David Salinas, owner of SDP, began his business online. He sold dogs out of his own garage, which is illegal in the City of San Diego. A CAPS investigation of his online business began after numerous consumer complaints. Customers reported paying thousands of dollars in vet bills from preventable diseases common among puppy mill dogs. Three of these complaints were for puppies diagnosed with Parvovirus, two of which tragically died. Salinas, according to complaints, sold dogs that misrepresented the breed advertised and often refused to give customers detailed information about the breeders. To make matters worse, there were allegations that Salinas purchased and may still purchase dogs from Mexico. The Department of Animal Services confirmed that Salinas had crossed the border with puppies.
(See: "Why You Shouldn't Buy That Puppy on the Internet?')
In 2012, Salinas opened a pet shop in San Diego. Shortly thereafter, CAPS uncovered numerous local and state code violations. An in-depth CAPS investigation of San Diego Puppy revealed that he purchased puppies from The Hunte Corporation, the largest USDA-licensed dog brokerage facility in the country. This facility, based in Missouri, ships out 1,000 to 2,000 puppies (and some kittens) a week to pet shops and Internet sellers throughout the United States (including Puerto Rico, which has a very serious dog and cat overpopulation problem with many abandoned animals suffering on the streets), Canada, Mexico, South America, Japan, Spain and other overseas destinations. Salinas heavily advertises on sites like Oodle, Backpage, Next Day Pets and Ebay - continuing his online presence.
(See our video: "Undercover at the Hunte Corporation")
According to a November 2007 article in the Tulsa World, to which CAPS contributed evidence of Oklahoma breeders selling to Hunte, the brokerage facility buys and sells 90,000 puppies each year. A CAPS 6-month undercover employment investigation of Hunte, which does no breeding, documented a number of AWA violations including overcrowding, illness and death, hasty veterinary examinations, and non-veterinarians examining animals for Certificates of Veterinary Inspections (“CVIs”), also known as interstate health certificates. A CAPS investigation of 50 USDA-licensed breeders selling to this broker disclosed that at least half of these breeders had serious and multiple Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations.