National Group Investigating CdM Puppy Store

posted: July 6th, 2011 09:01 am | 57Comments

A national animal rights group has launched an investigation into the newly opened I Heart Puppies shop in Corona del Mar.

The store, which opened Friday, may have puppies for sale that come from “an egregious violator of the Animal Welfare Act,” said Carole Davis, West Coast director for the Companion Animal Protection Society. She declined to say how she obtained her evidence, but she said it includes undercover video footage of the breeder’s facility and “is not hearsay.”

“I have evidence this breeder supplies the Corona del Mar store,” she said.

The shop’s owners said they stand by their stated mission to get puppies from reputable breeders.

Co-owner Suzanne Bradford said the shop’s puppies come from breeders who in compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “which, as we all know is the agency that inspects the countries food supply. So I think it makes sense that if we trust the USDA to make sure our food is safe for us and our families, we would also trust them with their responsibility of regulating commercial dog breeders,” Bradford said.

Davis said she launched the investigation Tuesday after receiving 30 complaints about the store in one weekend. Typically, she sees that many complaints in a month, she said.

According to Davis, the Corona del Mar shop has puppies from at least six breeders, one of which has been investigated by the USDA and by the CAPS group since 2006.

Davis declined to name the breeder, but she said she had reports from her internal investigations and from the USDA that described dogs living in broken wire cages with no bedding, outdoors in sub-zero temperatures. Water bowls were missing, frozen over or contaminated with feces and urine, Davis said.

“The reports are really disturbing,” she said. One report said the dogs were in cages 3 feet off the ground, “and underneath is so much fecal matter that you would have to wear a mask,” she said. Any pet shop owner who visited this particular breeder “would leave in tears,” she said.

The breeder is located in the Midwest, she said. The violations and terrible conditions occurred in that location and not in Corona del Mar.

“We are not accusing stores of abusing animals,” Davis said.

A complete CAPS investigation could take up to six months, she said. “We inspect, we talk, we get inside, we observe, we talk to people who’ve bought animals, we talk to veterinarians,” she said.

Her goal is to work with the I Heart Puppies shop to convince them to work with local shelters to set up a “humane business model” rather than purchase dogs through brokers who may be getting dogs from unethical breeders. The shop’s owners have said they plan to include an adoption element to their business plan.

When the investigation is complete, Davis said she would send the results to members of the Newport Beach City Council with a request to change city code to ban shops from selling dogs that do not come from local shelters. According to the CAPS website, the group in 2009 successfully worked with four Los Angeles pet shops to convert them to humane business models that work with rescue centers to find homes for adoptable pets. In 2010, the website states that a CAPS undercover investigation resulted in the West Hollywood City Council passing an ordinance prohibiting the sale of dogs and cats in pet stores with an exemption for the adoption of shelter and rescue animals.

“CAPS is currently working with Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) on an ordinance for La Mesa (San Diego County), CA and assisted Richmond, British Columbia animal advocates on a by-law banning the sale of pet shop dogs,” the website states.

Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Gardner, who represents Corona del Mar, said she was surprised to learn the shop was selling puppies “given the climate today,” but she had not received any calls or emails complaining about the business.

CAPS’ goal is to put inhumane dog breeders out of business by cutting off their sales, Davis said.

“We want to make it so they don’t have a place to sell their dogs,” Davis said. “We want to take away their outlets so they will decide to get a job that doesn’t include animal cruelty. That’s who we’re mad at.”

The shop, located at 2801 East Coast Highway, also sells pet supplies, puppy apparel, leashes and more.

“As far as what Companion Animal Protection Society thinks of the business model for I Heart Puppies, we believe we have a wonderful concept that puts beautiful healthy puppies in loving homes,” Bradford said. “We are very excited about the wonderful response we have had to our store, people appreciate what we have to offer the community and we look forward to providing the area with loving healthy puppies.”

Read our earlier story here.


57 Responses to “National Group Investigating CdM Puppy Store”

Comments

Kathryn

July 6th, 2011

I have to comment on this post because I thought all of the (39 or some) complaints to your original write up on the new I Heart Puppies was absurd. These ladies are opening a shop that sells puppies. The owners say the puppies do not come from puppy mills (which we can only hope that these women were responsible enough to make sure that they did not), so I am going to give them the benefit of the doubt, because I feel it is awful for people to just assume something negative. Also, who are some of these people that think they can tell other people what to do with their money and how much people are willing to spend on a dog? I'm sure the people that made those complaints purchase other items that I would feel were frivolous. I do feel that purchasing a rescue dog is a good thing to do and it is AWFUL how many dogs are put to sleep BUT that does not mean that everyone should be frowned about for having a pure bred dog. I hate to sound like I'm not for improvement - but there are a tons of words out there that people do use to sound like better people, (sustainability, "green", solar powered, reusable bags, buy only local food, only cook seasonal foods, hybrids, compost, own a dog from a shelter). All of those things I just listed are all GREAT things and are helping our world become better one place at a time. But come on people. If someone wants to buy a pure bred dog - let them have that. There are pros to having one. If this shop is doing their job correctly, then they are buying legit puppies and taking out all of the hard time and work it takes to find a good breeder. I DO think that offering sheltered dogs at their shop would be a wonderful idea! And they should pursue that - but I think people should back off the shop a little. 30 complaints called to the Companion Animal Protection Society seems like people are just hoping the shop fails. Now, that too sounds cruel. No one knows if these pups are coming from a harmful place - but it seems like people have convinced themselves that they have. This all may come back to bite me - but I will be optimistic first.

carole davis

July 6th, 2011

In rebuttal to Ms. Bradford's comment, I think she needs to understand that the USDA is not a source of unimpeachable goodness. We work with them daily and understand their limitations to protect animals. After all, they regulate and inspect meat-packing plants and dogs are merely another agricultural "product" to that agency. To them, a pig or a steer is no different than a dog. You can also find the USDA stamp on dead animals in your supermarket. This does not mean it doesn't cause cancer, but that's another article. Ms. Bradford needs to look at the USDA minimum standards of care so she can learn about her own business. 6 inches in front of a breeding dog's face for LIFE in a cage. If that's ok with her, then she needs her head examined. You try lving in a cage just big enough to turn around for one day let alone a lifetime. Kathryn, You sound like a nice, positive person but also like someone who would rather believe a pet retailer, who profits from the sale of dogs from commercial breeding factories than believe me, someone whose job it is to protect those animals. It's like saying you believe EXXON over the EPA on how many animals have suffered in an oil spill. Exxon gets paid to spin the story to its advantage and the EPA enforces the clean up at Exxon's expense. Whose side are you on? The animals? Then you have to believe me. We KNOW one of this store's breeders. And so does the USDA. And our reports are disturbing to say the least. And just to be clear, we have no intention or goal of putting any business out of business except for the ones abusing animals. We are not accusing this store of animal abuse at all. We hope that they decide voluntarily to convert to the humane business model that has proven to be so successful around the country and in Europe. Homeless animals, meaning dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, hamsters, fish etc, all deserve a second chance in life and a retail pet store is a wonderful place for them to be showcased as an alternative to the shelter. Too many companion animals are killed in our shelter system because of lack of space. These animals need life-saving space and time to be seen, so what better place than in a cute pet store like this one? I want to disabuse you of a notion you are sticking to as if it were a fact. That you can't get a purebred dog in the shelter. Please note that 25 to 30% of shelter dogs are purebred dogs. People dump purebreds as easily as mutts. AND, this store is selling "hybrids" which is another name for MUTT. Btw, I have 2 purebreds and 2 mutts myself, all from the pound. All dogs deserve a loving home, including the pups in this store. We just think people should know that their mothers are living in hell and that when you buy one of these dogs, you are enriching an animal abuser in a state far away. If we stopped buying their "product" then maybe they'd get a job that doesn't abuse animals. If this retailer "hand-picks" her breeders like she says, why would she be doing business with an animal abuser.

Anamda

July 6th, 2011

that's why there is an investigation you moron. It will come back to bite you and I hope it hurts. You are a complete hypocrite. You cannot before FOR rescue and FOR selling puppies. You really need to do your research before you leave comments. I hope for your sake that you used a fake name...otherwise you should be very embarrassed. The USDA only monitors puppy mills..not nice little local breeders...dip wad!

Kathryn

July 6th, 2011

Ms. Davis, I was in no way accusing you! I think what you do is very needed today. And Amy, you were very clear that CAPS does not accuse this store of abuse. I hope my comment did not read like I was accusing Ms. Davis. If it did, then I apologize, that was not my intent. My comment went out to the 39+ people that all said the exact same thing, one right after the other. I thought it was excessive and redundant and it felt unfair to this new store. That's all.

carole

July 6th, 2011

I first want to thank Corona Del Mar Today for printing this article and explaining that USDA does not mean good breeder. There are 10,000 puppy mills that we know about in the U.S. Caps does have evidence of one of the breeders this store is using and it is a mill with numerous violations, I can't stress enough that responsible breeders (1 littler a year) or hobby breeder NEVER sell to pet stores, they just do not, it's mass breeding facilities that sell to these stores. I'm really hoping that these women will want to work with a rescue group and no longer support the cruel evil pet trade business, if not I'm afraid the huge group of animal activists will be visiting their store. Please go Humane, do the compassionate thing. Yes, purebreds are in our shelters, many of them, I have 3 of my own, rescued from the pound and they are fabulous.

Sarah

July 6th, 2011

It seems like Companion Animal Protection Society was quick to do an undercover investigation of I Heart Puppies' supplier and found egregious violations of Animal Welfare. I hope the facts will be released soon so the public can see the truth.

Carol Leifer

July 6th, 2011

Fact from the Humane Society of the United States, an organization of great repute which I trust implicitly. "99% of the dogs sold in puppy stores are from puppy mills." This store is an embarrassment to Corona del Mar & I will spread the word far and wide NOT TO SHOP THERE!

carole davis

July 6th, 2011

Yes, this article was very clear about CAPS not accusing this store of abusing animals. I think it is fair as well, giving a chance to the store owner to speak her mind I was referring to Kathryn, a commenter, who wrote that she thought one could only get a purebred dog in a store as opposed to the shelter. This isn't true, unfortunately many, many purebred dogs die waiting for someone to adopt them. Thank you, Corona Del Mar Today, for covering this important issue as it is not only an animal protection issue but a consumer protection issue as well. Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast Director, Companion Animal Protection Society

shelly

July 6th, 2011

Please list all breeders names and licence numbers so we call all check them out? You can check out restaurant inspections? The USDA does a fine job I sure. But they allow the public to eat multiple cows in one burger? Sensible? A dog is part of a family and shouldn't be treated like food source. (I don't eat animals myself, however). This might be a case of three smart ladies doing some gorilla marketing....are we helping?

Sophie

July 6th, 2011

Hello, Animal lovers. It seems that we all love animals and have a common bond. I have to say that I understand that the shop owners may not be told the truth when asking the suppliers if they are a puppy mill. These people would never say it because abusing animals is illegal, yet very profitable. I rescued 2 dogs on my vet's recommendation . He and his staff educated me on the benefits of adoption as opposed to buying from a pet store. These dogs get shipped in trucks , across country and some of them don't make it to the pet store alive. It is a horrible business, if it weren't for my vet I would have not been aware of the horrendous conditions these puppies and breeding parents are put thru. Being in a cage for life, sick and cold in the winter and hot in the summer at the mercy of the elements. Often with rotten food and water seemed enough for me to adopt. I also starting education myself, by searching the Humane Society's site for puppy mill info and found out that 99% of pets sold come form mill ! I also found out that half the dogs at the shelters are pure bred. So, it's really simple. I am sure the owners were not aware but now they need to start doing their homework. Ciies are starting to ban the sale of animals , West Hollywood is one. The USDA is there to protect us , but i believe they are overwhelme and understaffed. By the way breeders don't sell to pet stores so that's for that. I wonder how much they pay per head ? That would be another telling sign... Since we are animal lovers let do what's best for them and learn the truth. The investigation, the lady talks about sounds very serious and necessary after all. I admire the dedication to animal welfare they show, but also it protects us the humans in the end. I hope this helps.

Ben Harding

July 6th, 2011

There are a million dogs (and cats) put to death at pounds in California every year. Even if the issue of supporting puppy mills weren't part of the trouble with I Heart Puppies (which it CLEARLY is), how can a pet store sell bred dogs when there is every kind of animal you could want just waiting to be cruelly euthanized at dozens of Southern California shelters. The owners of this store should be ashamed of themselves! Store owners, go visit your local pound and then tell me it is okay to be breeding and selling more puppies. Look in the faces of the ones waiting to be euthanized and tell them they have to die because of stores like yours.

shelly

July 6th, 2011

Please list all breeders names and licence numbers so we call all check them out? You can check out restaurant inspections? The USDA does a fine job I sure. But they allow the public to eat multiple cows in one burger? Sensible? A dog is part of a family and shouldn't be treated like food source. (I don't eat animals myself, however). This might be a case of three smart ladies doing some gorilla marketing....are we helping?

Wendy

July 6th, 2011

Ms. Bradford is fooling herself if she thinks her puppies are coming from reputable breeders. Reputable breeders just don't sell to pet stores. Puppy mills are also regulated by the USDA; they just haven't got the manpower to make sure these puppy mills are in compliance. I am surprised any animal lover would think this business is at all acceptable.

