By VAL PETSCHE
Local residents and students from the university’s Animals and Ethics philosophy class protested the Salisbury Super Pet store on Saturday afternoon.
Art and photography major Jordan Kahl shared her purpose for attending the protest.
“The reason I took part in this protest was to stop the mistreatment and distribution of animals from the Salisbury Super Pet,” Kahl said.
Super Pet has received criticism over the years for their poor business practices associated with animal neglect, mistreatment and disregard for diseased animals. Testimonies about Super Pet can be viewed both on “Yelp” and “Google Reviews.”
The phrases, “Adopt, don’t shop!” and “Boycott Super Pet” were common chants to passing cars along the Twilley shopping center on Civic Avenue.
It was a peaceful demonstration, as students were on public land complying with regulations outlined by the property owner, and members of the protest parked their car away from the shopping center upon request.
Protest organizer Rebecca Lederman hosted a potluck Friday night to create the posters. She later discussed the community’s response to the event.
“The issue is that these animals’ welfare is the only thing that matters because they’re the ones suffering everyday,” Lederman said. “So, the overall theme of this movement won’t be on attacking employees, but rather one of concern for the animal!”
The individuals of the community expressed mixed opinions about the students’ actions.
“The public’s reaction varied rather greatly. There were some people who showed strong support and appreciation for our mission,” Lederman said. “There were also those who were very opposed to our protest. The point is, it got the public’s attention.”
A woman expressed opposition shortly after the protest began by questioning the legitimacy of the group’s actions. Lederman was the spokesperson of the demonstration, handling confrontation in order to represent the interests of the group.
“During the protest, a woman came up to us and was micromanaging where we parked our cars. When our professor arrived, the woman proceeded to tell her that I was insubordinate, rowdy and unintelligent,” Lederman said. “When people react so drastically to something with threats of taking legal action and ad hominem, then you know you are scaring them with the possibility of a boycott, which is what we are calling people to do!”
Lederman discussed her thoughts on the protest’s outcome.
“I personally do think it was a success in the fact that we made such an impact on the business owner and employees that they felt the need to micromanage, insult, argue and even, in a way, threaten us!” Lederman said.
Kahl agreed with the success for a number of different ways.
“I think the protest succeeded in spreading awareness and getting people involved in issues we care about,” Kahl said. “I also think the whole process succeeded in bringing a group of like-minded individuals closer as peers, which is important.”
The demonstration ended around 4 p.m., lasting several hours before concluding.
“The protest occurred Saturday, so it’s only been a couple of days, but overall I have noticed the Facebook page getting way more attention,” Lederman said. “So that really excites me for the future of this small movement of sorts!”
More information about the protest and its continued efforts for improved animal welfare can be found on the Facebook page, “Boycott Salisbury Super Pet.”