Petland Sells Dogs from Puppy Mills: The Truth about Saint Paul’s Petland Store

13915_10152666316264297_123367606766909811_nThe Animal Rights Coalition (ARC) has evaluated hundreds of Certificates of Veterinary Inspection documents, obtained through a Minnesota Data Practices Act request from the Minnesota Board of Animal Health. ARC uncovered definitive evidence that since the Fall of 2013, Saint Paul Petland (Sun Ray Shopping Center) purchased hundreds of puppies from Menning Enterprises (Edgerton, MN) a large-scale puppy breeder and broker, and also purchased puppies from Heritage Puppies (Lake Mills, IA), another breeder/broker. This, despite Petland’s vehement claims that they don’t buy from large breeders or puppy mills.

Menning’s USDA inspection report from July 22, 2014 shows 513 adult dogs and 289 puppies on the property. Since 2013, when the store was sold to the current owner Vanessa Rojas, hundreds of animals—from pomeranians to cocker spaniels, chihuahuas to miniature pinschers —were purchased from Menning and resold to the public by the Saint Paul Petland. Heritage Puppies’ USDA inspection report from September 4, 2014 shows 443 adult dogs and 101 puppies on site.

Menning doesn’t just breed puppies for profit, they also obtain puppies from other breeders and then resell them. For example, ARC uncovered a sale of dachshund puppies, just 8 weeks old when shipped, from Clearwater Kennels (Cushing, MN) to Menning on August 19, 2014. Clearwater is the largest puppy mill in Minnesota with over 1,000 dogs (738 adult dogs and 312 puppies) on the property as of September 9, 2014.

Dallas Rising, ARC Executive Director states, “The Petland corporation has been under national pressure for years to change their business practices to a more humane model. Over one third of their franchises have closed since this campaign began because when people learn the truth about where animals in pet stores come from, they’re appalled. More people are embracing the joy that comes from adopting an animal in need of a home and feel great that they’re saving a life instead of putting more money into the pet trade. A quick web search today found over 276,000 incredible, loving animals just waiting for someone to take a chance on them in shelters and rescues in our area.”

The national campaign against Petland is going strong, and Minnesota’s group (Minnesotans Exposing Petland) is active. ARC invites the public to tell Petland they don’t support the business of selling dogs from puppy mills. Join ARC’s next peaceful demonstration at the Saint Paul Petland store (Sun Ray Shopping Center, 2123 Old Hudson Rd., St Paul) on Sunday, March 15.

Third Annual Vegan Hotdish Cookoff a Big Success!

Judges Choice winner Mary Montoya and the judges

Last year’s winner and judge Mary Johnson Strand, this year’s Judges Choice winner Mary Montoya, and judges Kale and Aubry from The Herbivorous Butcher

A great time was had at the Third Annual Twin Cities Vegan Hotdish Cook-Off. Over 100 people thoroughly enjoyed themselves, the food was delicious, and we were thrilled to see so many new faces. Special thanks to our great judges Kale and Aubry of The Herbivorous Butcher and Mary Johnson Strand who was last year’s winner.

Audience Favorite winner Megan Duke and Dallas Rising, ARC Director

Audience Favorite winner Megan Duke and Dallas Rising, ARC Director

Congratulations to Mary Montoya, Judges Choice winner for her Creamy Chickn Enchilada Hotdish, and Megan Duke, Audience Favorite winner for her Stuffed Pasta Casserole with Garlic Toast.


Mary and Megan each received a custom glass casserole with their winning titles etched into the glass. Click for the winning recipes.

All the competitors brought serious game to the dining table: Christie Blood, Megan Duke, Caitlin Franko, Dawn Linnell, Jay Linnell, Mary Montoya, Sammy Samfield, Andrew Seffrood, Cody Youngquist and Aaron Zel. Thank you all for your yummy hotdishes.