Cathy

July 6th, 2011

@ Kathryn. There are many purebreds available for adoption through shelters and rescues. I have two beautiful chihuahuas that are both purebred and are rescues. One sufferers severe neurological damage, deafness and blindness as a result of overbreeding. He was first purchased at a pet store such as this one and then dumped at the shelter when his medical conditions became known. My other chi is healthy and lovable and came from the Lancaster shelter. I strongly encourage CdM to support the business model Ms. Davis is proposing. It is a win-win for the business owner, the city, and most importantly the animals. Puppy mills masquerade as "reputable breeders"; I assure they are anything but.

Ida McCarthy

July 6th, 2011

Please Kathryn....no reputable breeder would put their dog in a pet store cage at the mose crucial time of their lives. If you truly believe these women, ask them for the breeders names and if you can visit the parents of the puppies. Don't buy the lie please. Talk to a reputable breeder and ask them if they would give their dogs to a pet store to be sold to anyone with a visa card. These women don't care where these dogs go....they could go to an abusive family and who would know or care. PLEASE DON'T BUY THE LIE AND ASK THEM THE NAMES OF THE BREEDERS. They will never give you that information.

Candy Clemente

July 6th, 2011

In response to Kathryn's comments, I am sorry to tell you that just because they are inspected by USDA it does nothing to protect the breeder dogs' lifestyle. Their standards are minimal at best. Most puppy mills are inspected by USDA and the living conditions of the dogs are deplorable. And they state that most of the dogs are "hybrids" aka MUTTS. On any given day thousands of "hybrid" puppies are killed in animal shelters EVERY DAY. And if they are so sure about the reputation of the breeders they use, then they should take a trip and visit them and take photos to show the dogs are well cared for as they have stated. I can just about guarantee that no photos would be allowed if they were even allowed to see the dogs. Why not do the right thing, save lives and market the puppies in the pound? They would receive rave reviews from rescuers around the country and laud them for setting an example. Please don't shop, adopt! And don't think you can't get a pure bred from the pound, they are being killed every day, the breed rescue organizations cannot keep up with the pure bred dogs that are killed every day.

Christy Schilling

July 6th, 2011

MILLIONS of animals are being killed every year in our shelters due to over population and not enough loving homes. PLEASE STOP THIS MADNESS. Any pet can be adopted from a rescue or shelter. Go humane as MANY other cities are (West Hollywood, Tahoe, SF, Glendale, etc.) and partner with rescue groups to have adoptions or rescue from shelters and adopt them out of your store. Be a part of the life saving business model and create goodwill and educate your community. Stop selling animals like they are a product and adding to the killing numbers. These are living, loving pets that should be treated as such!

Bella

July 6th, 2011

I have a purebred dog from a puppymill. She was living in a cage for three years. Her job was to make babies. There is no need to sell dogs that are thousands of dollars in a pet store. Use the money to feed dogs in shelters, adopt a pet. Pets that can have a second chance at a good life is a beautiful thing. I have also seen footage of USDA approved and they are the lowest standards. People need to get educated.

Celestine

July 6th, 2011

I don't understand how anyone in this day and age could buy a dog like a tv. Our city shelters are overflowing with all kinds of dogs and cats, all breeds, all ages. They all need a home desperately. Yet most of them end up in a barrel on a rendering truck. We are a sick society for allowing people to breed animals out of control just to make a buck while we kill thousands of homeless pets in city shelters.

kimmy sue

July 6th, 2011

Puppy Mills are legal, unfortunately, so therefore inspected by the USDA, meaningless. The standards they go by are sad, you would not want your dog or cat living a cage their whole lives breeding, never seeing the sky, touching grass, human contact (throwing food in their cages is it). I have a puppy mill survivor she walks in circles because she lived in a rabbit hutch, bred maybe a dozen times until the mill was busted by animal control for having 400 dogs. Please owners of this store stop selling puppies, sponsor a rescue group, you will do much better, people will find you compassionate, saving lives.

Jennifer

July 6th, 2011

Oh Kathryn, your ignorance on this issue is painful. It is so easy to do the research yet it appears you have done none. With millions of dogs suffering in pet factories throughout this country I choose not to give these store owners the 'benefit of the doubt' because I know the hard core facts - that 99% of all dogs in pet stores come from inhumane breeding facilities. It's one of America's dirty little secrets. Think about it, what reputable breeder in his or her right mind would sell a dog to a pet store?Reputable breeders care about their puppies and MUST know what homes they end up in. You think any of the breeders who supplied these ladies dogs care about where their dogs go? No, because they already got their cash. But I ask you, did you go in the store, write down the breeders name and then pull their reports? If so, you'd know the truth too. No one wants to see a new business, especially in this awful economy, go under. But when it's built on the backs of tortured, suffering animals who can not speak up for themselves then I say so be it. This store must either go 100% humane, which stores throughout the country are doing, or close its doors for good. Those are the only two options. And to educate you a bit more, as far as purebreds go? 20% of dogs in shelters are purebred. 20%! Do the math. We euthanize 5-7 million beautiful dogs every year in this country so how many purebreds does that make? God, I cry when I think about it. I just rescued a purebred Havanese puppy from a high kill shelter in LA, it now has a loving home. It was 24 hours away from death. Oh, and by the way, you don't "purchase" a rescue dog, your adopt it. The fact that you used the word 'buy' tells me much - dogs are not hand bags, they are feeling, loving creatures and as long as they suffer in the name of commerce, animal welfare activists will continue to fight this fight and raise awareness.

Sophie

July 6th, 2011

Hello Kathryn, I am reading your post and I am wondering if the people who buy these puppies would pay 1200$ or more if we found out hru this group that they were actually from mills ? I believe that would be consumer fraud , since they are told that they are from breeders. Isn't that deceit ? Also adopting doesn't mean getting a mutt at all. My dogs are pure bread are very common at shelters. And our tax money is used to put animals down, which we could use so many other ways. I would love to see the breeder's info made public just because it seems necessary. It's just a no brainer get a mutt or a pure bred it's your choice, get it without hurting animals or our state budget!

Paige Chandler

July 6th, 2011

I like dog owners! I believe that if they knew how many dogs will die tonight in their shelters, in their city, they'd never buy a dog again. Every person I know that has really, really educated themselves on puppy mills, shelters, etc. has taken the step to never buy again. I think people, for the most part, want to do the right thing. Power to the rescues!

robincdm

July 6th, 2011

If 'I Heart Puppies' chooses to go the humane route I have absolutely no doubt they and their store will be a huge success. Personally I know of many local rescue organizations that would LOVE another outlet for their pups, dogs and kitties. Listen to your new neighbors, go humane ladies or I will thoroughly enjoy seeing you close your doors before you see one dollar of profit. Friends and neighbors or just another defunct shop, your choice.

