BY JON CHAVEZ
BLADE BUSINESS WRITER
The Family Puppy, a southeast Michigan chain that sells puppies, plans to open a store in mid-October after being courted by the mall’s ownership for a year.
John Stottele, who co-owns The Family Puppy with his wife, Deb, said he often goes to Indiana to pick up puppies from about 20 primarily Amish breeders who provide him with dogs to sell, and the route he travels made Franklin Park a good fit.
“Toledo is kind of on the way. We get our puppies from Indiana. … Geographically, it works,” Mr. Stottele said.
The company has five stores in Michigan malls. He signed a long-term lease with Westfield that is expected to be honored by Starwood Retail Partners, which has agreed to buy the mall.
However, the impending opening of The Family Puppy, which only sells dogs, has alarmed local animal rights activists who allege that the chain is supplied by commercial breeders who run so-called “puppy mills.”
Puppy mills are generally characterized as kennels where dogs are bred in cages with little or no human contact, unsanitary conditions, and improper health care.