Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I Heart Puppies in Corona del Mar Caught Breaking the Law

City Issues Stop Work Order on 'I Heart Puppies' Store in Corona del Mar

A sign on the window of I Heart Puppies says the store will be closed through Thursday in order to install a new fire alarm.
&nbps;11 Comments

I Heart Puppies in Corona del Mar has been in hot water this month with many animal lovers and on Tuesday was required by the city to temporarily close its doors. 
Problems for the pet store began on July 5, just a few days after it opened, when the Companion Animal Protection Society—a national nonprofit, investigative group—launched a probe into the store after receiving numerous complaints from residents. Carole Davis, the organizations's West Coast director, said the investigation has led to information that showed I Heart Puppies did not have proper permits to have a pet store with live animals and resulted in the store's temporary closure.
"I went into the store last week and did an inspection," Davis said. "I noticed there was no sprinkler system or any kind of alarm that would hook up directly to the Fire Department in case of an emergency.
"We alerted building and safety, the Fire Department and City Council in Newport Beach that they were in violation of state law," Davis said.
Councilwoman Nancy Gardner said she was aware of the order being issued by the city due to building safety violations.
"Yes, it is my understanding that as soon as the store owners were notified of the requirement, they proceeded to rectify it," Gardner said.
How it started
The investigation does not claim I Heart Puppies has abused animals, but implies that the problem is they are being supplied by substandard commercial breeders in the Midwest that have repeat and multiple violations from USDA inspections violating the Animal Welfare Act. 
Suzanne Bradford, owner of I Heart Puppies, did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment Tuesday, but last week she refuted the claims of the animal group and said she does not support illegal kennels or those with a history of problems meeting USDA requirements. Instead Bradford claims I Heart Puppies gets its animals from Critters and Pets in San Diego.
"We cannot find any USDA license for the broker they say they use. In fact, we can't find them at all," Davis said. "The 36 San Diego area USDA brokers all have R licenses, meaning they broker dogs to be used for research experiments. That's creepy."
According to Davis, the breeder that supplied the Corona del Mar store is the same breeder that was investigated in a two-year national probe. The breeder is not in compliance with the Animal Welfare Act and is part of the reason for an ordinance being drafted in Los Angeles that would ban puppy mill puppies citywide. Additionally, that investigation led to an ordinance being passed in West Hollywood that states that stores can sell only dogs and cats that come from a local municipal shelter system or a legitimate rescue organization.
Davis said she would provide the City Council with a full investigative report


Jennifer Charnofsky

When puppy mill dogs are sold in pet stores, then puppy mills continue to exist. They inflict extreme cruelty on their dogs, all in the name of profit. And thousands of dogs in shelters continue to be killed. If this store "went humane", that is, held adoptions of rescue and shelter dogs, they would be part of the solution.


I am so glad that Ms. Davis is investigating this slimy business. It's one thing to be ignorant, but to be provided with info that your puppies are coming from cruel conditions and then defend your practices.... I cannot fathom how these people sleep at night. I think it is fantastic that the store is closed down until it becomes up to code, but I would be happier if it shut down for good or adopted a humane model.

carole davis

To clarify:
1. The L.A. investigation of pet stores and mills that supply them included an "I Heart Puppies" breeder. That breeder sells dogs to many pet stores in CA. We had already investigated this breeder and visited her factory 3 x. She is the breeder who shot a Golden Retriever in the head. THAT investigation and its findings were given to WEHO City Council, LA City Council and Glendale council in order to assist them for their anti-puppy mill ordinances (WEHO passed and L.A. & Glendale are in process of drafting the legislation).
2. The Broker that I Heart Puppies claims to use is unknown. Ms. Bradford told me that the broker only uses 2 pet stores and NO broker uses 2 pet stores. That's impossible. He'd make more $ babysitting. She told me the broker is in San Diego. The 36 USDA license holders in the SD area are all R licenses. These are research facilities! So if she is dealing with that kind of facility, then that is just heinous.
3. RE an anti-puppy mill ordinance for NB: We are not so presumptuous as to tell local CDM and NB law-makers how to run their beautiful city. All we do is provide them with the investigative findings and recommendations for a more humane city regarding companion animals. We were responding to requests from residents to look into CDM because they know of our work in L.A., Chicago and NY. CDM and NB residents are very aware of puppy mills and it is up to them to discuss this with their city officials.
C. Davis, CAPS

