516 E 1st St
Newberg, OR 97132
Date and time of CAPS investigation: 10/21/21; 1233
Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: 10
The store had about four glass-walled enclosures with floorings covered in a thick layer of what appeared to be cat litter. There were two to three puppies of various breeds per enclosures, with about 10 puppies in the store total. One enclosure held two Catahoula Leopard puppies, each about 3.5 feet long, in an enclosure about four feet long and wide. Enclosures had sheets of paper on them only noting the town and state the breeders were from, but no additional information on breeders.
I spoke to an employee (Caucasian female, about 35 years old, 5’7″, 120 lbs., with long blonde hair dyed black on the front right and wearing a grey surgical mask) who told me that she didn’t know as much about breeders as another employee, but offered to show me breeder info on a Catahoula puppy I asked about. She showed me on her computer that the puppy’s breeder is Catherine Slane, 64632 Meissen Ln, Deer Island, OR. She and another employee (Caucasian female, about 5’3″, 140 lbs., with long black hair and a black mask on) told me the store doesn’t use puppy mills but said a specific employee knew more about breeders.
That employee (Caucasian male, about 35 years old, 6’6″, 220 lbs., with short black hair, a short beard, and wearing a surgical mask, who identified himself as Eric) entered the store shortly thereafter. Eric said that he visits breeders, as do the store owners. Eric said that breeders keep their dogs as pets, and that they are all kept in the house. He then said that some breeders have numerous dogs but reiterated that the dogs are kept as pets and are not caged or overbred.
I told Eric I wanted to buy the Golden Retriever puppy in the store and asked for breeder information on the puppy. Eric told me he can ask the breeder if they want to contact me, but that he wouldn’t give me any information for the breeder because breeders sell to the store, so they don’t have to talk to customers. I told him I just wanted to make sure the breeder had no bad reports online, and he repeated he wouldn’t give me any breeder information about puppies before saying, “I’m not giving you the breeder’s information unless you buy a puppy.”
Update: On 11/15/21, at 1319 CST, I called the store and spoke to an employee who identified herself as Sarah. I told her that if I look for puppies at the store, “ I want to make sure they don’t come from puppy mills.” She responded, “Right. Right. And I totally get that. So, all of the dogs that we get from, are going to be from reputable breeders. We do home checks on everybody; we see the parents. We definitely see the mothers. Sometimes if it’s like an AKC, CKC, it’ll be a stud and we won’t be able to meet the stud itself. The stud would have having been brought in. However, ninety-nine percent, and the only one percent that I’m talking about would be AKC or CKC registered dogs, the ninety-nine percent that are not AKC or CKC registered come from family homes where we see the parents. We do home checks and make sure in every shed, every garage, every everything that there are not excessive kennels. These are dogs that go to pumpkin patches with their families, and beach trips, and car rides. And that’s, that right there is specifically what we look for when we bring puppies in.”
I then asked, “Got it, okay great. Now if I was to go in and look at a puppy, would I be able to get breeder info before I purchase the puppy to like check them out, or how’s that work?” She responded, ‘So the problem is, is like I said, a lot of them are families and sometimes we have accidental litters. You know, people will contact us and say, “Hey, our dog accidentally got pregnant.” And we would go from there. However, due to the liability we can’t just give out all of the breeder information unless they have a website or something like that. If you wanted a little bit more information on the breeder specifically, or information on the parents, that would really be something to email our puppy manager about, whose name is Eric. And he’ll be able to, he knows a little bit more about exactly about what he would be able to, like information-wise what he would be able to give to you.”
I then asked her, “Got it, now do you know if that information is available after a purchase?” She told me, “Typically not unless somebody specifically asks for it. We have quite a few people who will back to us after a year or so and ask for us about breeder information on dogs because they want another dog or they want information on a specific breed of dog that’s been bred. So, like I said, I know that it’s happened before. It’s very specific on the breeder and how they feel, and all of that sort of stuff. And also like, we do work hard to, you know, make sure a bunch of people aren’t calling them and that kind of stuff. So, we have to get permission from them if we give their phone number out, that kind of thing. But he’ll know a little bit more information on exactly, you know, who the breeders are.”
Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations of breeders by store
The employees’ refusals to offer breeder information on a puppy I offered to purchase violates ORS 646A.075 (2) A retail pet store that offers for sale shall, prior to accepting an offer to purchase the dog, provide the person making the offer with the following information, in writing, regarding the dog: (e) The name and business address of the breeder and of the facility where the dog was born. The claim that this helps breeders who want to not talk to customers misrepresents the store’s clear intention of hiding information from customers it is legally required to provide.
The employees’ claims that breeders keep dogs as pets in the house and don’t have “excessive kennels” is false. On 10/21/21 I left the store after talking to employee Eric and at 1457 I visited the residence of breeder Catherine Slane in Deer Island, OR. She had three Catahoula Leopard dogs in outdoor pens, and two tied to trees with cords, despite the ground being soaked from previous rain and the sky overcast.
Breeder information obtained during store investigation
- Catherine Slane, 64632 Meissen Ln, Deer Island, OR