12 December 2011

Investigation uncovers puppy mills behind purebred websites

On December 7th, NBC's Today aired the results of The Humane Society of the United States' (HSUS) three-month-long investigation of Purebred Breeders LLC, one of the nation's largest online puppy brokers. HSUS uncovered the disturbing reality of the puppy mills behind the face of the company, where they found dogs stacked in small wire cages with no access to exercise, vet care, or any kind of socialization or human interaction.

Believing they were dealing with high-quality local breeders, honest consumers have been misled into purchasing an estimated 20,000 puppies every year from the puppy mills affiliated with Purebred Breeders, who own nearly 800 domains across the web. Thinking they were buying healthy family pets, many owners found themselves in the emotionally-straining situation of taking care of dogs that were sick or dying.

Consumer justice law firm Leopold Law of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., in partnership with HSUS attorneys, have filed a lawsuit in Florida state court on behalf of HSUS members and consumers who received sick or terminally-ill dogs, alleging that Purebred Breeders stands in violation of consumer protection laws. 

Ted Leopold, the lead attorney in the case, states that they aim "to expose the deceptive practices of Purebred Breeders and achieve justice for the consumers and animals that the company mistreats."

The HSUS encourages anyone who purchased a sick puppy from an online seller to fill out their complaint form, and recommends that when looking for a family pet, to visit shelters or rescue groups first.

Click here to find out how you can take action.

Carley Parsons
Carley is a full-time student at the University of Rochester, where she will soon be graduating with a BA in creative writing and film/media production. After deciding to follow a plant-based diet, food issues and its impact not only on the health of the individual but the environment at large became the foundation of her passion. While she's a poet at heart, her favorite past-time is roaming the isles of a generously stocked health food store.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/orinrobertjohn