Laurel pet shop owner abandons plans to open branch in Towson

December 11, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Mounting legal costs have caused the owner of Just Puppies, a Laurel-based pet shop, to abandon a plan to open a store in Towson.

Mitchell Thomson said he could not afford to continue pursuing the necessary zoning for the store against legal appeals backed by private animal shelters and others who contend Just Puppies gets its stock from "puppy mills" - large commercial breeders whose dogs are considered by some to be prone to disease and temperament problems.

Thomson took issue with the term "puppy mill."

"We're a puppy store," he said. "I guess the Humane Society doesn't like any competition."

Thomson got a zoning variance in August for the proposed store on York Road south of the Beltway, which would permit it to operate within 200 feet of the Maj. Gen. Harry C. Ruhl National Guard Armory, which is zoned residential. The ruling was appealed.

Although Thomson has counted himself out, the property's owner, Timothy Quigg, will pursue the variance, according to his lawyer, Howard L. Alderman Jr. A ruling is expected Thursday.

Thomson said he had no plans for a new store. "We've got plenty of business in Laurel," he said.

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