Quarrel Nearly Leads To Arrests At Anti-Puppy Mill Protest

ORLAND PARK, Ill. (CBS) — There were no arrests at a demonstration outside an Orland Park pet shop Sunday, but police came close.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the protest was held outside the Happiness Is Pets store, at 15647 S. 94th Ave. in Orland Park. Members of the Companion Animal Protection Society was demonstrating against the sale of puppy mill pets, which the group accuses the store of doing.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

The group says two dogs purchased at other stores in the Happiness Is Pets chain have died of distemper, a disease contagious to other dogs.

“They have not been to his breeders. (Owner) Ron Berning knows he sells puppy mill puppies, and he doesn’t care about the problem,” protester Dianne Arp said.

At the demonstration, words were exchanged between Arp and another woman, Michelle Winslow. It escalated to the point where Arp decided to call police.

When police arrived and were talking with Arp, the other woman’s husband, Robert Winslow, approached and tried to talk with police.

After Winslow refused to leave the scene, police had him place his hands up against a vehicle and took his driver’s license.

After police talked to him, Winslow’s license was returned to him and no charges were filed. Emotions ran deep on both sides, so a police officer and a trainee lingered in a car in the parking lot.

During the demonstration, protesters stood on the sidewalk along 94th Avenue, holding signs and chanting slogans against the chain. They urged motorists to sound their horns if they supported their cause. Several did.

Nancy Malinowski, of Orland Park, braved the chilly weather because she opposes puppy mills, places that breed puppies to put them up for sale.

“I have adopted two puppy mill parents. They’ve spent their lives in cages for five years. Just to see the emotional damage it has done to them … they don’t know what grass is or how to walk up stairs, just learning how to be a normal dog. They’re really skittish and don’t know how to play,” Malinowski said. “You have to kind of be like a mother hen and teach them how to be dogs.”

Employees at the Orland Park Happiness Is Pets shop declined comment and said Berning was not available for comment.

Companion Animal Protection Society spokeswoman Kristen Kaminski, of Manteno, said “the owner refuses to talk about or take responsibility.”

The puppies “are not vaccinated properly, are not taken care of, are fed horribly and are bred over and over until they die, basically,” Kaminski said.

Winslow tells a different story.

A puppy he bought on Jan. 2 from the Downers Grove store became ill in the first week, Winslow said. He took the greater Swiss mountain pup to a vet.

“The vets told us there was distemper in the Downers Grove and Naperville stores. We took the dog in a few days later. The vet got us paranoid, but the puppy only had one symptom, a discharge from the nose. We were concerned about it. We talked to the owner, and he took care of us,” Winslow said.

Berning’s son, Jonathan, agreed to pay about $500 in veterinary bills, refunded the $1,700 it cost to buy the puppy and gave Winslow a $1,000 gift certificate, Winslow said.

“He didn’t try to hide what happened. They even paid for a test to rule out distemper. I feel he’s a stand-up guy,” Winslow said.

The SouthtownStar contributed to this report, via the Sun-Times Media Wire.

  • Vicky Kujawa

    Running a puppy mill should be a felony.

  • Aunt Jemiamah


  • Afro

    These ass hole protesters blow this sh!t way out of proportion, several people honked to show support but what the news paper failed to mention is Most people didn’t. I hate one sided biased news reporting

    • Robert Winslow

      It is worse then that. This Arp lady is telling lies she claims the store is not owning up to the outbreak. Fact is he never once denied it. She was telling people that the Orland park had an outbreak of Distemper. This is also false, not one dog from Orland Park store has been found to have Distemper. This same group was telling people walking out of the store that the dog they bought would die in three weeks. This was done with kids around. Is this anyway to protest? Scaring kids like this. Also the time I was around 3 cars yes 3 card honked. Also, they expect over 100 people to turn out they had less then 10 protesters. Arp is just looking for her 15 min of fame.

  • http://petpooch.com/?p=13933 PetPooch.com » Quarrel Nearly Leads To Arrests At Anti-Puppy Mill Protest – CBS Local

    […] CBS Local […]

  • Janie Jenkins

    When Winslow bought the dog did Happiness is Pets tell him the dog came from a commercial dog breeder? Does Winslow understand? His puppy came from a commercial dog breeder or puppy mill where the mother and father are suffering? That is the point!! He is supporting animal cruelty by purchasing a puppy from a pet store. If he did not know then he should know now after all of this distemper coverage and he is still saying they are stand up guys? Stupidy!!

    • Robert Winslow

      Saying I support Animal suffering because I bought a dog is stupid and child like. As far as my comment on him being a standup guy. He did what I would expect, take care of vet bill and offer refund. So yes he is a stand up guy. It is easy to sit and call people names when you do not have facts.

    • Robert Winslow

      What this report also failed to mention is Arp called the plice on my wife AFTER she already walked away from the group and went into the store. What else this reporter failed to mention was Arp called the police for someone exercising her first amendment rights. The same rights that allowed her to scream at people entering and leaving the store. What this reporter also failed to report is the scare tactics Arp used. Yelling to people that the dog they just got would be dead in three weeks, with the kids standing next to parents. Class act this lady. What is also not known is many groups will not work with Arp because of her radical protesting.

  • http://abetterdogkennel.net/wordpress/2012/01/owners-son-faces-assault-charge-after-pet-shop-protest-in-orland-park-southtownstar/ Owner’s son faces assault charge after pet shop protest in Orland Park – SouthtownStar « Abetterdogkennel.net

    […] chain's other locations died of distemper in recent weeks, according to protestor Dianne …Quarrel Nearly Leads To Arrests At Anti-Puppy Mill ProtestCBS Localall 3 news […]

  • Dianne A

    If you, or anyone you know has purchased a puppy from Happiness Is Pets and has racked up vet bills treating your dog’s condition(s), please go to the CAPS web site and complete a Pet Purchase Complaint Form, regardless of whether the animal is still alive. It will be forwarded to our attorneys who can help you take action. Here’s the link:

  • Robert Winslow

    The one thing that we should fault HIP for is still selling dogs while the outbreak was happening. Once they knew they had an outbreak they needed to close the doors and fix the problem. As to the outbreak, please this outbreak is less then any shelter outbreak and far less reaching. For Arp she is to blind or to dumb to see these points.

  • Robert Winslow

    The reporter also fails to report that Arp called police AFTER my wife left, she knew she was having an ass kicking contest with a one legged person. Arp had no need to call the police my wife had left the group and had gone into the store to join me. What else the reporter failed to note was that Arp called the police for my wife exercising her rights to free speech. The same rights Arp expect people to respect when she is yelling at people with her bullhorn. This was sloppy onesided reporting that does not bring all the facts to light. Is it ok for Arp to stand and yell at people leaving the store and telling them that the dog they just bought is going to die in 3 weeks. With the kids standing next to the parents. Class act this lady class act.

  • Dianne A

    Please don’t bother responding on Robert Winslow’s comments. It’s like trying to rationalize with a cheeseburger.

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