A Thousand Oaks pet store’s social media pages have been flooded with furious comments after it added an unusual question to its adoption interview process: Where are you on gun control?
“I will never go to this store again – never again,” said customer Paul.
Shelter Hope Pet Shop is standing firm against the subsequent barrage of criticism after announcing the new issue in its customer newsletter.
“We do not support those who believe the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to purchase assault weapons,” the bulletin reads. “If your beliefs don’t match ours, we won’t adopt a pet for you.”
When Shelter Hope Pet Shop sent out the newsletter on June 1, the nation was reeling from a series of major mass shootings, including one that killed 19 people.and another in . But Shelter Hope went much closer to home to explain its decision.
“Thewho killed came to our store for community service hours,” the Shelter Hope Pet Shop newsletter said. “We believe he had scouted many places and we were one of them. We changed our policy on volunteering after this incident, but now we are confident to go even further.”
Shelter Hope Pet Shop says it takes at least an hour to interview a potential adopter, who must be 25 years old and have a valid driver’s license. Hopeful dog owners who don’t own a home of their own must also allow an interview with their owner and a physical inspection, according to the shelter. And applicants who lie about their stance on gun control can be prosecuted for fraud, the shelter said.
“I’m a thousand percent behind animal shelters, but I don’t think anyone who owns a store has the right to do what she does,” Paul said.
The bulletin also included an image of the victims of the Uvalde shooting.
Since news of Shelter Hope’s stance on gun control became increasingly publicized, gun enthusiasts have bombarded their Yelp, Facebook and Instagram pages.
A notice from Yelp’s support team says they are monitoring the Shelter Hope page due to increased reviews, and founder Kim Sill has repeatedly responded to hostile Facebook posts, reiterating her right to believe in gun control.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed they are investigating the threats that were made against the shelter. The threats were made by phone or text message.