Thanks to the donors of all the great door prizes: Peace Coffee, The Herbivorous Butcher, Meadowlands Chocolate, LUV, Comfort Candy, Sunshine Burgers, and Ethique Nouveau. And big thanks to Matt Mehlhoff for his great photos of the event.

Countdown to the Third Annual Vegan Hotdish Cookoff

HDcookoff-final-LOGOJoin us for a delicious time at the Third Annual Twin Cities Vegan Hotdish Cookoff this Sunday, March 1st from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at the Fuller Park Recreation Center, 48th St.and Grand Ave. S in Minneapolis. Original recipes from area cooks will be vying for two prize categories: Audience Favorite and Judge’s Choice, with additional prizes for the runners up. We are excited that our judge’s panel includes sister and brother duo Aubry and Kale Walch of The Herbivorous Butcher and Mary Johnson Strand, the 2014 Judge’s Choice winner. Come and support ARC’s animal advocacy work while tasting a variety of delicious hotdishes for only $1 per sample.


Free beverages will be provided and there will be lots of great door prizes, including those from Peace Coffee, The Herbivorous Butcher, Meadowlands Chocolate, LUV, Comfort Candy, Sunshine Burgers, and Ethique Nouveau.

We’re hoping to make this event as waste-free as possible so bring a muffin tin or plate for samples, a fork, and a cup if you can. If not, they will be provided. We’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Call for Vegan Hotdish Cook-Off Contestants

HDcookoff-final-LOGOJoin us for a delicious time at the Third Annual Twin Cities Vegan Hotdish Cook-off on Sunday, March 1 from 1:00-4:00 pm at the Fuller Park Recreation Center, 48th St. and Grand Ave. S in Minneapolis. Think tater tots, green beans, pasta, and other yummy things all mixed up in a single baking dish. Original recipes from area cooks will be vying for two prize categories: Audience Favorite and Judge’s Choice.

Our judge’s panel includes Aubry and Kale Walch of The Herbivorous Butcher, which is about to open the world’s first vegan butcher shop in Minneapolis, and Mary Johnson Strand, 2014’s Judge’s Choice Winner.

Come and support ARC while tasting a variety of delicious hot dishes for only $1 per sample. Free beverages will be provided and there will be lots of great door prizes. Your best Church Lady attire is welcome, but not required.

We have a few contestant spots left and a $20 deposit will reserve your spot (you’ll get your deposit back in full at the contest). Contestants will receive a $10 gift card from ARC’s vegan boutique, Ethique Nouveau. To register to compete, click here or email Chelsea at See you there!

Chipotle Vegan Fundraiser

CR_144585_POPLet’s celebrate another yummy vegan option by enjoying Sofritas on Tuesday, January 20 at the Chipotle Calhoun Commons, 3040 Excelsior Boulevard #104 in Minneapolis. Bring in this flyer from 5:00 to 8:00pm on that day, show it on your smartphone, or tell the cashier you’re supporting the cause, and 50% of the proceeds will be donated to ARC.


sofritasIf you’ve never had Chipotle’s new Sofritas, now is a great time to try it. Sofritas items–burrito, bowl, salad, or order of tacos–are made with organic, non-GMO tofu braised with chipotle chiles, roasted poblano peppers, and a blend of aromatic spices,

So help Animal Rights Coalition fulfill its mission just by getting a tasty vegan dinner at Chipotle. Come hungry!

A Flurry of Activity with 100% Chance of Helping Animals

dreamA heartfelt thank you goes out to everyone who donated to our animal advocacy programs in 2014. We were thrilled by the number of donors who recognized that our work is showing real results. Without your loyal and generous support the Animal Rights Coalition could not exist. You make our victories for the animals possible.

If you meant to make a donation before the end of the year, but time got away from you, no worries. Make your donation to ARC now and feel good about starting the New Year off right!


