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A Petland employee pled not guilty to animal cruelty after she drowned two rabbits and posted a grinning photo on Facebook.
40 protesters demonstrated outside the Akron courthouse as Liz Carlisle entered a plea and the matter was set for a pre-trial hearing on September 3.
The franchise has been closed indefinitely by the franchisor and now People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals is calling on the public to pressure Petland to ban the sale of live animals at their franchises, as is the House Rabbit Society, a national non-profit devoted to the furry housepets.
According to published reports, the rabbits led a horrible life at Petland and were suffering from wounds, broken bones, and partial paralysis.
Store employee Liz Carlisle reportedly stated that her manager told her to drown the rabbits and that the manager was the person who took the now infamous photograph. The Humane Society of Greater Akron pressed charges against Carlisle.
Petland announced in a news release stressed that the Akron, Ohio store was owned and operated by a franchisee, and that the franchisee has been terminated.
The Petland case is just the latest in a rash of franchised outlets facing bad publicity and even closure due to rogue employees posting photos on the Internet.