The Puppy Store
2800 N Main St #632
Santa Ana, CA 92705

Date and Time of CAPS Investigation: 01/18/2019; 3:00 p.m. (PST)

Rescue Groups Used by Pet Shop: “Pet Connect” in Joplin, MO


The Puppy Store in the Main Place mall in Santa Ana, CA. When I entered the store, I counted about 10 puppies in the back of the store. They all had cage cards that indicated they were from “Pet Connect, Joplin, MO.” I asked if it was possible to see a puppy, and the employee (possibly manager/owner) led me to a play room with the dog.

When I asked if the puppy had AKC paperwork, he said she did not because she was a rescue. I asked if they worked with a humane society, and he said they do and just found homes for two adult dogs over the weekend. He stated they adopted these dogs out for free with the purchase of a bag of dog food. He mentioned that one had been in the store for three years “before they took over.”

The first man walked away, and I took up questions with a different employee. He said the price of the dog was $990 + tax, which was on sale from her original price of $1,100. When I asked how they get so many puppies in the store, he said the puppies are “confiscations from mills” by animal control. I asked if she was from a puppy mill. He said, “Yes. They were going to send her to a pound” and that “in the pound, if the don’t get adopted within a certain amount of time they get put down.” The employee implied that the puppies are rescued so they don’t get put down.

When I stated that most rescue dogs aren’t usually so expensive, he said the high price is because the puppies come from organizations from different states so “they pay for that.”  Also, since it’s a nonprofit, they “give back to them as well.” I asked why they do not source locally from California. At this point, the first employee (possibly manager/owner) walked up and said they work with different rescues “all over the country.” He stated he worked in animal control for six years. He said a lot of the time “they will crack open bad breeders” and take them in. He then denied what the other associate had said about the dogs being from puppy mills, and said these are all from Joplin, Missouri, but they also get dogs from Iowa, Colorado, whatever is available at the time.

I asked if they had financing plans, and he said, “Absolutely.” He also said they come with a vet exam, that their vet comes once a week to check on the dog, and examines puppies before they leave the store. He told me that rescues “can have issues,” but that they “try to get them in advance.”

When I asked if they ever get Pomeranians, he said that they do, but that they cannot order them because it doesn’t work like that. I asked if they had health warranties, and he said they will cover a skin infection, Parvovirus, “that kind of thing” at their vet. He also recommended I get the dog get fixed, and that they have a signed letter from a vet that she is currently “too young to get fixed.” He mentioned the California spay/neuter law.

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