Wondering if someone knows...is it legal to hand out "puppy mill" literature outside stores

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

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Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
Barked: Thu Dec 8, '11 10:02am PST 
Hi all...I'm wondering something. Is it legal to hand out flyers outside a store? My thought was this...if I stood outside a pet store that sells puppies, would I legally be able to stand outside the store and hand out "general" information on puppy mills, statistics, and educate?

We sometimes get so mad that people buy puppies from pet stores, but I think most would agree that the reason is they are unaware. People just don't know.

Anyone know if it's allowed to stand out stores to do that or do you have to get some kind of permission?

Cave canis- vigilo omnis
Barked: Thu Dec 8, '11 9:10pm PST 
They would likely ask you to leave, and if you're on their property, they would probably be within their rights to do so.

Barked: Thu Dec 8, '11 10:02pm PST 
I don't know...I think it might be a blurry issue. You could probably stand in the parking lot and be just fine. Of course it depends on your local laws. I guess there is the potential for loitering.

Scooter,- PAWS

Power of the Paw- for those who- need it
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 4:49am PST 
Well my thought was we have a couple of pet stores in the mall. Would it be within my right to stand in the mall area, near the store and hand them out?

Don't Litter - Fix Your- Critter!
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 5:02am PST 
I've done it. I also reported one pet store within a mall for selling unhealthy puppies and had the store shut down. I've even talked to people while in the store. It really depends on store personnel and whether it's in a mall setting or a stand alone store... Not sure who to tell you to ask. I'd probably just go ahead with it until asked not to.

I am the Sock- Bandit!!!
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 6:53am PST 
If you are on their property, as Titus said, they have the right to ask you to leave and have you forcibly removed if you refuse.

This is similar to a protest, you do have the legal right to free speech and to hand out flyers, but you need to be on public property (think sidewalk, most businesses do not own the right to police the sidewalk). If it's in a mall, then it's possible that the entire mall is privately owned, so the mall's owners could ask that you leave. Also, I would contact your local town or city hall and see if you need a permit.

Or, you could just start doing it until they have mall security escort you out. You might change a couple minds before a mill puppy gets bought home for Christmas. I wish you luck, educating people is worthy, so many people still don't know what a puppy mill is, and why good breeders absolutely do not sell their pups in store fronts like that. Good luck!
Shiloh ITD

Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 2:55pm PST 
I would love to go out with some other dog people and hand out flyers outside of a Pet store. I have 2 friends who like dogs. I think this might be a pretty cool idea actully. I'd just have to check the laws. :p

Trust me...I'm a- beagle
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 3:05pm PST 
Not sure about laws or anything, just wanted to stop by and say I couldn't picture anyone in your family getting escorted off the property. They're too sweet laugh out loud
Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 8:15pm PST 
I always wanted to do this, but the one thing that worries me is some laws pertaining towards you hurting their business.

I've even seen where people have to pick up items from their yards (usually like junked cars and refrigerators) because the unpleasant sight is harming the business across the street.

It's such a blurry area though.

But I 100% agree that it is an issue of ignorance. I can not fathom somebody going to a petstore knowing the truth of what their money is supporting. And, depending on the material of the fliers, your intentions could be interpreted as more an informative route rather than one of malice. So...if the store in question sells items other than puppies, you should say, if questioned, that you're not trying to shut the store down, you're trying to inform people of the products they are buying.

It'd be like somebody handing out fliers of the benefits of organic foods in front of a market that doesn't sell organic produce.shrug

When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Fri Dec 9, '11 8:19pm PST 
If you are inside the mall they likely will ask you to leave. So heres some tips. Buy something from another store inside the mall, a pop or coffe is helpful, with no purchase you are loitering. Do NOT stand right outside their doors that is obstructing access. If they give you grief about standing around walk through the area passing stuff out as you go. They cannot legally stop you since you are not selling anything and there is no law against sharing public information. But they can throw you off the property. So make the most of the time you have.
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