VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach woman is calling for change after she said her puppy was turned away from an event at a pet store.
She said it’s because the pup is a pit bull breed.
The woman said she went to PetSmart for a puppy play date that was promoted by the store.
She told 10 On Your Side her puppy Dale is four months old and she never thought his breed would be an issue.
Miller said she was excited when she got an email from PetSmart about an event called puppy’s first playdate, an in-store social for puppies.
“Socializing him when he’s this young is so important,” Miller said.
On Sunday, Miller took Dale to PetSmart off Virginia Beach Blvd. and Rosemont Road, but she said Dale never got the chance to make some four-legged friends.
“They looked at him and said ‘I don’t know, he kind of looks like a pit bull, let me go get my manager,’” Miller said. “She came out and took one look at him and said I’m sorry he can’t stay, he’s definitely a pit bull.”
Miller said she left heartbroken.
A PetSmart representative told 10 On Your Side:
“Pit bulls and other bully breeds are welcome in our stores, grooming salons, training areas, and PetsHotels. For the safety of our associates and other pets, they are excluded from the off-leash, group play activities within our Doggie Day Camp. This policy reflects careful consultation with our veterinarian staff and safety experts as well as our deep knowledge and experience interacting with these pets in a wide variety of settings. It also reflects our desire to provide a fun, safe experience for our pets, customers and associates.”
“These dogs are not dangerous. They’re not aggressive. It’s all about how you raise them,” Miller said. “I just don’t know what could’ve happened that was so bad that they could just turn away a whole entire breed of dog.”
The PetSmart email does state that breed restrictions apply to these activities. Still, Miller said she won’t be going back.
“These dogs are sweet, they’re lovers. They deserve a chance just like any other dog,” she said.
Miller posted about her experience on social media and the post quickly went viral.
She said they’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of support from people across the country and internationally.