Carole Sax

As I type this, breeding dogs in the kennels that are USDA inspected are dying in the midwest heat. I visited this store and the breeders are all mass breeding facilities, yes USDA, legal blah blah. Their answer to every question, one being "do you think it's O.K. for dogs to live in a cage their whole lives" was it's USDA inspected. USDA is minimal standard care, now the question is "CDM do you have compassion?" They are selling a chihuahua, go to the O.C. shelter and see the hundreds of chihuahuas needing to be rescued, yes they will be killed. Why don't these women rescue them and sell these dogs and give them a chance? The answer being they buy puppies for $200-250 and sell for $1500, dogs at the shelters are $85, fixed/shots and you save a life. If you buy a puppy from these heartless women you are a dummy! FYI every breed as a rescue. Local Breeders are puppy mills too, my survivor was rescued from a 400 dog facility in Lancaster, CA, yorkies had rope stiches hanging from their belly, no difference. Please don't support this cruelty. Why do they have to sell animals, why don't they sell cute supplies and sponsor a rescue group? BECAUSE THEY ARE GREEDY!

Don Scott

Get those puppies a loving home, then shut down this retail end of the killing assembly line. I am shocked and appalled that CDM would even permit such a business, yet this is what happens when towns get desperate for revenue. People just sign off on things without proper due diligence...even if the moral compass couldn't vote it down all on its own. Shutting a place like this down is so important to overthrowing those puppy milling factories and protect the suffering animals supplying these stores, overloading society, and creating a tax burden for citizens. Who's addressing this? Who's thinking of shelter animals and those on death row?

Carole Sax

check out the 3rd photo, it's the breeder in Nebraska that they use.

Norma Sandler

Get a pound pup and save a life.
LYLY - ID#A0658773
My name is Lyly and I am an unaltered female, white Poodle - Toy mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 8 years old.
I weigh approximately 17 pounds. Owner Surrendered
I have been at the shelter since Jul 14, 2011.
LOUIE - ID#A1042762
My name is LOUIE and I am a neutered male, tan and white Field Spaniel mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 5 years old.
I weigh approximately 20 pounds. OWNER SURRENDER
I have been at the shelter since Jul 12, 2011.
CANDY - ID#A1231084
My name is Candy and I am an unaltered female, tan and white mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 10 months old.
I weigh approximately 11 pounds. Stray
I have been at the shelter since Jul 13, 2011.
FERB - ID#A1227111
My name is Ferb and I am an unaltered female, black Tibetan Terrier mix.
The shelter thinks I am about 4 years old.
I weigh approximately 27 pounds.STRAY NEEDS GROOMING IMMEDIATELY
I have been at the shelter since Jun 30, 2011
Anna Hernandez
Los Angeles Animal Services
North Central Division
3201 Lacy St.
Los Angeles Ca. 90031
Shelter (213)485-5767
Fax (213)847-0555
Cell (213)305-4096
Business Hours Tues-Sat. 8-5
You can now follow NOCs' MPA's

Red Leaf

I am so disappointed that CDM is allowing this store to be in business in a city I love so much.
As we all know by now, "USDA-inspected" means nothing.
The women who own this store are well aware that they are supplying their store with puppy mill dogs.
How do they sleep at night?
It's the wave of the compassionate future to outlaw all puppy stores.
Adopt or go to a reputable breeder!


If I Heart Puppies was up & running with no fire safety in place, either someone wasn't doing their job and/or palms were greased. The owners had to knoiw this. Now they defiantly support cruel puppy mills and refuse to promote rescuing shelter dogs that will die? These women know exactly what they're doing...greedy, cold-hearted bitches! Shut them down and let someone humane take over this store and promote shelter pets...they desperately need to be seen and saved! Don't be cruel by supporting any store that gets the dogs they sell from anywhere other than shelters/rescue groups. You can find any pet you want from shelters/rescues.

carole davis

To be fair, Flaxenmare, I don't think they knew about the regulations regarding fire safety. That said, it was their job to educate themselves and to use common sense and not put animals at risk that way.
What is revealing is that they do not admit making mistakes. I think ethical people who are confronted with facts such as selling puppies from a breeder who shot a dog in the head, would immediately change course, admit wrong-doing and try to make amends. Instead, they continue to repeat the lie that they are selling from "reputable" breeders.
They could easily turn this around by putting up ALL their animals for adoption with a local rescue org and changing their business model to be rescue only. Plenty of wonderful pets at the OC shelter, all being killed because of stores like hers.


all the town is concerned about is generating More tax dollars for the out of control pension system


Is it not the responsablity of the building owner to have the needed fire equipmentsprinkler system up to date.

carole davis

That's correct, Ace. It is the responsibility of the owners of I Heart Puppies to ensure the safety of the puppies they sell. They are doing the bare minimum by installing an alarm. The fire safety official told me that "an alarm does nothing to protect the animals like a sprinkler system would" but the owner of this store doesn't want to cut into her profit margin to keep those pups safe. Maybe they should sell stuffed puppies instead.


