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Bob Meetin

Bob Meetin

How much do you know about that puppy in the window?

Publication: CBC Canada - Canada's Investigative Consumer Show Marketplace


We’ve all heard puppy horror stories about sick dogs from bad breeders. But many pet stores promise problem-free dogs from first-rate breeders.
Thursday, 05 March 2009 19:00

Sick Puppies Dog Some Online Purchasers

Sick Puppies Dog Some Online Purchasers

Team 5 Investigates Why Nothing Being Done To Protect Consumers

Publication: The

Date: 2009-03-06

Shopping online is now more popular than ever. Some people are even buying pets online. But Team 5 Investigates found that could be a big mistake that ends up costing consumers big money.


How much do you know about that puppy in the window?


Publication date: 2009-03-06

Publication name: CBC Canada - Canada's Investigative Consumer Show Marketplace

Headline: How much do you know about that puppy in the window?

Summary: We’ve all heard puppy horror stories about sick dogs from bad breeders. But many pet stores promise problem-free dogs from first-rate breeders.

Riverside California Puppy Mill Hell Hole

Good Dog Animal Rescue with the assistance of The Companion Animal Protection Society rescued sixty two Miniature Pinschers from a substandard breeding facility in Riverside, California on March 3rd 2009.
Thursday, 05 March 2009 19:00

Internet pets

These days you can buy almost anything online, and why shouldn't you? It saves time and energy that could be spent in other, more productive endeavors. But where do you draw the line? Buying dogs online is one of the latest trends popping up in the cybernetic world. People like Kathy Bauck , a Minnesota breeder facing animal cruelty charges, exploit the Internet's legal limbo to sell dogs bred in puppy mills to virtually anyone across the country. You may think you're buying from a reputable breeder, but the truth is you can't tell from online ads. A few week ago, ABC's affiliate in Boston ran a piece that covered the highly controversial trend, featuring CAPS' investigation on Bauck's business Puppies on Wheels.

Unsuspecting clients purchased dogs from dubious people only to later on deal with the consequences. The animals suffered from diseases such as Parvo, a potentially deadly virus, caused and spread by the dismal conditions in which the pups were bred and kept.

"When they opened up the van door, there were many, many puppies. Cages stacked upon cages and it didn't seem like a breeder selling one litter," said Lynn Rivard, who bought a beagle mix from Puppies on Wheels.

CAPS' video showing Bauck immersing dogs in a diluted but toxic insecticide prompted authorities to take action. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently reviewing the footage and could potentially revoke Bauck's breeding license.

Puppy mill owners' new fad can only be stopped by the spread of information. Online pet transactions are deceiving, regardless of the desperate economic times. Sick puppies and cramped cages are just the tip of the iceberg.
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 20:00

Riverside, California rescue

Sixty-two miniature Pinschers were rescued from a puppy mill in Riverside, California on March 3, 2009. With the assistance of CAPS, Good Dog Animal Rescue exposed the deplorable conditions in a facility owned by Linda Smith.

"Having assisted the rescue, I can only describe it this way: Silence of the Lambs. The stench was eye-stinging. The dogs were crammed into overcrowded runs and cages and were living on a carpet of feces, eating and drinking out of buckets filled with feces and urine. Their nails were grown into their foot pads, their mouths are in advanced stages of gum disease, many having lost all their teeth. The dogs were infested with fleas and were being eaten alive by ticks," Carole Raphaelle Davis, CAPS West Coast Director, posted in her blog, Jinky, the Dog of a Hollywood Wife.

According to Davis' blog, Smith claims to be a champion, miniature Pinscher breeder, but the investigation raised multiple questions concerning her devotion to the dogs' well-being. Evidence suggests crude debarking operations, a painful and dangerous procedure that prevents dogs from barking by removing tissue from the animal's vocal folds.

The Riverside Animal Control office admitted having an open case on Smith but no charges were ever filed. Supposedly, Smith's facilities were inspected on February 25, 2009 but no irregularities were found. According to officials, it is routine procedure to give such places a "heads up," a tactic that clearly impedes Riverside Animal Control from uncovering the truth.

"This is clearly an actionable case of animal abuse and we are outraged by the laissez-faire attitude of Riverside Animal Care and Control. The remaining twenty animals must be removed from Smith immediately and she must be charged," said Davis.

For more info watch the following documentary by Carly Lynn about the rescue.

CC Kennels in Lancaster County, PA

CC Kennels in Lancaster County, PA (formerly known as Puppy Love Kennels), owned and operated by Joyce Stoltzfus, has been closed down for six months and fined $166,000. CAPS has received many complaints over the years from customers who purchased sick and dying dogs from this kennel and conducted an undercover investigation of the facility. CAPS has also worked with the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office on the two cases against Puppy Love.

Animal Planet Airs Special: PUPPY MILLS EXPOSED

Publication date: 2009-04-27
Publication name: Animal Planet
Headline: Animal Planet Airs Special: PUPPY MILLS EXPOSED

Tonight [Monday April 27, 2009] at 10:00 pm (ET/PT), Animal Planet will take viewers into the world of puppy mills with "Puppy Mills: Exposed," a special episode of Animal Cops: Philadelphia. The one-hour segment features the President of Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), Deborah Howard, an expert in the field of puppy mills and pet shops, as she explains the national issue of pet shop and puppy mills for viewers.

The segment uses CAPS undercover video evidence taken in USDA licensed facilities, including the Hunte Corporation, the largest dog brokering facility in the country. The undercover puppy mill footage shot by CAPS investigators highlights the USDA's failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act with respect to wholesale dog breeding and brokering operations.


In its release about the special, Animal planet stated that "like most people, the [customer] had no idea that virtually all pet store puppies come from large commercial breeding facilities - many of which can be considered puppy mills." CAPS knows this problem only too well, having received numerous complaints over the years from pet shop and internet customers who purchased sick and dying puppies.

Please check local listings for channels and show times. For more information on the Companion Animal Protection Society please visit

Elite Animals of West Hollywood Meet with Animal Protection Movement Leaders at City Hall

*Available for Interviews

*Photos and Video Footage Available


Media Contact: Anny Deirmenjian

Image Unlimited Communications

P. 781.721.4624 C. 617.851.9315

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Elite Animals of West Hollywood Meet with Animal Protection Movement Leaders at City Hall

Companion Animal Protection Society Along with Animal Activists Believe that Elite Animals is Selling Pet Factory Animals and Defrauding Consumers

(Los Angeles, CA) – On Tuesday May 12, 2009 there was a meeting between Isabella Stroshnoy, the owner of Elite Animals and members of the animal protection movement at West Hollywood's City Hall. The Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) presented evidence of a puppy mill in Minnesota that supplies Elite Animals. The organizations that participated were CAPS, The Animal Legal Defense Fund, IDA, Best Friends Animal Society, The Amanda Foundation and Strangest Angels Rescue.

The evidence presented was from a CAPS investigation of a particularly cruel puppy mill in Minnesota — a puppy factory that Elite Animals admits it purchases dogs from. The evidence included graphic photographs of dogs suffering in enclosures filled with urine and feces, subject to rusted wire flooring, injured with wounds and infections. The dogs had attempted to chew their way out of the wooden whelping boxes. Many of the dogs were exposed to the elements and water containers had a thick layer of algae.
In addition to gruesome photographs from the mill, evidence of repeated incidents of non-compliance from USDA inspection reports were presented. Also disclosed were reports gathered by Pet Shop Puppies that were linked exclusively to the mill that supplies Elite Animals. The consumer reports regarding dogs from the mill in Minnesota stated dogs had congenital malformations, severe illnesses and some of the cases claimed that several dogs were so sick they had to be euthanized.

Elite Animals is violating a federal law from the Farm Bill which was passed in 2008. This law forbids the importation of live dogs into the United States from overseas for resale if the dogs are under the age of six months. Elite Animals has repeatedly offered to sell eight week-old puppies imported from Russia to CAPS undercover investigators posing as customers. Elite Animals told CAPS investigators that the dogs they sell in the store were "raised in a house" and "not from a puppy mill."

A verbal agreement was reached with Elite Animals that they would cease buying dogs while they considered the idea of converting to a humane business model. Elite Animals has agreed to provide CAPS and the Animal Legal Defense Fund with the list of breeders supplying the store for the ongoing investigation. This information should have been posted on the outside of the enclosures of the puppies in the store according to California law. Elite Animals was in non-compliance with the California puppy lemon law.

