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Humane Society to Celebs: It Ain't Puppy Love

12/11/2007 4:56 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

UPDATE: The L.A. Department of Animal Regulations has just shut down Pets of Bel Air because we're told three of the store's permits have expired. Lt. Troy Boswell tells TMZ the store's permit to sell live animals has been expired for three and a half years (yikes!). We're also told the Department has checked out all the animals currently in the store and they all seem to be in good health. A worker at the pet store insists they've done nothing wrong.

The pet store has 48 hours to renew their permits.

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) today revealed undercover footage linking a popular pet store-to-the-stars with a puppy mill that supplies them. Oh the humane-ity!
Britney, Paris, Puppies
The HSUS alleges that Pets of Bel Air -- a trendy pet shop that boasts Paris Hilton, Denise Richards, Demi Moore, Britney Spears and Robin Williams among its clientele, who spend as much as $2,400 for a Maltese -- gets their puppies from puppy mills. In fact, TMZ also spotted Britney shopping there just this past weekend.

Pets of Bel Air told HSUS investigators they don't get their puppies from puppy mills, but the HSUS says that simply not the dogs'-honest truth. They allege the shop buys from mills in Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Iowa and Missouri. Undercover footage shot by the HSUS at one such puppy mill shows cage after cage of little dogs locked up and going "cage crazy." Not a pretty sight.

Puppy mills sell dogs who live their entire lives in cages and are continually bred for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever becoming part of a family.

Calls to the Pets of Bel Air shop were not immediately returned.
161 COMMENTS

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76.

Uh, scary    

You are better off going through a breeder. The animals are treated better and are healthier. These puppy mills don't care what shape the dogs are in. They might look healthy at first but in the long run all the genetic problems will surface and you will have to deal with grief and financial loss. Breeders are the only way to go. Just look in the classifieds. But hey who ever said these idiots in Hollywood had any brains. Most of them didn't even finish high school. Especially the Paris' and Britneys of hollyweird. A bunch of idiots with no talent.

2510 days ago
77.

Laura    

My husband and I bought a puppy in August fom Petland which is a popular petstore in our area, and after I took my new puppy to the vet for his check up the vet infomed me of Petland and how they buy their puppies from puppymills. I was so upset to learn this information and whe I got home I looked Petland up on th internet and the things I saw made me sick. Not only that but my little guy was so sick and I sunk so much money into him in order for him to get better. Puppymills should be stopped and people need to be informed.

2510 days ago
78.

greatwhiteshark    

The problems are many. First, they often use welsh springer spaniels as bitches and stud with a cavalier to produce more puppies. They pawn them off as purebreds and they end up with all kinds of health issues. Responsible owners won't breed a dog that displays health concerns common to a particular breed. If you can't see the breeder and get health certificates for the dog, you have no idea what kinds of issues you will end up with. I won't stud my one male because he couldn't pass a health check on his hips. A good breeder has their studs and bitches checked and certified before passing on hips problems, heart murmurs, eye problems, etc. Also, we don't allow our bitches to breed more than once every two years. It takes a lot out of them. Puppy mills let their dogs mate each time they are in season. Would you want to have 4 or 5 kids every six months?

2510 days ago
79.

Kermit    

This is directed to Lori... What state are you in??? I have worked in the field of animal behavior for the past 16 years in Pennsylvania and there have been some new laws directed at stopping puppy mills. Not all the legislaters here are hillbillys. FIrst off.. the puppy lemon law.. an ammendment that was added to the consumer protection act in 1997 has held breeders and pet shops more than accountable for selling less than perfect puppies... also in Pa. Ny. and Ohio as well as a lot of the midwestern states.. aw hell... all across the country most pf the puppy mills are run by the Amish... they don't obey "English" law...The ONLY way that puppy mills are going to end is if the Federal Government steps in and makes a FEDERAL law stipulating and controling breeders and the amount of dogs they can have. For example no more than 3 breeding females in 2 different breeds. Pet shops are ignorent... all they see is the bottom line and unfortunately it's green...

2510 days ago
80.

Party 'till you die!    

No way that's the real Fly! That person actually had a point and kept it short! The regular fly is too self absorbed and arrogant to do that!

2510 days ago
81.

Paulzi    

99% of all pets in a Mall or a store you find with a chain store name buy their animals from a puppy mill..How do you think they resupply so fast??? DUH!! It is not the animals fault...They still need love..can you picture a "MOVIE STAR" getting a mixed dog from the local kennel?? I have three and they are part of my family.

2510 days ago
82.

Tamaraja    

I work as a groomer in SE WI and there are mills and pet stores in our state. The dogs that are bought from pet stores are absolute train wrecks and are full of conformational and psychological faults. These dogs have joints that are falling apart by the time they're 4 years old, terrible temperaments, crappy coats, can't be potty trained, etc. For the love of God, do not buy from pet stores. Aweful places, aweful quality dogs and the ones who are suffering are the puppies and their parents who are bred like chickens.

2510 days ago
83.

Connie    

I know some people think buying a puppy is saving one, but it's NOT! All that does is encourage another litter to replace it. So, the dam (mother) gets bred to death. Think about her, trapped there as long as her puppies sell. She's not a loved and well cared for family pet, she's a breeding machine and the one truly suffering. The only way to stop the cycle of neglect and abuse is to not buy...not even one. When they stop selling, they stop breeding. The puppies and adults no longer needed will end up in rescue and you can save them there without causing more grief.

2510 days ago
84.

DvonDman    

Some celebs just shouldn't have pets

2510 days ago
85.

jmuhj    

While some "pet" store animals are actually former homeless cats, dogs and others needing adoption into forever loving homes, most DO come from mills and that applies to cats as well as dogs.

2510 days ago
86.

Christy Fisty    

So sad, so very sad.
I first read about puppy mills maybe 20 years ago when I was 12.
And eerily enough, I haven't seen an honest-to-goodness pet store since shortly thereafter around here. (Bay Area California)

Lots of these previous posts have condemned mills as a loss for the new owner of a sickly pet. Fine. But let's please not forget that these creatures are given short shrift. They are not a product, not a toy in a box for yours or your child's pleasure and amusement.

They're alive. They love.
Just like us.

2510 days ago
87.

monkeynoodle    

By the way, PETA sucks too. My cousin is a huge animal rights activist and she went undercover and found out what happens when PETA goes into a pet store in order to 'rescue' all of the poor caged animals. When PETA says 'rescue' that means they euthanize them immediately. PETA people went into the store, had the syringes in their pockets and went around and put all of the many 'abused' dogs to sleep. They say it's more humane to put them down than have them live in cages. They don't even TRY to find them homes! They euthanized them right there in their cages!! I hope someone euthanizes the people in PETA. People suck.

2510 days ago
88.

Christy Fisty    

OH, yes.
Nearly forgot -

ADOPT

ADOPT

ADOPT

2510 days ago
89.

Aaron    

Did you know....Britney......?
http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/6de054ef55

2510 days ago
90.

Noodles    

Breed rescue groups often attend puppy mill liquidation auctions to purchase dogs. They do this to prevent the dogs from being sold to another commercial breeder. These dogs are vetted out and then placed in foster homes while prospective owners are screened.

The adoption fee they charge funds the purchase of new dogs at auction and the expenses incurred to get a dog home ready. The adoption fee can also discourage people that are not serious.

There is no such thing as a cheap dog. Food, vet care, etc all costs money. If you are not financially secure then you should not take on the responsibility of brining a dog into your life and home.

2510 days ago
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