If I HEART PUPPIES truly cared about the animals they sell they would not be purchasing sick and inbred puppies from puppy mills.
I HEART PUPPIES hear this: if you continue to shop for puppies from puppy mills I will never again enter your store, and I will tell my thousands of followers on twitter and the thousands who read my blog to boycott your store. 
Is losing countless customers really worth supporting puppy mills and the criminals who run them?,
Added yesterday ·  · 

    • Catherine Chapman-Bartolini You rock!!
      23 hours ago · 

    • Claudia Hoffmann oh yeah baby!!! Good job Carole's....
      22 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Carole Raphaelle Davis I love the spin they put on it, like it was their idea to close and get more puppies. Meanwhile, they had to take the dogs out of there. If they are getting lots more puppies, like they claim, they aren't allowed to bring them there until the alarm is installed. They should have put in a sprinkler system but that's too expensive for them, I guess.
      22 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

      22 hours ago ·  ·  3 people

    • Carol Leifer Mazal, Carole! That's what happens when people stock their store with puppy mill dogs.
      22 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

    • Monica Otero If u need any help, let me know. I live in the area & am disgusted a dog store opened in CDM. How did it pass?
      21 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Dana Kungl oh boy these girls have no idea, do they!? Clueless!!
      21 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Carole Sax OMG, they make me sick!!! Who took the photo?
      21 hours ago · 

    • Zana Fong so when are we ready to go?? DEMO??
      21 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Erica Nunez-Reyes wow this is so ironic in so many ways!
      20 hours ago · 

    • Carole Sax get ready Zana, I have a huge response from people ready to go. Carole is doing everything the right way, be patient, believe me I'm so ready, have signs will travel.
      20 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Moo Prince SHARED AGAIN
      20 hours ago · 

    • Carole Sax they mispelled incovenience
      20 hours ago · 

    • Carole Raphaelle Davis I just noticed that! They put the CON in InCONvience.
      19 hours ago ·  ·  4 people

    • Doc Franklinstein U ROK !
      19 hours ago · 

    • Jeanne O'Neil I guess it shouldn't surprise me but it always does that puppy peddlers of the fancy store variety always pretend like everything is on the up and up, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. I can't decide if they're simply stupid or just plain mean and selfish.
      18 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

    • Doc Franklinstein I'd like to go with Stupid. that probably only part of it.
      18 hours ago · 

    • Catherine Vade Bon Coeur You are great, Carole, and the people that work with you too!
      17 hours ago · 

    • Robin Kohler You mean they still don't need to put in a sprinkler system? An alarm is enough? Living things locked in cages in a locked store still burn to death waiting for the fire dept. Know what, I'm about done hoping these worthless POS women grow hearts and move in a humane direction. Plainly they care only about money and profit over life. IMHO they arent worthy of caring for or sponsoring rescues. F THEM!
      17 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

    • Catherine Vade Bon Coeur Looks like a job for ALF...
      17 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

    • Robin Kohler BTW Carole you are wonderful and yes --->You Freaking Rock<---
      17 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

    • Carole Raphaelle Davis The Fire Safety guy told me he doesn't understand why they don't make it a law to put in sprinklers for live animals. They should. An alarm is all they are required to put in. They are doing the minimum. 
      17 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Katie Maneeley Is anyone doing demo outreach here? I have brochures from Best Friends and live in the area so would love to help out.
      16 hours ago · 

    • Katie Maneeley what group are you with and when? I am on the OCPA meetup site.
      16 hours ago · 

    • Moira Lynn Good work!
      16 hours ago · 

    • Robin McLain Smith I live in the area and am ready to show up for a protest. Let me know when!
      12 hours ago ·  ·  2 people

    • Debbie Hight RIGHT ON!!
      7 hours ago ·  ·  1 person

    • Tamra Sullivan Look at them..... Liars
      40 minutes ago · 

 once it is concluded, and would work to get a similar ordinance passed in Newport Beach.


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