KENTWOOD, MICH. - The owner of the "Barking Boutique" tells us he is taking legal action following the Woodland mall's decision to force his store out. The decision came after a social media firestorm, including thousands of opponents signing an online petition.
Owner David Boelkes says he spent between 70 and 75 thousand dollars, before being forced out of the Mall. He says he's already sold all twelve dogs in the store, and despite the controversy, he's already planning his next store.
The Bissell Pet Foundation says they bought six of the puppies with undercover buyers. They say all six are underweight and have health issues. The puppies will be available for adoption through a local rescue organization once they have veterinary clearance.
A GoFundMe page is online no more than a day after it was announced a controversial puppy store would be forced to leave Woodland Mall.
Mall management gave The Barking Boutique owner David Boelkes by late Monday, July 11, to leave amid a social media firestorm over his business. Boelkes told WZZM on Saturday, July 9, he faces personal bankruptcy after building out the store that's been open for no more than a week at the cost of about $70,000.
Opponents started a petition to try to get the store closed, citing concerns over inhumane breeding conditions and animal shelters' overpopulation.
The GoFundMe page to "Support The Barking Boutique" appears to have been online only very recently, with a goal of $75,000. The person who created it answered the phone Saturday and told WZZM he was an employee.
To counter opponents' issues with the store, Boelkes, 22, says he personally meets with breeders and provides puppies' medical history.
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