For the third time, a purebred and designer pet store called the Barking Boutique has sought the right to open up shop in West Michigan.
Owner David Boelkes has been met with protest and outrage with each attempt at opening his store, which many claim deals with questionable puppy mills. The Lakes Mall in Muskegon declined to rent Boelkes space shortly before the Barking Boutique’s opening day in 2016. The Barking Boutique’s doors were shuttered a second time after opening for just a week in Grand Rapids’s Woodland Mall, where the Bissell Pet Foundation actually went undercover to rescue six of the puppies from Boelkes’s operation.
Social media campaigns and weekly protest gatherings have been leveled at Boelkes throughout each attempt, but reasons for closing the Barking Boutique, as released by the Lakes and Woodland malls, have declined to mention what factors prompted the decision.
Now Boelkes is hoping to open the Barking Boutique by April in Grandville, Michigan, where in a packed City Council meeting, Mayor Steve Maas maintains the preliminaries have all been met. And because Grandville is bound by the Home Rule Cities Act, the city must grant Boelkes a business license if he meets the necessary requirements to operate his facility, planned at 2939 Wilson Avenue SW.