Puppy Heaven
30317 Canwood St #39
Agoura Hills, CA 91301
Date and time of investigation: 01/24/16; 11:22

Number of dogs seen at the time of investigation: 3

Breeds: Small breed puppies: Yorkshire Terrier, mixed breed, Maltipoo, Shih Tzu

I made an appointment over the phone to visit the store, saying I would like to see two puppies based on what they had on the website.

After I arrived, I waited in a waiting room/foyer for five minutes. This room had pictures of celebrities who had (supposedly) bought puppies from them.

A male employee then took me into a larger room. A woman in that room, the mother of the owner of the store (previously identified from an investigation by other CAPS investigators on 11/08/15), was showing a puppy to another customer. The store had none of the signs or information required by California law.

The male employee brought out a Yorkshire Terrier puppy in a few minutes. When I started to take a picture of the puppy, the male employee said that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the dogs. When I asked why, the mother of the owner said that people were cheating/scamming them. The customer already there added that people were taking pictures of the puppies and posting them on the Internet and saying they were for sale. The male employee said that the scammers act like they are Puppy Heaven and try to sell the puppies. He added that the supposed scammers don’t actually sell the puppies; they just act like they have the puppies and take unsuspecting consumers’ money by acting like they have the puppies.

Shortly thereafter, as I was waiting for the other puppy, I asked how long they’d been in business, and the male employee told me 12 years.

The male employee next brought out a mixed breed. As I was looking at and playing with the dog, the mother of the owner at one point lowered her voice and said she liked mixed-breed dogs more than purebreds. When I asked her why, she said that mixed-breeds are much smarter, have genes from different dogs and are much healthier.

I then asked why the store is appointment only. The mother of the owner said that they could give the best customer services and most attention to customers when they had appointments.

I then sat down to talk to the mother of the owner. After inquiring about and discussing what other dogs they have, I asked to see a Shih Tzu. The mother of the owner brought out a Shih Tzu.  She also brought out a Maltipoo.

I then asked how deposits work for puppies. The mother of the owner told me I could make a nonrefundable $250 deposit on their website to a hold a puppy. I would then have 48 hours to come in and pay for the puppy in full. I could also transfer the deposit to another puppy.

I then asked whether they have vet records and shot records.  The mother of the owner said that they do. I asked whether I could them see the records for the mixed breed. She showed me one page with a list of all of her dogs and some basic vaccine information. When I asked to see an actual record, she got a little irritated. She showed me the contract I would sign when buying the puppy and where on the contract vaccine information would be. After saying once again I would like to see a little bit before putting any money down, she showed me a yellow post-it note with a birth date and some vaccine dates written down.

I then asked the mother of the owner if she had any source/breeder information for the mixed breed. She said yes and went on to state that because the dog I was interested in is a mixed breed, he didn’t come with any “certificate.” She then pointed to the store’s health department “A” grade rating, saying that the store wouldn’t have gotten an A grade if her puppies “weren’t coming from “A” grade breeders.” After I said I was just doing my research as a buyer, the mother of owner restated that she was giving a one-year’s seller’s warranty and was taking the responsibility of the puppies she was selling to me. She said she did a health check before bringing her puppies into the store. She said I needed to “have very high confidence” in her and that she wasn’t “cheating” me and wouldn’t be in business if she weren’t 100% honest.

I then asked her whether she knew the breeders and whether they were local. She said all of her puppies are “born and raised” in California in homes, and that these breeders are not by “backdoor breeders.” She added that the puppies are not raised in “basements” or “cages.”

I reiterated that I wanted to know the breeder’s name and location. She got visibly annoyed and replied that all the puppies are from California. She then said, “I am not going to give you the source of my breeder” because that is like a trade secret to the breeder. I stated that I am allowed to find out the basic information of the breeder, such as name and location, before buying the puppy. The mother of the owner said that the breeder’s name (supposedly just of the mixed breed) is “Mike.” She said that if the puppy was purebred, then I would get documentation of that puppy being purebred. She then said, once again, that she wouldn’t be getting an “A” grade for the store if she was not buying from “A” grade breeders. She then said that the breeders get checked by the “animal police” the same as the store gets checked. When I said I would like to check the breeders too, as I’d heard “horror stories,” she said that her store wasn’t the place of horror stories.

When I asked why a consumer couldn’t ask for breeder information based on California law, she told me I was the first customer asking so many questions. She then stated all of the information she was giving me (vaccines, date of birth, etc.). I said that I would have to take her on her word and wanted to verify for myself because I was buying a living thing. She then got very irritated and referred to the one-year warranty and used the f-word in conversation. She continued to say that she was offering quality puppies and wasn’t a scammer.  I then asked her name; she said “Michelle.” I then left.

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