Melissa M

July 6th, 2011

Kathryn, If we give this store the "benefit of the doubt" and assume the large-scale commercial breeding facilities in the Midwest where their puppies come from are "reputable breeders"...I would like to pose this question to you and the owners: Do you find it morally acceptable to keep dogs confined to cages for most or all of their lives supplying puppies to be sold at pet stores such as I Heart Puppies? Given that the USDA only requires 6" of space for these dogs to turn around and makes no provisions for the dogs to be let out for exercise EVER...nor do they require that the dogs living outside be protected from extreme heat or cold...and the ones living in dark barns ever be exposed to sunlight. Let alone do they provide for human touch and love, which domestic dogs thrive on. If you could please explain how someone who considers him/herself a dog lover can reconcile this type of life for a dog simply in the name of profit or because someone wants a purebred (which they can find at a shelter or rescue)...because I find it absolutely baffling. And Kathryn, pardon my analogy, but to say they are doing their job "correctly" is like saying one dog fighter is better than Michael Vick because that dog fighter has only 10 dogs instead of 30. A different level of abuse, but abuse just the same. How "correct" is it to cram 8-week-old puppies into a truck to be delivered to pet stores over 1,000 miles away...where they will be more susceptible to parvo (underdeveloped immune systems) in addition to the giardia that is often passed down to the offspring of commercially-bred (puppy mill dogs). And Kathryn, purchasing an expensive (likely sick) pet store dog and perpetuating animal abuse is beyond a "frivolous" purchase. This is why CAPS was so quick to do an investigation. How many ways can it be said? Reputable breeders would never sell their puppies to a pet store...let alone halfway across the country. The very nature of large-scale commercial breeding (where profit is the bottom line) does not allow for quality, humane breeding. Why is this so hard to comprehend?

Zana

July 6th, 2011

Sad to see that after all those years of sharing the TRUTH and trying to educate people there are still some who think it is a great idea to open another store and sell puppies while millions are being killed in shelters ~ puppies & adults ~ no space/not enough money and time to get them all into loving and caring families. I m surprised that these ladies who had this grandiose idea did not think of the consequences/or they did and just do not care. Even Oprah had shows on puppy mills and so many other famous souls stood up for the helpless to spread the word to NOT SHOP instead to adopt from shelters where one can find pretty much every breed/size and age. It is sad that $$ rules in nearly every industry and the well being of the animals is being put last. I would like to sit these ladies down with a few hours of video/youtube puppy mill raids etc. and see if this will help them wake up and rethink their brilliant business idea. NO reputable breeder would see puppies to stores and transport them they way they do etc. ~~ time to wake up and do your own research, get the facts straight and stop selling people lies! Blessings to all the animals who are STILL waiting for us to set them free and share their stories until their is NO MORE PUPPY HORROR MILL http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipTThl38TcY

Lauren

July 6th, 2011

@ Kathryn. I was one of the first responders in the first article. I choose to adopt, yes. I have done rescue and worked with dogs & their people professionally for 12 years. I would never tell someone not to buy a purebred puppy. I do however advise clients and anyone who will listen to only buy a puppy if you are able to visit the home where the puppy was born and to meet the mother, if not both, of the parents. Hobby/responsible breeders will only sell to people whom they have interviewed, they show proof that they have tested the parents for hereditary diseases prior to breeding. They breed one litter a year (if that), and usually have waiting lists for their puppies. Pet quality pups come with a spay/neuter contract and the breeder will take the dog back at any point in the dog's life. Unfortunately, you will not find a responsible designer dog breeder, so the closest thing to one is a backyard breeder with healthy parents, that treat the dogs well and sell them with spay/neuter contracts. If your heart is set on a designer dog puppy (of course they are mixed breeds and shelters are full of mixed breed pups), learn the hereditary conditions of each breed and try to find a breeder who tests their breeding dogs for those conditions. I have worked with dogs who have come from USDA regulated breeders. One, a toy poodle was used as a brood bitch. She was about six years old when rescued and had never touched the ground or seen the sky. She was painfully matted and her nails curled into her paw pads. She was catatonic for at least a month after her rescue. I have countless other stories. This is why I vehemently oppose purchasing a pup from a pet store or off of the internet. Please read the following link on how to find a responsible breeder. http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/puppy_mills/how_find_good_dog_breeder.pdf

robincdm

July 6th, 2011

"For her, a pet shop that had a few adorable rescue animals for her to pick from would be a more pleasant option." ........... EXACTLY and thank you CDM Today for noting that very salient point and for keeping up with this story. ~Cheers~

Corona del Mar Today Staff

July 6th, 2011

Reply to

carole davis

July 6, 2011

In rebuttal to Ms. Bradford's comment, I think she needs to understand that the USDA is not a source of unimpeachable goodness. We work with them daily and understand their limitations to protect animals. After all, they regulate and inspect meat-packing plants and dogs are merely another agricultural "product" to that agency. To them, a pig or a steer is no different than a dog. You can also find the USDA stamp on dead animals in your supermarket. This does not mean it doesn't cause cancer, but that's another article. Ms. Bradford needs to look at the USDA minimum standards of care so she can learn about her own business. 6 inches in front of a breeding dog's face for LIFE in a cage. If that's ok with her, then she needs her head examined. You try lving in a cage just big enough to turn around for one day let alone a lifetime. Kathryn, You sound like a nice, positive person but also like someone who would rather believe a pet retailer, who profits from the sale of dogs from commercial breeding factories than believe me, someone whose job it is to protect those animals. It's like saying you believe EXXON over the EPA on how many animals have suffered in an oil spill. Exxon gets paid to spin the story to its advantage and the EPA enforces the clean up at Exxon's expense. Whose side are you on? The animals? Then you have to believe me. We KNOW one of this store's breeders. And so does the USDA. And our reports are disturbing to say the least. And just to be clear, we have no intention or goal of putting any business out of business except for the ones abusing animals. We are not accusing this store of animal abuse at all. We hope that they decide voluntarily to convert to the humane business model that has proven to be so successful around the country and in Europe. Homeless animals, meaning dogs, cats, reptiles, birds, hamsters, fish etc, all deserve a second chance in life and a retail pet store is a wonderful place for them to be showcased as an alternative to the shelter. Too many companion animals are killed in our shelter system because of lack of space. These animals need life-saving space and time to be seen, so what better place than in a cute pet store like this one? I want to disabuse you of a notion you are sticking to as if it were a fact. That you can't get a purebred dog in the shelter. Please note that 25 to 30% of shelter dogs are purebred dogs. People dump purebreds as easily as mutts. AND, this store is selling "hybrids" which is another name for MUTT. Btw, I have 2 purebreds and 2 mutts myself, all from the pound. All dogs deserve a loving home, including the pups in this store. We just think people should know that their mothers are living in hell and that when you buy one of these dogs, you are enriching an animal abuser in a state far away. If we stopped buying their "product" then maybe they'd get a job that doesn't abuse animals. If this retailer "hand-picks" her breeders like she says, why would she be doing business with an animal abuser.

I tried to be very clear in this article that the CAPS group does not accuse this store of abuse.

Corona del Mar Today Staff

July 6th, 2011

Reply to

robincdm

July 6, 2011

If 'I Heart Puppies' chooses to go the humane route I have absolutely no doubt they and their store will be a huge success. Personally I know of many local rescue organizations that would LOVE another outlet for their pups, dogs and kitties. Listen to your new neighbors, go humane ladies or I will thoroughly enjoy seeing you close your doors before you see one dollar of profit. Friends and neighbors or just another defunct shop, your choice.

I had a comment on the original story on Facebook who said that she visited a shelter recently to donate old blankets and towels, and it was heartbreaking. For her, a pet shop that had a few adorable rescue animals for her to pick from would be a more pleasant option.

Janie Jenkins

July 7th, 2011

It is possible that the women who own the store do not know where the puppies really come from but I highly doubt it! They may be using a puppy broker who is not telling them the truth but I highly doubt it. Just to clarify, most USDA commercial dog breeders use puppy brokers to sell their puppies to pet stores. The puppy brokers have the connections to the stores. The brokers travel to the commercial breeders/puppy mills, pick up puppies, ship them to their distribution centers then off to the pet stores. The puppies are barely weaned when they are sold to the brokers and have not been socialized by the mother dog. They are exposed to all kinds of diseases too. This is all about money. I suggest I Heart Puppies disclose the purchasing invoices for the puppies in their store. That would prove it all. Lets see the list ladies.

Eric Longabardi

July 7th, 2011

Here's how it works folks. It's a free country. If these ladies want to sell puppies from breeders in CDM All the power to them. If the animal rights people want to shut them down, they can try as long as they don't break the law. The same goes for the puppy store, selling puppies is legal to do. Breeders who break the law in breeding puppies are subject to the law. As for the animal rights people claiming to have "evidence" that's nice, but they are an advocacy group and their "evidence" means nothing until the government or appropriate agency enforces the law, if that evidence is legit. Now for the animal rights people to threaten the store is BS. Take your evidence to the proper authorities and have action taken if the alleged abuser is doing something they should not be doing. Then you will keep that breeder from existing or abusing any animal. Extortion of a legitimate business owner is not an approach to take IMHO.

Kathryn

July 7th, 2011

Well said Eric.

Troy

July 7th, 2011

As someone who volunteers with a animal rescue I see how many dogs, cats, etc. need homes. The shelters put down these animals at alarming numbers EVERYDAY. Tnis is fact not fiction. This pet store and others can very profitable from a humane approach, there are statics to prove that from other pet store who have gone humane. When I volunteer at our events, I handle adoptable dogs all the time, any type of "breed" can be found at any shelter or rescue group. Just try petfinder.com as one example. Our small apt. is home to 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 guines pigs, and a turtle....ALL ADOPTED and they fill our lives with joy!!

alice

July 7th, 2011

No one buys a "pure bread" from a shelter. Pure BRED dogs have papers that accompany them showing their ancestors. Now perhaps people do not care about that but let's stop saying 50% of "pure breads" are what you find in shelters. You do not "adopt" a dog or cat.. if you pay money for it it is a purchase of personal property. You are not a "guardian" of an animal .. you are an OWNER.. which by the way gives you and your pet many more RIGHTS than if you are merely the "guardian". I live near Corona Del Mar and I cannot wait to shop at this store. It is time that people stop forcing their "ethics" on the rest of the public at large, especially when they have no real first hand knowledge of the subject and prefer to spout the animal rights mantra. If you want a "pure bread" may I suggest the local bakery

alice

July 7th, 2011

agree with Eric.. this is pure extortion of a business that is doing nothing illegal

Troy

July 7th, 2011

Alice, a little touchy with grammar aren't we? I say this because you had to repeat "pure bread" instead of "pure Bred" several times. I have several typo's in my comment, so please catch those and post them as well. Just be sure to check your own punctuation in your 2 posts. The content of a comment is what is important. By reading your post I would assume you bought a pure bred dog for $$$$$ and feel that "papers" justify the purchase. The pure bred dogs in rescues and shelters don't usually have their "papers" as you say because they are dropped off by their owners when health issues arise, which pure bred dogs tend to develop because the bloodline is weakened from over breeding. This is fact! And yes, there is money involved when adopting an animal, but that money goes into the care of that animal until he or she is adopted and to keep a rescue up and running. It is not to make a profit, that is why rebutable rescue are registered as a 501c non-profit. When a child is adopted alot of money changes hands, but I guess that's different. It's not speculation that these puppies in stores come from mill's it's fact, just look on the internet, or watch any news program, the truth is finally getting out there. We are just trying to educate the public who may not know what really goes on with buying a puppy from a store, and to show that a pet store can change it's business model and still be very profitalbe. If all the info out there was just heresay, why would cities make laws to stop the selling of puupies in stores??? Any pet store that sells animals is a black eye on the town it's in, and how could a town council or a store owner think that peaceful protests against selling puppy mill dogs in front of their store produces a good image. I don't want this store to fail, but if they sell puppies, I for one and hundreds of others will not step foot in it.Think of all those lost purchases! Unless it changes it's business model it will eventully fail.... With the wealth of info about this subject out there, how can anyone turn a blind eye to it??

Elizabeth

July 7th, 2011

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Puppy Mills 1) There is no such thing as a "puppy mill". "Puppy mill" is not a legally defined term, it is slang used by the animal rights community to denigrate any and all breeders -- small or large, standard or substandard. It's the "N-word" of breeders. The phrase “puppy mill” has been promoted in the media by the animal “rights” movement, people who want to end all animal ownership. It is applied indiscriminately by these fanatics to anyone who breeds dogs. 2) There are three main types of breeders: Commercial, Pet and Hobby/show breeders. Every one of these can be a large-scale breeder, every one of these can be a substandard breeder. Commercial kennels are subject to state and/or federal oversight. Substandard care can be found with all types of breeders. It is about the standard of care, NOT the numbers. 3) Many commercial breeders have state of the art kennels that meet USDA standards and the standards of their state laws. They are inspected at least yearly and must meet or exceed standards far higher than those expected of the average hobby breeder. 4)“Sick” puppies do not sell. It is counterproductive for any industry to produce a defective product and expect to stay in business. 5) Passing laws intended to outlaw “puppy mills” will not solve any problem. Most substandard breeders are already in violation of existing laws. New, stricter laws will only affect those who are already working to follow the laws. The only way to have any effect is to enforce the laws that are already on the books. 6) All the hobby breeders in this country cannot produce enough puppies to meet the demands of the American market. 7) BREEDERS are NOT responsible for the presence of dogs in shelters. We have a problem with responsible ownership. Education is the key to improvement in this area. For more information: http://www.cfodconline.org/ http://www.petpac.net/ http://www.exposeanimalrights.com/ www.naiaonline.org www.humanewatch.org www.saveourdogs.net www.nathanwinograd.com www.saova.org

kimmy sue

July 7th, 2011

You know what you can do with the papers from mass breeding facilities, "wipe your ---" Why don't you people show some compassion, we have a major pet overpopulation problem, big problem at the Orange County Shelter where you live. Please visit the shelter and walk down the row of cages of beautiful adooptable animals that are going to be killed because there aren't enough homes. These women are the problem not the solution.

