Urban Puppies/It’s a Dog’s Chance


The Boutique by Urban Puppies/It’s a Dog’s Chance
5154 Kanan Rd
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Date and time of CAPS investigation:  11/08/15; 11:56

Approximate number of dogs observed at time of investigation: 25 puppies

There were no source or pedigree signs posted as required by state law.  The dogs were on the ground in pens, which also had no source information, as required by law.

We observed puppies of various pure breeds, and four puppies of different breeds that worker Adriana (African American female, about 25 years old, 5’8”, 140 lbs., with long black hair) indicated were “rescues.”  While I was there, she took a Maltese puppy from a black Hyundai (CA plate 7KZL098) and brought it into the store.  Adriana explained that the four rescue puppies were taken from shelters in the area and given to a rescue called It’s a Dog’s Chance, which occupies space donated by the store owner.  She explained that It’s a Dog’s Chance, which rescues toy-size dogs, is a new rescue operation with no operating space of its own.

Adriana claimed It’s a Dog’s Chance doesn’t adopt out of any other location, since they are new and “trying to gain a reputation and trying to gain donations,” and said the store gets some puppies from “up north.” When we asked what “up north” means, she said that the rescue is “AG Dog Rescue” in “Northern California.” When we asked if the store works with Agoura Hills Animal Shelter, Adriana responded, “Not yet.” She added, “And we donate any sales from our products to that kind of an organization.” She then claimed that any “toy size” dogs that require “special care” from a shelter are brought to Urban Puppies for adoption.

One of the three “rescue puppies” was a Maltese that hacked and coughed in a raspy way that suggested a Bordetella infection, though Adriana said that the dog had a Grade 3 heart murmur. She also mentioned a collapsed trachea, but it was unclear if that had been treated.  I asked, “If he was adopted, would you pay for the heart murmur?” Adriana responded that the store would assume the purchaser would take care of the heart murmur. An investigator then asked, “Does he get any treatment?” Adriana then said the store is “fundraising” for the puppy. Adriana added that the store had been fundraising for surgery for a rescue dog named Bentley, advertised on the store’s website, but that Bentley died from his heart condition.

Adriana told us that the owner of Urban Puppies was on maternity leave at the time we were at the store. She said the owner of Urban Puppies is the manager of It’s a Dog’s Chance. An investigator asked for Adrian to clarify, and Adriana then said that the owner of Urban Puppies is “part owner” of It’s a Dog’s Chance before she went to get a manager for us.

A manager (Hispanic female, about 28 years old, 5’5”, 185 lbs., with long black hair and a pierced right nostril) reiterated Adriana’s claims to us.

Another of the “rescues” was a black and white mixed-breed puppy, several months old and about five lbs. in weight; the puppy had a red and white collar with the phone for Agoura Hills Animal Shelter, (818) 991-0071, and “A4893236” written on it. CAPS asked Denise Rosen, the director of the shelter, to look up the tag number.  She responded by email: “That ID comes back to a dog that came into us as a stray back in November. We returned the dog to the owner Ms. Lee on 11/2/15, same day it came in. She must have left the ID band that we put on him when he came in.” Gina (who also uses the name Jenna) Lee is the owner of Urban Puppies and the founder of It’s a Dog’s Chance. It appears she was attempting to adopt out her own dog.

The manager told me there’s no available medical history for the rescued dogs.  We asked her and Adriana for breeder info on several puppies and were told only that one puppy is from a breeder in Littlerock, CA.  I asked Adriana repeatedly for the breeder’s name, and she told me the breeder is private and doesn’t have a large-scale operation.  Her response suggested she was dodging my questions. Finally she said, “It’s just Oscar,” and she gave no other information about the breeder. The worker then said that Mr. and Mrs. Na in Tehachapi breed Yorkshire Terriers for the store. There was no breeder information anywhere in the store for the puppies available for purchase.

Adriana claimed the store owner is close with the breeders, visits the breeders’ kennels, and the breeders visit the store to make sure it is up to their standards as well.  She said that the breeders sometimes deliver the puppies themselves, but the store also has a driver who picks up the puppies.  She added that the store’s breeders are “small, home, family operations.”

Breeder and shelter/rescue info:

  1. Oscar (supposed local breeder), Littlerock, CA – CAPS believes this is Andy Kim.
  2. Mr. and Mrs. Na, Tehachapi, CA (Yorkies) – CAPS believes this is Samuel Na.
  3. Agoura Hills Animal Shelter
  4. AG Dog Rescue (only location employee provided was that it is “up north”)

Update: CAPS investigated this store again on 1/24/16 and provided investigatory evidence to the California Attorney General’s Charitable Trusts Section, which opened an investigation. They were particularly concerned about Lee raising money online to open a retail adoption center that was in fact a pet shop, the raising of funds for veterinary care for a puppy that she claimed was “adopted out”as a rescue and returned but was actually a pet shop dog, and the possible comingling of assets between the pet shop and the supposed rescue. The rescue her store claimed to use didn’t exist, and the dogs that were available for adoption were Ms. Lee’s own dog and dogs from breeders from whom she was probably buying puppies. We believe the Attorney General shut down her operation because her store closed not long after their investigation, and she moved away.


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