Protesters ask for ban on retail pets to try and shut down The Barking Boutique

GRANDVILLE, Mich. – It’s a controversial designer and purebred pet store that opponents are hoping to shut down.

Monday night’s city council meeting in Grandville had opponents of 'The Barking Boutique’ trying to convince the council to consider an ordinance that would ban the retail sale of puppies.

Public comment got a little heated as both sides expressed their views, with protesters saying the business supports puppy mills.

But in the end the council decided to not take any action on considering the ordinance.

“Yeah this is definitely a victory for us,” says David Boelkes, the owner of 'The Barking Boutique'. "We are going to be able to operate our legitimate business. This takes a lot of weight off my shoulders.”

This is the owner’s third attempt in the past year to get his business off the ground, after trying to set up shop at the Lakes Mall in Muskegon and the Woodland Mall in Kentwood.

Some recent customers said it was a pleasant experience to buy from the store, including a local veteran who suffers from PTSD.

“I have PTSD and severe anxiety. I need a dog that is going to be a lap dog and cuddle with me,” said John Wiley. “Their service while I was there was excellent. Very nice people, very knowledgeable on the different breeds.”

While some of those against the idea say they are against 'The Barking Boutique' because they are against puppy mills.

“In order to stop puppy mills we have to stop the stores,” says Tanelle McFadyen. “And his store supports USDA breeders which are puppy mills. Don’t get them confused they are one in the same.”

The owner of 'The Barking Boutique' maintains he gets his animals from reputable breeders and encourages anyone with concerns to come into his store and have a conversation with him. He even said he would take people for tours of the facilities.

Those against 'The Barking Boutique' say they are not stopping their fight, and plan to propose another ordinance at a later time.

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7 comments

  • Jessie

    Sounds like the store owner should be addressing Ms. Fadden with a lawsuit. Sounds like this one woman has a vendetta against this mans business. I would think a clear case of tortious interference, could be made.
    Activism should have consequences, this woman should go back to Brighton, and try to impact her own community, we can decide for ourselves how we want to purchase a dog.

    • Jean

      I agree Jessie. Non of her business. Im100% certain that by now, the owners credentials have been checked. Just because this person doesn’t want to buy a pet from a store is her business. What’s next, outlawing goldfish from Meijer?

  • G

    Im sure there is something else in this world that she could spend her time on then trying to ruin someones business. Im sure they have everything in check or they wouldnt be open again. Find something better to do with your life!

  • Michael

    I went and bought a dog from this store solely because of what these people are putting this shop owner through.

    I think they are giving him a lot of free advertising.

  • Mimi

    You don’t need a ‘designer’ dog for PTSD for any other condition.

    AND for those of you who think, that someone is in the wrong for speaking up for innocent animals,….WE have to be the voice for the voiceless. There are TOO MANY abandoned animals in shelters. The world does not need breeders, Adopt a Family, Don’t buy a pet.

    Those that buy ‘designer’ pets do it for their own low self esteem issues to impress others,….animals in shelters have just as much love to give if not more.

    • Jessie

      The thing is, that NO one cares what you or Tenelle McFayden think. No one NEEDS a dog at all. But the beautiful thing about America is, that we are all free to buy what ever kind of dog, and from whomever we wish.
      I will however, do you a solid. I will purchase two of these dogs from the boutique, and will take them to the animal shelter. You can go get the dogs from there, and be able to have the “fancy” dog you so envy others for.

  • thebarkingdogcd

    I bought an antibarking device from this website and it worked like a charm on my neighbors dog. It is a CD that you put into your cd player and it works with ultrasonic sound that humans cant hear. I blasted that damn dog and he shut up. The website is http://antibarkingdevice.com – Billings needs this law. People are irresponsible.