carole davis

July 7th, 2011

In response to Eric : Yes, it's a free country--that means that we are free to express ourselves and to expose the truth. It's called the first amendment. You're right; Ms. Bradford has the legal right to sell puppy mill dogs but she does not have the moral right. Selling dogs born out of these inhumane conditions is immoral. Your argument, Eric, is faulty and so is your grammar, using quotes around the word evidence, which I used in this interview. You are not in a position to have any opinion about this evidence as you have not seen it. I have, it is in my possession and once we have completed our investigation, we will be bringing it to the City Council, the City Attorney and we ARE working with government agencies on this. Here's a fact for you: puppy mills are legal and it is the job of the animal protection movement to not only strengthen existing laws to protect animals in every state, but to work on local legislation like we have been doing, making the sale of these cruelly raised animals illegal. If you were in charge during the civil rights movement, your argument would have supported the right to exclude people of color in the voting booths or at restaurants and hotels all because it was LEGAL to discriminate until ACTIVISTS forced them to make it illegal with boycotts and legislation. The animal rights movement is hardly a left wing crazy fringe movement. We are involved in a common sense strategies to protect animals that are being abused and as a consequence of our work, we are also protecting consumers from FRAUD. You can still go to a breeder and buy a pure bred dog if the dogs at the shelter are not good enough for you and you are a snob. We are advocating not only for the breeding dogs in mills but also for all of the homeless dogs dying in YOUR shelters that you pay for with your taxes, to house and kill. This store could be full to the brim of adorable, adoptable puppies, kittens, adult animals, birds, what have you and Bradford could be saving lives instead of profiting from misery and cruelty. I sincerely hope you can find it in your heart to understand how sad it is that people are selling and buying while perfectly deserving animals are dying.

carole davis

July 7th, 2011

In response to Alice: You sound misinformed. The fact is 25 to 30% of the dogs in the shelter are purebred dogs. <> Ancestors and papers don't really matter for dogs any more than they matter for you. Do your friends care who your ancestors were? Are you of the impression that you are a pure American? We are all mutts. The papers from breed registries are meaningless. Anyone can register dogs with any number of kennel clubs. It just means you spent money to get a piece of paper. The paper isn't worth more than what you use in the bathroom. The AKC has 14 inspectors for the entire nation and honestly, do you think they are watching everyone's records and paperwork? They're not. These inspectors can't even make sure the dogs are ALIVE, let alone match the paperwork with "ancestors." We have taken testimony from ex AKC inspectors and know exactly what goes on. You simply send in a form with a check and you got your papers. It's hogwash. <> As far as you living in Corona del Mar, lucky you! What a lovely place to live and shop while you ignore the pain, agony and suffering of dogs who are producing puppies for this cruel business. Carole Raphaelle Davis, CAPS (www.caps-web.org)

carole davis

July 7th, 2011

In response to Elizabeth: You have cut and pasted propaganda from an organization that profits from factory bred animals. That org, humanewatch, is made up of breeders who spend money to fight legislation that protects animals. They are a political pac, a lobbying group that helps producers of dogs and other animals and they don't give a damn about animals. You are either one of them or just misled by them. Puppy mills are real, you can call inhumane breeding operations whatever you like, the word is meaningless but the pain, the agony, the misery, the injuries, the loneliness, the painful genetic malformations, the cold, the hot sun, the lack of veterinary care, the lack of socialization is REAL. We have evidence that everything you posted is untrue. I suggest that you sit in front of a wall with a mere 6 inches in front of your face for an hour and see if you can imagine what it must be like to live in a cage for your entire life with only 6 inches of extra space to turn around. Just because this is legal does not make it right. You will never convince people with your weak argument. No one wants a puppy born out of such cruelty and dogs deserve better than what you think. Here's what I think about you: you have a stone for a heart. Carole Davis, CAPS www.caps-web.org

carole davis

July 7th, 2011

To Alice: Please illuminate us. Are you accusing CAPS of extortion? That is a very serious allegation. In fact, you are slandering this organization and that is a crime. Please look up extortion and stick to the facts.

jennifer

July 7th, 2011

Wow Elizabeth, I hesitate to even engage with you because you are wrong on so many levels but #4 is my personal favorite so I'll take that one on - You write... 4)“Sick” puppies do not sell. It is counterproductive for any industry to produce a defective product and expect to stay in business. ARE YOU KIDDING?? Let me tell you how I got involved with this movement. Last year a friend of mine, a rich friend who was of the false belief that the more you paid the better the merchandise, bought a puppy at "Barkorks Pet Store" at the Westside Pavillion in Los Angeles. She had seen the dog for over a month stuck in the store's small glass enclosure and felt sorry for it (Just what the pet stores hope for!) it looked depressed and it's leg was shaved which she asked about - the manager said it had needed an IV for some medication because it was depressed but now it was just fine. Well, she bought the dog, got it home and within days it was deathly ill. By then she was already emotionally attached to the dog (just what the pet stores hope for!) and rushed it to the vet. It was diagnosed with a severe ear infection and parasites. Oh and the best part, the parasites had also infected her other dog. $6,000.00 and six months later both her dogs survived but the toll it took out of her and her family was undeniable. Her vet later told her that the sickest dogs come out of pet stores, he sees it all the time and it's a fact many of us "animal welfare activists" know all too well. The store to this day refuses to reimburse her medical expense so she is now involved in a lawsuit (along with hundreds of other Barkworks customers) to get reimbursement. As her friend, I had heard about the link between pet stores and horrific pet factories but my friend insisted her puppy had come from a 'reputable breeder". A big part of her didn't want to know the truth. Sound familiar? So I decided to do the research. I went into Barkworks and traced every breeder they have back to a "USDA" approved puppy mill! The reports on these breeders were devastating. My friends breeder had several major infractions against them, such as feces in food, stacked enclosures with no room for dogs to move in, dogs found dead on the property, it took me 1 hour to pull up dozens of reports. So then I created a Facebook page "Boycott Barkworks Pet Stores" and asked people to post their own Barkworks nightmare stories. Yep, you guessed it, customers from Miission Viejo, Cerritos, Thousand Oaks, Los Angeles, Westminster... dozens and dozens of people all with the same stories of purchasing sick puppies, many that later died. Heartbreaking stories. I've organized protests where young children shared their stories of puppies their parents bought them at Barkworks only to have them die weeks later. No child should ever have to go through that! Pet stores buy dogs for a hundred bucks or so a pop and sell them for a 1000.00 up. It's a numbers game and they don't care how many of the dogs get sick or die because once they are out the door good luck getting your money back! And the big difference here and as I already mentioned, is that owners get emotionally attached to a puppy so when it gets sick or dies it is so devastating for them that they more often than not push it out of their mind because it's too painful to relive. So to say selling sick puppies doesn't happen is counter to what that facts are. But you are right in saying that stores would not stay in business if they sold defective product (and I love how your consider a puppy a product- ugh!) - these pet stores are closing down all over the country precisely for this reason, several in Los Angeles this year alone. So thankfully people are getting educated and I am thrilled that Los Angeles will soon be passing a bill that will BAN pet sales in pet stores entirely. Check out the news if you haven't already heard! That's all I have to say. By the way, I'm a filmmaker by trade and relatively new to animal activism and I have to say I have met the most honorable people doing this work.