Teri Austin, president of the Amanda Foundation, an established rescue organization in Los Angeles, agreed to meet with owners of Elite Animals next week to discuss the possibility of an arrangement to hold adoptions at the store. Once Elite Animals has ceased importing animals or buying animals from factories, discussions might evolve on creating a humane business model for the store. The details for such an arrangement would be based on a binding legal agreement between Elite Animals and CAPS to stop buying, breeding or importing animals. Leaders of the animal protection movement as well as the dozens of activists who support the anti-puppy mill campaign are hopeful such a deal can be reached.

“It's disappointing that during this economic crisis when people are losing their jobs, their homes and being forced to give up their pets at shelters, some people are still buying $1000 dogs. People could be giving back to the community by relieving our municipal shelters and adopting a pet. This is a new era of social responsibility and these people could be giving that $1000 to a family in need. Furthermore, pet stores, whether they are bricks and mortar or Internet pet stores, lie. Behind the pretty store front and the attractive Web sites is the ugly reality that the puppy's parents are suffering in a canine supermax prison, never to get out alive, being forced to breed in a cage until death. Elite Animals is a particularly egregious case. Not only are they supplied by one of the worst puppy mills in the U.S., they are breaking a federal law by importing and selling underage puppies from Russia. We've got millions of abandoned dogs who need families right here at home. What we need from Russia is friendship and a shared commitment to controlling nuclear weapons, not more dogs to kill in our shelters. We need dogs from Russia like we need a hole in the head." - Carole Raphaelle Davis is the author of “The Diary of Jinky, Dog of a Hollywood Wife”, reporter for American Dog Magazine and West Coast Director of the Companion Animal Protection Society.

For more information on the Companion Animal Protection Society please contact President Deborah Howard at 781-210-0938 or visit For local [California] information please contact Carole Raphaelle Davis at 310-990-5758 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . For media inquires please contact Anny Deirmenjian at 781.721.4624.


About Companion Animal Protection Society:

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companions from cruelty and inhumane breeding practices in pet shops and puppy mills. Founded in 1992, CAPS addresses this issue through investigations, education and outreach, media relations, legislative involvement, puppy mill dog rescues, consumer assistance, and pet industry employee relations. Congressional oversight hearings targeting the USDA’s failure to enforce the Animal Welfare Act are one of CAPS’ major goals. CAPS has gained worldwide recognition for shutting down puppy mills and converting pet shops to humane animal adoption centers. For more information on the Companion Animal Protection Society, please visit

Anny Deirmenjian

Account Manager

Image Unlimited Communications, Ltd.

28 Church Street, Suite 9

Winchester, MA 01890

P. 781-721-IMAGE (4624)

C. 617.851.9315

F. 781-721-0066

Monday, 15 June 2009 20:00

Dog Auctions in Ohio

There’s a movement emerging to ban dog auctions in the state of Ohio. Members of plan to turn in a petition that will appear on the November 2010 ballot and, if successful, will change state laws regarding companion animal auctions.

The auctions are large-scale events in which breeders sell and buy dogs in large quantities. The conditions in which the dogs are kept are no better than those in puppy mills.

In recent years, Ohio has attracted puppy mill operators from across the nation because of the lax laws and regulations concerning the practice of dog auctions. Thousands of unscrupulous mass breeders sell hundreds of dogs like livestock and most of the time the dogs are kept in inhumane conditions.

Breeders convicted of animal cruelty, like the infamous Kathy Jo Bauck of Minnesota and Lanzie "Junior" Horton of Virginia, often travel to Ohio to participate in these profitable large scale auctions. Questionable breeders almost immediately register the dogs with the American Kennel Club (AKC) even though the quality of the purebred dogs is often far from the ideal.

Another effort is also under way in Ohio to include the ban on dog auctions as part of a legislation that will regulate commercial dog breeders. Senate Bill 95 and House Bill 124 would set minimum standards of care for breeders, such as keeping up with basic hygiene and adequate veterinary care.

The push to ban dog auctions, a practice that supports puppy mills, is a welcomed step and will hopefully send a message to breeders that Ohio will no longer be a safe haven for irresponsible breeders. For more information, visit
Page 6 of 13

Bea's Beat

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

Blog with Beatrice!

Deborah Howard

Deborah Howard

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

Meet Deborah


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

Visit CAPS Blog

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