While the Sherman Animal Shelter’s adoption trailers can often be seen in the parking lot outside the PETCO store at the Sherman Town Center, people selling animals from the back of their vehicle or out of a cage near the trailer are also a common occurrence.

However, those people are not associated with the city and during a City Council meeting last month then-Sherman Police Chief Otis Henry, who has since retired from the force, said they’ve been a problem for several years.

“We contacted the property owners of the Town Center and we have a letter from them giving us their consent to shoo people away,” Henry said. “We usually respond when we get a call and someone complains to let us know they’re out there. But an officer does periodically drive through.”

Sherman City Council member Pam Howeth brought up the matter following a presentation on the animal shelter.

“I saw the trailer this weekend out at PETCO and it was wonderful, I’m very impressed with what you’ve done,” Howeth said before turning her attention to the various people selling animals. “I’d hate to think we (could) get a reputation for puppy mills.”

Animal Services Manager Scott Parker called the practice of selling animals like that “unfortunate” and said there’s a lot that goes into the city’s partnership with PETCO.

“We actually have to keep insurance and stuff to have that spot at PETCO,” Parker said. “We’re under contract with them. We’ve had to do a lot of stuff to keep our part of it.”