Berkley, MI – February 24, 2023

Media contact: Torri Mathes, Communications Director; 248-763-7557; 

As many of you are already aware, Puppygram, a retail pet store on Woodward, is undergoing the City of Berkley’s business licensing process by our city administration.

Late last week, it was brought to the city council, staff, and my attention regarding the allegations of the inhumane treatment of animals within the store. Our animal control officer responded to these allegations and initiated multiple visits to the store to inspect the conditions. During his inspections, he found the dogs within the store are well cared for and the onsite staff to be cooperative.

Furthermore, we were informed that there are concerns regarding how and where the business receives its animals. We are working with both the Humane Society and the Michigan Department of Agriculture to understand what the City’s role could be in responding to these allegations.

Currently, the business has not yet obtained its business license required to open their doors to customers. The City’s process requires the inspections and approval of all permitted work by our Building Official and Fire Marshal to ensure compliance with applicable codes. It was for this reason that our Building Official posted a closure notice on the morning of Tuesday, February 21, 2023. The closure was completely separate from the protests and allegations levied against the business owner(s).c

Additionally, our city council has asked that the city administration and city attorney draft an ordinance to address the retail sale of cats and dogs. City Council will consider a first reading of this ordinance during the March 6, 2023, regular meeting. Per the City Council’s requirement, a draft of the ordinance can be found on the City’s website under our pending ordinances at at least one week before the meeting.

In closing, we are always grateful to those who take the time to provide information about their concerns directly to our city officials who can act upon them. Members of the Berkley City Council have also expressed appreciation to the Michigan Humane Society who continues to advocate for statewide legislation for the ethical treatment of animals.

Thank you,
Matthew Baumgarten
Berkley City Manager

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