Pit bull turned away from Virginia Beach PetSmart event

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A Virginia Beach woman is calling for change after she says her puppy was turned away from an event at a pet store.

She says it’s because the pup is a pit bull breed.

Geena Arevalo spoke with the woman and tells us what happened.

Four-month-old Dale is the newest member of Jennifer Miller’s family.

Dale is used to playing with big brother, Bash, but Miller was excited when she got this email from PetSmart about  an event called Puppy’s First Playdate, an in-store social for puppies.

“Socializing him when he’s this young is so important,” said Miller.

On Sunday, Miller took Dale to PetSmart but she says Dale never got the chance to make some four-legged friends.

“They looked at him and said ‘I don’t know, he kinda looks like a pit bull, let me go get my manager’. So she came out and took one look at him and said ‘I’m sorry, he can’t stay, he’s definitely a pit bull’,” said Miller.

Miller says she left heartbroken.

“These dogs are sweet, they are deserve a chance just like any other dog,” she said.

A PetSmart representative tells us “Pit bulls and other bully breeds are welcome in stores, grooming salons, training areas, and PetsHotels. For the safety of associates and other pets, they are excluded from the off-leash, group play activities.”

The representative says the policy comes after consulting with with veterinarian staff and safety experts as well as our deep knowledge and experience interacting with these pets in a wide variety of settings.

The email does state that breed restrictions apply to these activities. Still, Miller says she won’t be going back.

“These dogs are sweet, they deserve a chance just like any other dog,” said Miller.

Miller posted about her experience on social media and the post has been shared.

She says they’ve gotten an overwhelming amount of support from people and even people from Europe have reached out.

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