I Heart PuppiesOn August 7, 2011, more than 150 people (probably the largest pet shop protest ever) participated in a CAPS-sponsored protest of I Heart Puppies, a new store. I Heart Puppies used an illegal broker who bought from Barb Crick, a USDA-licensed breeder in Nebraska, and other puppy mills. CAPS investigations of Crick uncovered filth, inadequate shelter, sick dogs and other serious violations. Due to our weekly protests, I Heart Puppies went out of business in February 2012.
Four Pet Shops in the Los Angeles Area Went Humane in Just Eight MonthsAquarium & Pet Center in Santa Monica, California signed a legal agreement to convert to a humane business model. In late October of 2009, this pet store, which has been in business for over 20 years, decided to stop selling puppies from mills. Aquarium & Pet Center now works with a rescue organization to promote adoptable animals from the Los Angeles municipal shelter system. The store adopted out a number of animals in 2010 and 2011 and serves as a model for humane stores.
Aquarium & Pet Center had been the target of an ongoing CAPS investigation linking the store to The Hunte Corporation, the largest USDA licensed dog brokering facility in the country. CAPS is quite familiar with the practices of Hunte as the result of an undercover employment investigation at this large facility and ongoing investigations of Hunte's puppy mill suppliers. In addition to dogs supplied from inhumane breeding facilities in the Midwest, some of the puppies sold at Aquarium & Pet Center were from a puppy mill just outside of Los Angeles.
Aquarium & Pet Center was the fourth store in Los Angeles to succumb to investigations and protests by CAPS between March 2009 and November 2009. The store went humane after just three weekend protests by CAPS. Other stores no longer selling puppy mill dogs include Elaine's Pet Depot, Elite Animals, and Pets of Wilshire. Elaine's Pet Depot, part of a chain in the U.S. and Canada, offers rescue animals for adoption. On the basis of our efforts against Elaine's, the entire Pet Depot chain stopped selling dogs and cats (some didn't before).