In my letter to the Editor at the Coast I laid out WHY I believe Willows Pet Place is one of the Worst Pet Stores in the City, but they chose to leave that section out of my letter - so I will post my letter in it's entirety here, and you can choose to make your own decisions on your own. Here is my letter to the Coast:
"Okay, maybe the world is all right, and I'm all wrong - but as far as
I'm concerned - WIllows Pet Place is one of the WORST pet stores in
the CIty. How did she get voted in as the BEST pet store in the city?
It must be because she's purchased ad space with you? Is that it?
How DOES someone get voted in your polls? Is it really voted in by
the public? Exactly how many votes did Willows Pet Place get? This
category throws a shadow over every other category in your newspaper
in my opinion - because, as I said - Willows Pet Place - actually IS -
one of the WORST Pet stores in the whole of the Halifax Regional
Municipality - and as a PET OWNER - I'm going to tell you why.
NUMBER ONE - Kyra Foster's (Willows Pet Place owner) store is NOT DOG
FRIENDLY. You cannot take your dog with you into her pet store. That
to me is the number one criteria for having a good pet store. And
WIllows Pet Place does not meet that criteria. I can rhyme off a
myriad of other pet stores in the HRM that ARE dog friendly. Willows
NUMBER TWO - Kyra Foster is breaking land use bylaws by offering in
home boarding for dogs as part of her business - in 2005 she started a
war between herself and the most successful in home doggy day care
owner in the HRM - Janet Chernin of the Canine Casbah - by putting in
a complaint against her business - and started a bylaw enforcement
query which led to the discovery that in home boarding is illegal. At
the same time - Kyra Foster was carrying on in home boarding
HERSELF!!!! And to this day she continues to do it! And she even
advertises that she does it! What kind of balls does that take! And
she doesn't even own her property - she rents the apartment she lives
NUMBER THREE - she previously ran a doggy day care and closed the
business literally overnight - leaving clients with money's owed. And
money is still owed to this day. How can she be such a good
upstanding pet store owner and have stiffed previous clients in a
And what is up with this title of zoologist? If she's a zoologist -
I'm a freaking ph. d. animal behaviourist with a side order of
doctorate in archaeology.
I say all of this with some knowledge of the dog community - for the
last 5 years I've had a very successful dog website called "Charlie
loves Halifax" - at http://charlieloveshalifax.ca/ and a dog blog at
http://dogkisser.blogspot.com/ - that have had hundreds of thousands
of hits - and I get emails from dog lovers daily about different pet
stores and have had emails from people about Willows Pet Place and
Kyra Foster and her dealings with her customers.
I think what is happening here is that your newspaper remains so
absolutely OUT OF TOUCH with dog owners that they have totally been
blind-sided. You need to either completely drop these kinds of
categories or get people on your staff who actually know about these
kinds of things. Do you even have anybody at the Coast who actually
own any dogs? I don't think you do. I do not believe that anyone
down at the Coast actually can own any dogs. I don't believe it.
You need some dog education. Everytime I read your paper, actually I
always read things that are factually wrong whenever you attempt to
write anything that has to do with dogs. So I really shouldn't be
surprised that you chose Willows Pet Place as your pet store of
choice. I shouldn't have been surprised that the blond hair and high
pitched giggle fooled you.
Really, the whole thing is quite pathetic. If Willows Pet Place
really IS the most popular pet store in Halifax - we dog owners really
ARE doomed, and people like me had best just move out of the HRM toute
I can't believe that a magazine that purports itself to be a professional journalistic organization would so heavily edit a letter so that all meaning and tone is taken out of a letter. I am absolutely disgusted. I shouldn't be surprised. I said in my letter that I think the Coast is pathetic, and my opinion of them hasn't changed.
Here's the portion of the letter that they DID publish - I think you can understand why I'm so pissed off:
A bone to pick
To the editor,
OK, maybe the world is all right and I'm all wrong, but as far as I'm concerned, Willow's Pet Place is one of the WORST pet stores in the city. How did it get voted in as the BEST pet store? It must be because the store purchased ad space with you. Is that it? How DOES someone get voted in, in your polls? Is it really voted in by the public? Exactly how many votes did Willow's Pet Place get? This category throws a shadow over every other category in your newspaper, in my opinion.
For the last five years I've had a very successful dog website called
charlieloveshalifax.ca and a dog blog at
dogkisser.blogspot.com, which have had hundreds of thousands of hits. I get emails from dog-lovers daily about different pet stores and it's hardly unanimous that Willow's Pet Place is the "Best in Halifax." I think your newspaper remains so absolutely OUT OF TOUCH with dog owners that you have totally been blindsided. You need to either completely drop these kinds of categories or get people on your staff who actually know about these kinds of things. Do you even have anybody at The Coast who actually owns any dogs? I don't think you do.
You need some dog education. Every
time I read your paper, I read things that are factually wrong whenever you attempt to write anything that has to do with dogs. Really, the whole thing is quite pathetic. If Willow's Pet Place really IS the most popular pet store in Halifax, we dog owners really ARE doomed and people like me had best just move out of HRM tout de suite.
Editor's Note: The Coast's annual Best of Halifax survey is a readers' poll. The votes for the personalities, businesses and activities come to us every year directly from the public. Votes are carefully tabulated and we take readers' choices as sacrosanct, without editorial or advertising input.
NB: I have had emails about Willow's Pet Place telling me that the store is in fact now pet friendly, which I can fully believe that it is. I will never know seeing as how I've been "banned from the property" and the owner has threatened to "double-sue" me seeing as how she's an individual and also a corporate entity - I'm not too worried about being sued - because you can't be successfully sued if you're saying things that are true. It is true however that Willows Pet Place spent a long time when it was not pet friendly, and the owner has chosen to deny that which is rather inexplicable. I'll let her words speak for themself in these posts: