CAPS did an extensive investigation of Jeff Blustein, a USDA licensed broker whose company, Rare Breeds, was importing Hungarian puppies with fraudulent pedigrees. He sold these puppies to pet shops in New York and New Jersey. CAPS received a number of complaints from consumers who purchased European Kennel Club (EKCH) puppies. CAPS President Deborah Howard appeared on TV news in Hungary and worked closely with reputable Hungarian breeders who verified that the pedigrees produced by the bogus kennel club were fraudulent.

We presented our documentary evidence to the New York Attorney General's Office in 2005. CAPS had two lengthy meetings in the Manhattan and Nassau County Attorney General offices to discuss the case. The Attorney General reached a settlement in March 2007. Rare Breeds agreed to discontinue importing dogs from Hungary with pedigree documents from EKCH or any other kennel clubs with which Bela Musto (the exporter and creator of the pedigrees) is affiliated. Rare Breeds also agreed to pay a civil penalty of $20,000. CAPS will continue to monitor Hungarian puppies in pet shops.

For more information: Attorney General Announces Settlement with Queens Pet Broker that Sold Puppies with Inaccurate Records
Friday, 19 November 2010 02:00

Barkworks

Landmark Protests of Barkworks Inside a Shopping Mall On 12/19, the busiest shopping day of the year, CAPS held a landmark peaceful protest with 72 participants inside Westside Pavilion Mall in Los Angeles against one of seven Barkworks stores. This pet shop chain obtains puppies from mills, including some with serious USDA violations. The protest was a landmark demonstration for the California animal protection movement because pet shops that sell puppy mill dogs inside shopping malls, had been immune to the increasing public outcry over the puppy mill issue. After researching California Supreme Court cases, we realized that the California Constitution, which is more expansive than the federal version, protected our rights to protest inside a mall - a de facto public forum under California case law. Moreover, California case law protects the rights of protesters to call for a boycott of a specific business within a shopping center or mall.

CAPS’ documentary about Barkworks and a customer who purchased a very sick puppy that died on 12/24, one week after purchase, was one of the most shared videos on CNN iReport. Following the release of this documentary, CAPS held a second protest on 2/13 with 89 participants inside the mall in honor of Valentine’s Day, a loveless day at Barkworks. The third protest on 4/13 had more than 100 participants, including 70 inner city public high school students. In lieu of signs, CAPS protesters wore tee shirts and carried large shopping bags – all with slogans or messages. CAPS worked closely with the LAPD, and all three times, officers provided protection of our First Amendment Rights in light of the mall’s threats to have security guards arrest the protesters.

CAPS Undercover Video Footage of BarkWorks Breeders

Angie Schaff, Nebraska, 2010-10-10

Barb Crick, Nebraska, 2010-10-11

Phillip Van Bibbe, Nebraska, 2010-11-06

Carla Pederson, South Dakota, 2010-11-14

Bea's Beat

Blog with CAPS Spokesmodel Beatrice, a puppy mill survivor and vegan advocate.

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Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

Learn more about Deborah Howard, president and founder of Companion Animal Protection Society.

Meet Deborah

CAPS Blog

Keep up-to-date about CAPS and read about issues affecting companion animals, especially those suffering in pet shops and puppy mills.

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Contact Us

Contact CAPS

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
759 CJC Hwy., #332
Cohasset, MA 02025
p: 339-309-0272
501 (c)(3) Tax ID#: 58-2040413

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Class Action Lawsuits

scales of justice

If you purchased a sick or dying puppy from Barkworks or Happiness is Pets, you may be able to join consumer class action lawsuits. The first step is to fill out the CAPS complaint form.

Read more about Happiness is Pets or Barkworks.

CAPS Complaint Form