Wednesday, September 22, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 29

Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on May 15th, 2019, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 11

Animal Kingdom closes stores in Santa Maria, Pismo Beach


A chain of Central Coast pet stores announced it would no longer sell puppies in early April, and now it’s closing store locations in Santa Maria and Pismo Beach.

On April 25, Animal Kingdom Pet Shop closed its store in the Santa Maria Town Center Mall after six years in that location, leaving behind an empty, gated shop and a sign giving the chain’s Grover Beach location. Animal Kingdom owner Adam Tipton said 13 employees lost jobs because of the closure, and more are likely to lose jobs when the chain’s Pismo Beach location is closed at the end of this month.

“It’s a sad situation,” Tipton told the Sun.

Tipton said that while he’s working to make as many accommodations for impacted employees as possible, cuts must be made.

The multiple stores were not cost effective, Tipton said, due in part to a new state law that requires pet stores to obtain all dogs, cats, and rabbits from animal shelters or rescue groups. The law went into effect on Jan. 1, and since then, Animal Kingdom has been at the center of a debate over its sourcing of puppies. The store is currently facing two lawsuits, and on April 15, Animal Kingdom announced it would no longer sell puppies because of the law.

That decision has cut profits, and Tipton said Animal Kingdom will continue operating from a sole location in Grover Beach. It’s the chain’s oldest location, Tipton said, and has been up and running for nearly 24 years.

Since he announced the closures, Tipton said he’s received an outpouring of support from customers, many of whom he said are angry and “terrified” as to where they’ll have to purchase puppies in the future. Many aren’t sure where to go or how to find a trustworthy breeder, Tipton said, and he expects to see puppy internet scams become increasingly popular within the next few years.

This is bad for employees and customers, he said.

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