Saturday, February 2, 2008

Bud Wheatley was Lying when he said he was going out of business

Bud Wheatley had said he was going to go out of business - but I guess he was lying - there's an article in the newspaper over in PEI about him -

Snookums may not be out of business yet, website indicates
The Guardian

The owner of Snookums pet store may not be quite out of the puppy business yet.
Bud Wheatley, whose pet store has sparked considerable controversy in the last few weeks and months, is still selling puppies.

He announced to The Guardian last week he was liquidating his business, selling the 75 puppies he had in store at reduced prices.

But his website is still advertising new breeds of puppies coming soon, as late as Feb. 21.

This isn’t the first time Wheatley has advertised liquidation. A few years ago, he had a similar liquidation sale, but told The Guardian last week that was simply to get out of the pet supply portion of the business.

Wheatley said Friday that he is indeed liquidating this time, but because he has deals with over 125 breeders across the Maritimes there are forthcoming litters of puppies he still must sell.

“I have a couple of puppies that weren’t ready to go until the end of February. So we’re going to put them into a home.’’

When asked if he’s getting out of the business once all the puppies have been sold, he said it is his current plan, but left some wiggle room.

“You can never say never,’’ he said.

After the media coverage he received last week detailing his plans for closing, Wheatley said a local group approached him with interest in buying the business.
“And if we made a deal with them, they’ve got lots of money, they can fight the system. Then you never know, it may be a new Snookums next week.’’

If this group took over Wheatley said it would be “up for negotiation’’ as to whether he’d be involved with them.

“I’m a little tired and I’m running out of money to be trying to educate the population out there,’’ he said.

“But I’m the guy who built this little industry.’’

Wheatley claims he has been unfairly portrayed in the media along with a number of people advertising on Facebook who plan to protest in front of his store next week.
Many have complained about Wheatley’s no-refund policy on animals that die after purchase.

“A warranty will protect your wallet and the money that’s in it. What does that do for the puppy,’’ he asked.

On January 25, 2008 there was an article in the Guardian where he said:

Snookums selling off puppies after wave of negative press

The Guardian

Bud Wheatley says a concerted negative attack is chasing him out of the business of selling puppies.

He said he is reeling from recent media coverage of customers claiming they had unwittingly purchased sick puppies from his business called, which is located on St. Peters Road in Charlottetown.

A Facebook site rallying support to see Snookums shut down hasn’t done much for his reputation, either.

A “peaceful protest’’ to close Snookums is set for Feb. 9.

“It’s just destroyed the business,’’ Wheatley said of the negative campaign. “We’re liquidating it as quick as we can get the last of the puppies sold.’’

A notice of mortgage sale ran last week in The Guardian for the commercial lot at 521 St. Peters Road, which houses Snookums, and .47 acres of land.

Mortgagor Lloyd Bud Wheatley and Donna Wheatley were listed as the guarantors being in default of the principal money and interest.

This isn’t the first time Wheatley appeared on the verge of leaving what is now a 15-year run in the pet business. A few years ago, he also had a liquidation sale, but said in an interview with The Guardian Thursday that was simply to get out of the pet supply portion of the business.

Wheatley said his business has been unfairly slammed as a result of customers complaining about buying sick puppies from him. Post-mortems conducted at the Atlantic Veterinary College on four puppies purchased from Snookums since October concluded they died from parvovirus.

Wheatley washes his hands of any blame.

“We don’t think for two seconds it is our fault,’’ he said. “Snookums is not the bad guy but Snookums is being crucified . . . Any bad press brings out every crazy customer that you’ve ever had.’’

He said he has a good track record of selling healthy pets. He said he has been selling more than 3,000 puppies and kittens a year (the large bulk being puppies).
Wheatley said Snookums is supplied puppies from over 125 private breeders. He claims to have inspected every single one of the breeders.

Wheatley said while ideally puppies shouldn’t be purchased until they are almost four months old, in order to reduce the risk of the animal becoming ill, he sells puppies on average between the ages of eight to 10 weeks “because that’s the demand.’’

He said his city business provides customers with detailed instruction on how to provide proper care to their puppy, such as strongly recommending they stick with the same food the puppy has been eating.

“People need to take responsibility for these animals,’’ he said.

Wheatley said Snookums does not give warranties nor does the company even guarantee that its puppies are free of disease. Tests will be done on any puppy if the customer is willing to foot the bill, he added.

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) considers Snookums to currently hold an “unsatisfactory business performance record.’’

The BBB gives such an assessment when a company “has failed to resolve or respond to complaints, repeatedly failed to respond or resolve issues in a timely manner, failed to resolve the underlying issues for a pattern.’’

Wheatley dismisses the negative assessment. He said some customer complaints have simply been “outlandish’’, suggesting they were not worthy of any action or response on his part.

The best protection for a puppy's life is the fact it is not under warranty he said.
“Then you will take responsibility for it.’’

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