Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Humane Society Charges Pets of Bel Air of Buying From Puppy Mills

A Bel-Air pet boutique that has catered to the likes of Britney Spears and Denise Richards was shut down after the Humane Society accused it of selling dogs from puppy mills.

The city closed Pets of Bel Air for selling pets without a permit for three years but "this is largely symbolic," said Ed Boks, general manager of L.A. Animal Services, which runs the city's shelters.

"They can buy a permit and reopen," he said.

Puppy mills are operations that mass-breed dogs for sale, often keeping them in bare, wire cages. The practice is not illegal but many animal welfare groups consider it cruel.

The Humane Society of the United States reviewed the records of 28 breeders in Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma that supplied the pet store and its undercover investigators determined five were "large-scale breeding facilities—like factories" that house 100 to 300 dogs, society President and Chief Executive Wayne Pacelle said.

"Our undercover investigators found staffers (at Pets of Bel Air) were knowingly misrepresenting how the dogs were obtained" by telling customers they all came from private breeders, Pacelle said at a news conference.

"There is a trail of misery that precedes that animal getting to the pet store," Pacelle said.

Store owner Tom Dermick denied buying dogs from puppy mills.

"Not to our knowledge," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I've worked with pet stores in the past. I've seen the worst. I set this store up to do the best. We pride ourselves on our animal husbandry. We're all very compassionate about how we do it."

He called the failure to pay for a city permit an oversight and said he would rectify it.

Source: MercuryNews

No comments: