Fraud and a Puppy Named Buddy

Posted by Stephen Wells, ALDF's Executive Director on October 18, 2011

April and Daniel Akiva were delighted to welcome Buddy, a three-month-old Cockapoo puppy, into their family. But their joy quickly turned to concern the evening they brought Buddy home from Barkworks, a Southern California pet store chain.

BuddyBuddy began coughing and was later diagnosed with kennel cough, a respiratory disorder. Shortly after, he was diagnosed with an ear infection, and less than two months later, when Buddy was just five months old, the Akivas rushed him to the vet for emergency medical treatment after he had shortness of breath and began foaming at the mouth. His lungs full of fluid, the young puppy died five days before Christmas.

Sadly, Buddy’s story is not unique. That’s why the Animal Legal Defense Fund has filed a class action lawsuit against Barkworks, the pet store that sold Buddy, for repeatedly engaging in fraud and false advertising in an effort to conceal from customers that they are selling puppy mill puppies, who have a much higher rate of illness and health problems as a result of abusive breeding practices and inhumane living conditions.

Help ALDF stop Barkworks’ blatant and illegal deceptive practices — and double the impact of your support! Between now and October 31, donations to ALDF will be matched dollar-for-dollar — up to $30,000.

The Akivas, along with several other named plaintiffs in the case, and untold numbers of others, purchased extremely sick puppies from Barkworks, despite being given warranties that the animals were "fit for sale" and "not ill."  What’s more, the store misled countless customers about where their puppies came from. Prior to purchasing Buddy, April asked a Barkworks representative if the puppies they sold came from puppy mills — she was explicitly told they did not.

Barkworks misrepresented the breeding history and health of its puppies in order to convince customers to purchase them, resulting in large profits for their business — and heartbreak for countless dogs and their adoptive families.

Join us in our fight against abusive puppy mills and those who support them.

Together, we can help put an end to the abuse.

One thought on “Fraud and a Puppy Named Buddy

  1. Dorothea Charles says:

    I am so sorry for that family’s loss of ‘Buddy.’ It sounds so familiar to me since my Papillon, Marie, had a similar start to her life with me!

    I also was guaranteed a healthy puppy, NOT from a puppy mill when I purchased Marie from Barkworks! Sadly, that was not the case.

    I took Marie for the ‘free’ checkup to a vet in Irvine,CA that was part of the purchase where the vet declared her fine. Marie was coughing and didn’t seem as perky as a former Papillon I had – not purchased at Barkworks.

    I immediately took Marie to my own veterinarian who told me Marie had pneumonia and she had to stay at my vet’s hospital for four days and then be on drugs for quite a while.

    Marie lived, but it was ‘touch and go’ since she was so small and so ill. Marie is now four years old and only weighs four pounds! I just know that her lack of growth stemmed from her illnesses she had when I bought her.

    The latest for Marie is trouble with her anal glands. They get infected very easily so I am in to my vet’s regularly for checkups.

    Marie has always had terrible breath, even after her teeth being cleaned. She gets ear wax that builds in her ears quickly.

    Marie is a sweet little dog. To this day she is ‘skiddish’ to be held for any length of time – I am sure that is because she was kept in a kennel at Barkworks – she was about 4 months old when I got her. Then she lived at the hospital. Great start for the poor thing! Not!

    Incidentally, I am a teacher, who had her salary cut two years ago, and could not and cannot really afford all the expenses for Marie. I love her dearly so I continue to strive for a healthy dog.

    I look forward to your efforts to be successful to close Barkworks. Enough tragedy!


    Dorothea Charles

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