Lawsuit filed against Internet’s largest puppy broker; HSUS investigation raises concerns
The Humane Society of the United States has released the results of a three-month investigation into Purebred Breeders LLC, thought to be the nation’s largest online seller of puppies.
The investigation was featured on NBC’s Today show (above) this morning.
HSUS says Purebred Breeders gets at least some of the dogs it brokers from inhumane commercial breeding facilities — puppy mills where investigators found dogs stacked in cramped wire cages, with no exercise, veterinary care, socialization, or human companionship.
HSUS attorneys, in partnership with Florida firm Leopold~Kuvin, have also filed suit in Florida state court on behalf of HSUS members and other consumers who received sick or dying dogs from Purebred Breeders.
The HSUS investigation found that Purebred Breeders owns nearly 800 websites designed to mislead consumers into believing that they are dealing with local breeders when they shop online for a puppy.
Former employees told HSUS investigators that the company sells approximately 20,000 puppies every year, using hard-sell, deceptive tactics encouraged by company executives.
Despite the company’s guarantee of a “triple health check,” puppies purchased through Purebred Breeders have arrived ill, and died after arriving at new homes.
Often, though the company portrays itself as local, the dogs are flown long distances directly from the breeding facility to the consumer.
“Purebred Breeders reaps massive profits by purchasing puppies from puppy mills around the country and selling them at a huge mark-up to dog lovers who would never knowingly buy a puppy mill dog,” said Jonathan Lovvorn, senior vice president for animal protection litigation and investigations at The HSUS. “Internet puppy sellers like Purebred Breeders deceive consumers about the origins of the puppies they sell, and as a result unsuspecting families suffer great expense caring for sick dogs, or the terrible anguish of losing a beloved family pet.”
“Our goal in this lawsuit is to expose the deceptive practices of Purebred Breeders and achieve justice for the consumers and animals that the company mistreats,” said Ted Leopold, the lead attorney in the case.
HSUS says a federal law has been proposed that would help crack down on companies like Purebred Breeders.
Congress is considering the Puppy Uniform Protection and Safety (PUPS) Act (S. 707 and H.R. 835), introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., and David Vitter, R-La., in the Senate, and Reps. Jim Gerlach, R-Pa., Sam Farr, D-Calif., Bill Young, R-Fla., and Lois Capps, D-Calif., in the House.
The PUPS Act would close a loophole in the federal Animal Welfare Act regulations that allow puppy mills selling directly to consumers over the Internet to escape basic oversight and inspection. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also considering taking action to regulate large-scale commercial dog breeders that sell directly to consumers online.
Any consumer who purchased a sick puppy from an online seller is encouraged to fill out the complaint form at humanesociety.org/puppycomplaint.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
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