Elizabeth

July 7th, 2011

Seriously, there is a reason-or two- why people despise this store along with other pet stores. Obviously the cruelty issue is a major concern, one of which does indeed concern me. But are we missing another huge issue? They are in Corona del Mar after "settling on Cdm because Laguna Beach had to strict of rules". Apparently we may need to review our rules because the store stinks and every time I walk past I am bothered. For anyone who has entered they can likely attest to the poor customer service and lack of a welcoming environment. I am all for seeing this business leave.

Ryan

July 8th, 2011

It's cheap of Ms. Bradford to try to dismiss the objections as belonging to CAPS alone with comments like, "As for what [they] think" and "people appreciate what we have to offer the community..." The numerous complaints registered with CAPS and comments on this website obviously prove otherwise. Our family lives just down the street and I have walked our pure bred puppy (purchased from a reputable breeder that we visited in person) by her shop several times already. Before we knew the store sold actual puppies in addition to supplies, we were excited to have a local place to stock up on toys and treats for our little one. But so long as I Heart Puppies sells dogs and supports puppy mills, (and we all no that no reputable breeder would ever sell their puppies to a shop) Ms. Bradford will not see a penny from us. Time will tell if the appreciation she claims the community has will sustain her business but my suspicion is that, like us, the Corona del Mar dog enthusiast will prove too conscientious to shop at her store.

Mark L.

July 8th, 2011

Elizabeth, copying and pasting information developed by a special interest group whose members include "breeders and research scientists" doesn't exactly lend credibility to your cause. The bottom line is our shelters are killing millions of happy, healthy homeless animals every year, and they’re using our tax dollars to do it. You try to justify the need for large-scale, commercial breeding operations by saying, “All the hobby breeders in this country cannot produce enough puppies to meet the demands of the American market.” Perhaps that demand could be met if we stopped the round-the-clock slaughter that happens every single day in shelters across this nation. I noticed you were kind enough to include a number of links in your post. The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is behind many of them. CCF lobbies on behalf of industry and argues that smoking bans are bad, red meat is good, and lowering the blood-alcohol level for which someone can be charged with a DUI is unfair to drunk drivers. CCF doesn’t care about the consumer and they certainly don’t care about the animals.

Tina Ladd

July 9th, 2011

Iy's all about understanding and education. People don't realize the poor puppy dogs look adorable, but after time they have many health problems. Therefore, it becomes a hugh expense and many do not make it. Cruelty must override making money. Everyone needs to understand the USDA and there are no guarantees. Tina

Danna

July 9th, 2011

It is unfortunate that the owners of the I Heart Puppies are sufficiently naïve to believe that they are obtaining puppies from "reputable breeders". A reputable breeder carefully screens the potential owners of their puppies and does NOT ship them off to a puppy store. The puppy mills that supply all of these stores have no such qualms, they are in it for the money.

Eric Longabardi

July 12th, 2011

In response to Ms Davis and her attack on me: Ms. David You might want to re-read my comment. My grammar isn't faulty, your logic is. As for your claimed 'moral' superiority, you show yourself to be the animal rights zealot you are. Your so-called claimed evidence is exactly what I said it is -- worthless unless acted upon by the legal authorities who have the legal mandate to insure animals are cared for and not abused in accordance with the law. All prefaced of course on -If- your claimed evidence is in fact true. Bring it to whomever you wish, as I said you should do that if you feel that is what you must do. Your secret to date evidence will be judged on it's own merits, not on your biased claims about it and you attempts to use it to extort and force someone into adhering to an outcome you would like to see. As for your insulting pathetic claim that I would have supported the continuation of racial segregation because it was legal to do so at the time. Once again your zealot mentality precludes you from forming a rational logical argument. I would have supported the laws being changed, just as I stated in the comment I posted about this issue. Laws are not changed by the people who protest, they are changed by the people who vote on them and those who administer them via the legal foundation of this country (i.e. the courts) I have no qualms with that,. What I have qualms with is zealots like you shoving your claimed morality down the throats of those who don't agree with your tactics. As you're trying to do in this case. If you want to get more laws passed to protect puppies or any other animals, good for you. You should do so if that is your life's mission. Like I said it's a free country and all the power to you in your efforts. I don't think animals should be abused, never have, never will. Your definition of abuse might differ from mine, you should be intelligent enough to acknowledge that. If you're not then I can't engage in a rational discussion with you. The mere owning or selling of a pure bred dog/animal is not in and of itself abuse because there are other animals who are being killed because of other people's neglectful actions. That may be your opinion, which your entitled too, but so are others who disagree with you. On the other hand, using extortion to force someone to do what you want and force your views on them is another matter. The ends do not justify the means. As for pure bred puppies, I don't have one and never have. Although I have had a lot of animals throughout my lifetime. They have all been either rescued or received from a pound/shelter. Just so you know, so you can take your uninformed biased zealot assumptions and toss them in the trash heap of ignorance were they belong. As a award-winning journalist for more than two decades, I have done many stories over the years about animal welfare issues.many times exposing abuses in the process. I have done them mostly pertaining to animals I personally would consider higher up on the 'moral imperative' scale than a puppy or a dog. Now that's just my opinion and I'm entitled to it just like you are if you consider dogs the most important animal species and it's your life's mission to try and protect them. The highest priority to me in the animal kingdom are human beings. I'm crystal clear on that. Just so you know. Your analogy of the American civil rights movement and animal welfare issues is patently absurd. - Animal rights advocates like you are just what you say you are: 'advocates' and your views are not morally superior to anybody else, even if you think they are. Your ignorance is only outweighed by your extreme zealot mentality. As for my grammar, the last desperate bastion of a person who's arguments are flawed is to attack the spelling and grammar of someone else. Unlike you it seems I do not have the time to spend editing and proofreading posts on a comment section of a local news website to insure that they meet your literary guidelines of perfection and excellence. I'm a professional journalist and writer, so I reserve that for my paid work. As many of my friends and I used to say when I was a lot younger growing up here in Newport. "Save the whales and club the seals" If you can't figure out what that humorous metaphor means, I'm sorry but your on your own to try and figure it out. Cheers, -Eric

