopefully the public will soon start to understand the cruelty that goes on at Petland and refuse to buy from them.”
“I was basically horrified at the sight of white mice in the back room,” Katelyn wrote, including a graphic picture that’s difficult to look at. “They were bloody, smelled like rotting flesh, and horrendous looking.”
In another post, she described how she discovered that the supposed “breeder” of one of the dogs ran a puppy mill. She also described abuses that animals allegedly received while in shipment to the store, writing, “It was known that there was supposed to be 13 puppies arriving on the truck. Only 10 of those 13 made it to Petland. I was told by the older ladies who work in the kennel that those puppies were pulled from the truck on the way because they had DIED.”
Katelyn, who from the looks of her Facebook profile likes to both hunt and fish, made sure to clarify that she’s not an “extreme animal rights activist by any means” but that the animal abuses at the Petland store were so bad that the place should be shut down.
When reached for comment, the owner of the store, Jeff Koury, told reporters that Katelyn Cerciello had made up the allegations, including the photos that went along with them. The company also lawyered up, and according to the manager, the store is up to date with the American Kennel Club.
Although the store has denied any wrongdoing, some customers have since come forward following Katelyn’s complaints, saying they had bad experiences with the store as well, alleging the animals they bought were not in good condition. In fact, WPXI obtained a long list of dissatisfied customers when it came to the health of the animals they received from this particular Petland. Others even talked with reports about it on camera.
The store and its staff also allegedly received threats as a result of Katelyn’s public complaints, and staff posted a note on the store’s front door following Katelyn’s posts garnering attention, saying the store closed early due to “personal threats on employees and harassment.” However, some allege that the closed in order to clean up.
Even as she was called a liar, Katelyn Cerciello stood her ground. Meeting with reporters, she said, “I just want people to know what actually happens there, what they’re spending thousands of dollars on.” Now, they know, and it’s up to the public to decide what they will support with their business.