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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A pet store owner is disputing claims that one of their dogs is too thin after photos of the dog were shared thousands of times on Facebook.
Alan Caplan, owner of the Petland at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall, spoke to KDKA about the post.
According to Caplan, a man came into the store Saturday afternoon and asked to look at the Boxer puppies.
“Boxer puppies, just like a Great Dane or just like an Italian Greyhound, you should be able to see their ribs, and as a puppy, they should have lots of loose skin and they grow into their skin,” Caplan said.
Store employees took a puppy out and placed him in a puppy room for the man. Caplan says the puppy had just arrived at the store on Tuesday evening.
“When this puppy’s down and running around and he bends over … you see a lot of rib cage. So with a Boxer puppy that’s about 12 weeks of age, he should have a lot of rib cage showing,” Caplan said.
The man then posted photos of the puppy on Facebook, apparently believing the dog looked too thin. The caption on the post said in part, “I’m [expletive] sick right now … Please storm this store right now and help save this pup.”
The post was shared nearly 7,000 times in just four hours.
“[The man] didn’t really understand the breed, didn’t understand what was going on. I tried to educate him to no avail,” Caplan said.
Caplan says a veterinarian, police and animal protection services all came to the store and all were “more than satisfied.”
Humane Animal Rescue posted on Facebook saying their CEO, Dan Rossi, visited the store and met the puppy.
“The dog in question was alert, eating, and functioning normally (although underweight). We are told that the dog was brought to the store in this condition earlier this week. All other dogs at the store appeared to be a healthy weight and in good condition. Although we do not condone the selling of dogs from puppy mills, there was nothing illegal or inhumane observed,” Humane Animal Rescue wrote.
Frazer Township Police initially said Saturday that Animal Protectors had checked the dog out, but they issued a correction Sunday and said that they were working with Animal Protectors to find a third-party veterinarian or humane officer to check the puppy’s health as soon as possible.