Facebook post sparks backlash toward Lexington pet store

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – One picture on social media shared more than 600 times has garnered countless complaints.

It’s after this Facebook post and picture that a Lexington pet store owner is defending her business.

“It spread like wildfire that somehow we’re not taking care of the animals, which is totally untrue,” Most Valuable Pets Owner Melissa Whitton said.

Whitton told WKYT that she had a customer in Monday night concerned about the size of multiple boxer puppies.

Whitton tried to explain that’s normal for their age, but that didn’t calm the concern.

The next day a Facebook post including a picture of the puppies was shared claiming they did not look healthy.

MVP was flooded with phone calls accusing the workers of animal abuse and neglect and even threatening the workers and the animals.

“These people have never even come into the store, they’ve never played with the dogs,” Whitton said. “They haven’t seen the dogs, they saw one picture on the internet.”

MVP isn’t the only facility fielding phone calls. Because of multiple complaints, Lexington-Fayette Animal Care and Control launched an investigation, sending out a field officer and cruelty sergeant to double-check the pet store was in compliance.

“They’re following the guidelines of the law,” Chief Nathan Bowling said. “We’ll just continue monitoring the situation and do follow-ups on it.”

MVP got an all-clear from animal control and the veterinarian that treats the puppies.

“They are within a normal range for a twelve-week old boxer puppy, which is 6-8 pounds,” Stonefield Veterinary Associates Dr. Samuel Vaughn said. “I do not think these puppies are being abused, I do not think they are being not taken care of.”

Whitton wants to make sure everyone knows MVP takes care of its animals.

But, more importantly, she wants people to recognize the impact social media can have, hoping to turn this incident into a reminder to think before you type.

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