Mary LaHay

July 12th, 2011

I wish I could attach some photos of Iowa's USDA-licensed breeding facilities to this email so that all could see just what the USDA considers acceptable; dogs living in filthy, broken down camper trailers that have been parked behind barns, dark and dusty barns stacked with cages, feces smeared on every surface, no heat in the winter and no ventilation in the summer. Many adult dogs suffer from parasitic infestation, respiratory illness and psychological distress. This is what passes USDA inspection. Instead of assuming that we can trust their oversight of dog-breeding because we can trust their oversight of our food, perhaps we should be very, very worried about our food! We'll have photos posted on our website soon: www.iowavca.org

D.P.O.C. Dog Club

July 13th, 2011

We have not been in the store to see the names of the U.S.D.A. Licensed Breeders or Brokerage you are getting your puppies from, so we can only comment on what we know. You can visit this site on the U.S.D.A website and see the lists of the Breeders and Brokerages which are licensed with Cert. A and Cert B. Cert. A means you can breed dogs and sale their puppies to brokerages, pet shops. Cert B. means you can breed dogs sale puppies, buy puppies from breeders to sale to pet shops and place in auctions. here is the link to learn more about Cert. A Holders http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/downloads/reports/A_cert_holders.pdf Here is the link to the Cert. B Holders http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/efoia/downloads/reports/B_cert_holders.pdf Once you cut through and do the research for weeks and you pull the reports which are available through the freedom of information act, like we have done with Russo's Pet Shops which is why Irvine is considering passing legislation to ban the sale of companion animals, then we are certain we will find what this pet shop is saying is not a Puppy Mill which it most likely is, plus the inspection reports will also be on file with any problems not just from that breeder but if they get their puppies form a brokerage which is most likely the case than every breeder that brokerage has used as well. It's a long long paper chase, but the chase is on. We wish you would consider to become a humane business model and help rescued dogs and cats find new forever homes which are in such short supply. However, you are certainly for now well within your legal rights to profit off of man's best friend, much like how slave owners did in our Early American History profiting off the backs of African American Slaves who worked the salve owners land. Hopefully soon you will not be within your rights as it's no secret we hope that every city in this County passes legislation banning the sale of companion animals in pet shops. Sincerely, Stephen Terry Founder of D.P.O.C. Dog Club www.desperatepawsofocdogclub.org founders@desperatepawsofocdogclub.org 877.215.PAWS

Kevin Rooney

July 15th, 2011

I've just recovered from reading Eric LONGabardi's post. Through the fog of verbiage I sensed that he is angry with Ms. Davis about something something something and burble brabble bumpha -- all about "secret evidence" IF it is evidence... the LAW... proper auTHAW-ties... he values HUMANS above dogs (as if that justifies cruelty to dogs)... but he has rescued dogs and that's good... so, I can't quite make out WHY, since he HAS rescued dogs, that he is SO disturbed by Ms. Davis' and others' efforts to bring attention to the SHAME of supporting an industry built upon SUFFERING in the name of PROFIT, which is why the comparison to SLAVERY is apt since it too was LEGAL -- and it was not the PAINFULLY evident evidence but PUBLIC OUTRAGE expressed by ACTIVISTS coupled with a great WAR that finally ended slavery and NOT a lot of fussy shuffling of papers and coughing in legal chambers, etc etc. And it might take public demonstrations and ACTIVISM to shine a light on the plight of the MOTHERS of the puppies FOR SALE in the cages of I HEART PUPPIES to get people to STOP supporting the cruelty of dog-farming by BUYING an animal when they could SAVE one at the POUND or from a RESCUE ORGANIZATION.

carole davis

July 16th, 2011

Eric, You're an investigative journalist— Go to Nebraska, OK, MO, MN like we did. Get your sources in the AG biz like we have. Drop your "fast and furious" chase of Jack Scalia and do whatever you can to bolster your position with facts, like we have. <> You made a very serious allegation—that I am extorting this store. That is a lie. What do you base that on? Is this your "credible and accurate" investigating at work? Use your skills to look into this yourself; will you please? <> Attack the messenger if you want. This is not about me. This is about a cruel industry where breeding dogs are kept in cages and bred until they're dead. These animals are neglected and mistreated. I don't know a single person other than those profiting from it who would support such a business . <> People who love dogs would cringe just imagining their dog in such a hellhole as the breeder's facility that supplies I Heart Puppies--a garbage heap of a dump that has over a hundred dogs that are outdoors in cages with no shelter, covered in excrement and fed by automatic feeders that are full of grime and pests. The footage doesn't lie. Please visit our website and see for yourself. www.caps-web.org Maybe you will have a change of heart...that is, if you have one.

carole davis

July 16th, 2011

Thank you Stephen Terry of D.P. O.C. for explaing to readers how long the paper chase is to readers. Most consumers wouldn't go through the labarythine process to uncover the layers of lies perpetrated by the pet industry, let alone do the leg-work and actually go there, like we do, to document violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Without watchdog whistle-blowing groups like CAPS, people would be in the dark. I Heart Puppies certainly isn't going to tell you what is going on. They just want to sell puppies at inflated prices while the puppies mothers suffer at the pet factory and local OC dogs die at the shelter for lack of homes. <> FYI, they buy them for under $200 and sell for over $1000. We have sent a message to the store that they should switch immediately to a humane business model. They should not go out of business. They could work with your local shelter and sell supplies and services. They'll do just fine and we would support them in that effort.

sharon

July 16th, 2011

Eric, I think you have misjudged the pulse of the O.C. Residents and dog lovers. This store will have to go humane in any case as we are going to ask our city council to not allow stores like this in our neighborhood anymore. It is so shocking how many wonderful adoptable animals are killed daily in Orange County because people seem to think that buying a dog that comes from a puppy mill is better than saving a life of a O.C. animal. The dogs at "I heart puppies" are from out of state puppy mills and in the interest of conservation, we should all go green and adopt locally. Let's help our community and be the solution not the problem. I for one will be happy to join the protest against this store.

kimmy

July 18th, 2011

The owners keep repeating over and over that their puppies are USDA inspected, well here are some USDA approved kennels, take note. http://www.hsmo.org/news/first-actions-taken-against.html


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