Fort Lauderdale Woman Fights Walgreens Over Pit Bull Spray

Jessie Bunetta says she was stunned when she found Pit Bull Defense Maximum spray for sale at a Hollywood Walgreens, but was happy when the store pulled it off the shelves

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jessie Bunetta says she was stunned when she found Pit Bull Defense Maximum spray for sale at a Hollywood Walgreens, but was happy when the store pulled it off the shelves. (Published Tuesday, May 28, 2013)

    A South Florida woman says she was appalled when she found a spray that promises to keep pit bulls away at a local store.

    Jessie Bunetta has called her pit bull Cali family for five years, and says she was disgusted when she found Pit Bull Defense Maximum at Walgreens.

    "I was dumbfounded," Bunetta said. "I couldn’t believe it was, you think at first a gag gift, air horn or something, but a mace-type product to physically harm an animal is just terrible. It made me sick."

    After seeing a post of the product on Pinterest, she didn’t believe it. She wanted to see it for herself and she did at the Walgreens on State Road 7 and Johnson Street in Hollywood.

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    Bunetta raced home, logged onto Facebook, and posted a message to Walgreens wall. Part of it reads, "How dare you have the audacity to sell such a product" and "you should be ashamed of yourselves." Not even 24 hours later, she got a response.

    “I was researching how to start a petition to get the product removed, and as I’m researching it, my phone goes off. Notification. Walgreens actually wrote me back,” she said.

    Part of their reply said, “We apologize to everyone about the pit bull spray that was only sold in 5 stores” and “as a result of becoming aware of the product, we have told those few stores who are carrying the item to stop selling it immediately."

    “I don’t know if my 'boycott Walgreens' got them to move quickly, but it felt really good that one small voice as my own could make such an impact,” the Fort Lauderdale resident said.

    But not so fast. The Pitbull pepper spray was an issue for Facebookers four months ago – in January. Then, Walgreens said almost the exact same thing – even that is was “only sold in 5 stores” and it “will ensure other locations don’t carry it.” The post almost looks like it’s copied and pasted.

    To see the post and response, click here

    But for Bunetta, she went back to the Hollywood Walgreens, and to her, the company kept its word. She didn’t find any more of the spray on the shelves.

    “It feels good,” Bunetta said. “When I saw they did such a thing I came home and put a thank you sign around Cali’s neck and posted it to their page and said thank you.”

    A Walgreens spokesman said Tuesday that staff at the Hollywood store obtained the spray for sale on their own.

    "Thanks for reaching out to us. We apologize that this product was sold at this location. It was not a corporately purchased item and therefore is not available in the remaining 8,000 Walgreens stores," spokesman Robert Elfinger said in a written statement. "Instead, the store staff obtained it for sale on their own. Once we became aware of the product, the store was directed to stop selling it immediately.

    "We believe this oversight is an isolated case but we are notifying all store managers that this is not a product that we sell."

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