Thursday, May 08, 2008

Posh Puppy in Beverly Hills Closes following Puppy Mill Scandal

You can read the West LA article by Kelly Hartog here:

Posh Puppy in Beverly Hills Closes Following "Puppy Mill" Scandal
By Kelly HartogEditor, BHCNP

Photo credit: Jim Bursch
The Posh Puppy pet store in Beverly Hills is now closed

Photo credit: Carole Raphaelle Davis
Millie: Just one of 300 dogs rescued from World Kennels USABEVERLY HILLS -

It's taken almost five months of active campaigning by animal rights organizations, but on May 7, the doors of the Posh Puppy pet store in Beverly Hills were shuttered and a 'For Lease' sign was placed in the window.
The brouhaha began back on December 22, 2007, when the Humane Society of the United States, The Best Friends for Animals and the Last Chance for Animals organizations, spearheaded by local actress, writer and animal activist Carole Raphaelle Davis, held a protest outside the Posh Puppy store at 9699 Wilshire Blvd., to make passersby aware that pet stores, including Posh Puppy are merely fronts for puppy mills, that keep their dogs caged in inhumane conditions and breed them until they die."We chose Posh Puppy for its location and visibility," Davis, who has been a spokesperson for Last Chance for Animals for 19 years, told BHCNP.
"This is the place where people buy teacup puppies and we chose December 22, because it was the Saturday before Christmas, which is the biggest puppy-buying day of the year."That protest turned into a weekly sustained movement, where locals, activists and celebrities turned out to make people aware of the shocking treatment dogs undergo in puppy mill kennels. The protests were also designed to encourage people to adopt dogs from shelters. "At least 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred animals, and many of those---particularly the teacup dogs--- are those who were originally from puppy mills," said Davis.
The boon in teacup puppies that can go for up to $4,500 each, has inadvertently been bolstered by the likes of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears."I think that [these three girls] alone have done more harm to dogs than anyone else in recent history," Davis said. "These dogs are not fashion accessories, but millions of little girls want to emulate these celebrities."
While the protests went on weekly outside Posh Puppy, Davis along with other animal activist organizations was deeply entrenched in an undercover investigation seeking out the puppy mills that supply stores such as Posh Puppy. That investigation uncovered that one of Posh Puppy's suppliers was World Kennels USA in Littlerock, CA. Authorities raided the kennels on May 2 and removed 302 breeding dogs being kept in severe inhumane conditions.
One of those dogs was Millie ---a 10-year-old Maltese, who is now being fostered by Davis at her home. Millie was so- named by Davis because she was a puppy 'mill' dog. This is the first time Millie has ever been outside of a cage in her entire life. She is scrawny, emaciated, has a urinary tract infection and eye infections. She curls up on Davis's lap and is constantly craving human comfort.
"It's taken five days for her to trust me," says Davis. "When we rescued her she was shaking, trembling and terrified. Her vocal chords were cut in the kennels so she couldn't bark." Millie's story is not uncommon. She's just one of the hundreds of female dogs who have been kept for eight to ten years in a cage, and have been bred twice a year. "People should know, that the cute little puppies they buy in these pet stores have mothers who have been kept in horrific conditions for years," said Davis. "It costs only $67 to adopt a puppy from a shelter," she points out.
BHCNP's interview with Davis took place on the morning of May 7. During our interview, Davis received an email that revealed Posh Puppy's doors were closed and the For Lease sign was posted outside. Davis let out a squeal and shouted 'We did it!' before high-fiving this reporter.Altercations between the protesters and Posh Puppy's store owners John and Michelle Yoon have been common over the last few months. The Yoon's have protested throughout they were running a legitimate business and purchasing their puppies from reputable sources only. However, as of May 7, Posh Puppy's doors in Beverly Hills have been closed, mail is piling up outside the door (including a vet bill from Brent Air Veterinarians) and the store's phone remains unanswered).Posh Puppy has a second store in Tarzana. Calls to that store by BHCNP also remained unanswered.
Davis says while many pet store owners, managers and employees are fully aware of the conditions of the dogs that breed the puppies they purchase, there are also plenty who have no idea of the cruelty and horror the dogs go through. "They don't visit the kennels, they don't ask questions and they trust the organizations that have beautiful Web sites showing dogs being well taken care of. Nothing could be further from the truth," she scoffs. "Which is why," she adds, "it's so important for us to educate the public and make sure they adopt dogs from shelters."
In the meantime, Davis's enthusiasm at the closure of Posh Puppy and the raid on World Kennels USA is a little guarded. "This is bittersweet for us," she said. "We're overjoyed at the newfound freedom of these [302 rescued dogs], but that's just one kennel and one store. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs suffering in terrible breeding facilities, and our hearts bleed for them."BHCNP is continuing its investigation into the puppy mill phenomenon with a series of articles. Please check back shortly for more in-depth reporting on this issue.
Rory Freedman says:Thank God for Carole Davis and all the other activists who took the time and energy to educate the public about puppy mills. That they managed to shut down such a heinous, cruel operation is a testament to the fact that educated consumers want nothing to do with such barbaric, inhumane practices.Real animal lovers know: Animals should never be purchased!

Ed Buck says:Carole just lit the fire in a field ready to burn. To those of us who have been volunteering in rescuses, we often dreamed that we could "do something" about puppy mill vendors. The formula for this store closing was one part activist action (that felt good), and two parts consciousness raising (that did more good).

Capri says:As one of the proud protesters, I am thrilled that this "little shop of horrors" is now closed. I think it is critical to make sure this info (article) is WIDELY cross posted, especially to our children and their friends. Children need the truth to educate the adults who are sometimes to busy to care about God's precious creatures. Spread the word: "Puppy millers love MONEY, not Dogs"! We will prevail for those who have no voices!
Capri says:P.s. Final comment. "Every dog (or cat) deserves a home and every home deserves a dog (or cat)"

carole Raphaelle Davis says:So many people were involved with this investigation and sustained campaign. All the folks from LCA, Best Friends Animal Society, HSUS, Animal Alliance and tons of volunteers. It must be noted that we never wanted to shut them down. We want these puppy mill fronts to go HUMANE. They can sell the accessories, just not animals from pet factories, including cats, birds etc.I am so grateful to each and every activist who stood with us against cruelty to animals. Dogs deserve better than to live out their lives in cages. Now, thanks to you, the public is becomming aware. To other puppy mill fronts in Los Angeles, I have something to say to you:Stop lying to the public about the provenance of these dogs. Stop playing semantics about "licensed breeders." The public is not as stupid as you would like. Go humane now or we are coming to you next. An average dog lover

Tina Clark says:Thank you BHCNP for running this story. It is SO important that everyone learns where those cute puppies come from. Thank you Carole and everyone who came out to the protests for making this happen. We are winning! We must keep educating the public, and shut down these horrible mills for good.

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