We’ve had a very strong finish to the year with ExtraVEGANza events at two Whole Foods markets featuring vegan shopping tours, food samplings, and cooking demos; a second screening of the film COWSPIRACY that once again sold over 100 tickets, selling out the Lagoon Theater; and our annual Turkey-Free Thanksgiving potluck which brought in over 120 people, with many new faces in attendance. Our Cuddle Coats program reached a major milestone and recently sent its 600th fur donation to one of our 38 wildlife rehab partners, and fur donations to this program are showing no signs of slowing. We had well attended demonstrations at the Shrine Circus and at Ribnick Furs for Fur-Free Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, and a great Pay Per View event at North Hennepin Community College to a diverse and interested group of students. Finishing off a year of very successful educational outreach, Dallas Rising, ARC’s Executive Director, gave a well received talk about speciesism to 145 people as part of the Normandale College Colloquium Series.

So make a year-end donation to ARC now. We so appreciate not only your support, but also your vote of confidence in our work to save the lives of animals. With people like you on our side, we look forward to making even more of a difference for animals in the year ahead, never letting anyone forget that animals matter.

Stop by the Annual Holiday Open House

Holiday_Open_HouseThe Animal Rights Coalition invites you to join us at our annual Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 7 from 1:00pm – 4:00pm. Enjoy delicious vegan appetizers from the Herbivorous Butcher and of course, lots of sweet treats too, meet other ARC members and friends, and browse for animal-friendly holiday gifts from Ethique Nouveau’s great selection of unique merchandise. This event is always a fun low-key way to connect with other members of the community. Location is the ARC Office at Ethique Nouveau, 317 W 48th St. in Minneapolis.

Thank You for Your Generosity on Give to the Max Day!

Your support on Thursday, November 13, Give to the Max Day, meant ARC was able to raise $6,871 from 158 unique donors during that 24 hours. That placed us #25 on the Small Nonprofit Leaderboard for raising funds. And due to the generosity of an anonymous and enthusiastic donor who pledged to match all those donations to ARC, the total for the day will reach almost $14,000, an unprecedented amount raised. These funds will allow us to expand our efforts to help animals more than ever.

ARC wants to extend a heartfelt and public thank you to the volunteers who came in and spent time in the office working to raise funds for Give to the Max Day. It was a long day and we would not have had the success we did without: Joe Beane, Angie Chesney-Mattison, Megan Kathleen, Amy Leinen, Kelly Newport, Emily Jane Rinke, Sadie Schrader, and Barbara Stasz.

EdMN_Barb_and_DallasARC has grown by leaps and bounds this year.
Our Cuddle Coats program has had to increase prep sessions to once a week to keep up with the donations of furs coming in to us, and the increasing demand for those furs at the 36 wildlife rehabs we now supply with furs to help rehabilitate and comfort orphaned and injured wildlife. That’s more than double the number of rehabs we were supplying last year.

Our Minnesotans Exposing Petland campaign has seen the close of one of the two Petland stores in the state and is turning up the heat on the remaining store, as well as educating the public about the cruelties of the pet trade.

Outreach at Farmers Market

Our increased presence on campuses in the form of Pay Per View, classroom speaking engagements, food sampling events, and offering service learning opportunities for students continues to hold strong and we saw a surge of interest from teachers at the Education Minnesota conference this year.

We’ve continued to think outside the box and branch out in our outreach efforts. Our debut at the American Diabetes Association Expo this year was a smashing success, and in January we’ll have a first ever booth at the Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention.

ARC VegKins tour of Chicken Run RescueWe held three large-screen documentary screenings of the films Speciesism and Cowspiracy at the Lagoon Cinema in Minneapolis, all with sold out audiences.

And ARC volunteers alerted through our Activist Network even saved the lives of two stray chickens in Minneapolis, several months apart! Coyote and Kitty could have been eaten by birds of prey or frozen to death, but they’re safe and warm instead. We’re proud to partner with Chicken Run Rescue not only in these rescues, but also for tours and educational opportunities as well.

Thanks again to everyone who volunteered and donated. And if you missed Give to the Max Day, you can still make a donation to the Animal Rights Coalition. We promise we’ll make every penny count to help animals.