8406 SW Main St #200
Wilsonville, OR 97070
Date and time of CAPS investigation: 10/21/21; 1148
Approximate number of puppies observed at time of investigation: 35
The store had about eight glass-walled enclosures with floorings covered in a thick layer of what appeared to be cat litter. There were three to six puppies of various breeds per enclosures, with about 35 puppies in the store total. 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 who identified himself as Nathan (Caucasian male, about 38 years old, 5’8″, 170 pounds, with short, light brown hair, a very short beard and a surgical mask on) about the store’s breeders. Nathan told me that the store doesn’t use puppy mills and that their breeders generally have a few dogs that are always kept in breeders’ homes and not even in kennels. I asked why so many puppies are from Estacada, OR and he said that the puppies are from numerous smaller breeders in Estacada.
I offered to purchase a Shih Tzu, and asked for breeder info on the puppy. Nathan refused to give it to me. I politely explained to him that Oregon has a lemon law requiring the store give me the name, business address, and USDA license number, if the breeder has one, for the puppy in question. I told Nathan I understood if he needed to contact his manager first. Instead, he told me that the store follows all laws, and that confidentiality laws prohibit the store from releasing any information about puppies’ breeders to customers. I asked if the information would be made available to me when I purchase a puppy, and he said that even then it wouldn’t be given to me.
Update: On 11/15/21, at 1313 PST, I called the store and spoke to an employee who identified himself as Chris. I told him that I wanted to verify that if I buy a puppy from his store, “that it’s guaranteed that they’re not coming from like a puppy mill or anything.” He responded, “Oh yeah our puppies, none of our puppies come from a mill. We get them all from a local breeder as much as we can.” He clarified that the store sometimes buys puppies from Washington, and that two litters the store recently “got rid of” are from Montana. He said the store has Bengal cats from Wilsonville, and then named numerous other local towns that puppies in the store are from.
I then asked, “Like if I was to go in there and check out a puppy, would I be able to get the breeder information to look them up before making the purchase?” He said, “As far as I know, yes. Let me go double check that real quick.” I could then clearly hear him talking in the background with a female coworker and heard him say to her, “So a guy is wondering if he comes in and gets a puppy, if he could get the breeder information about puppies beforehand.” She told him, “We can take down their information and give it to the breeder, but we cannot give out their information.” Chris then told me, “So we cannot give out the breeder’s information, but we can write down your information and send it to the breeder and have them contact.” I then asked him if I would be given breeder information once I purchase a puppy, and he said, “So once you have a purchase of the puppy, we give you the breeder information, but until that point, we just do it if you were interested in finding out any details, that kind of thing, you just give us your information to send it off to them and they should get in contact with you in a day or two.”
Evidence of false statements and misrepresentations of breeders by store
The employees’ claims that the store doesn’t have to provide breeder information to customers who make an offer on a puppy is false. It is required by 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.
Employee Nathan’s claim that Oregon has laws prohibiting stores from releasing breeder information to customer to protect breeders’ confidentiality is false. No such law exists.