Animal Legal Defense Fund Sues Pet Store Chain for Selling Sick and Injured “Puppy Mill” Puppies

Posted on September 25, 2014

False Advertisement Suit Against “Barkworks Pups & Stuff” Has Real Bite

For immediate release:

Megan Backus, ALDF

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Today, the national nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) filed a false-advertising lawsuit against “Barkworks,” a Southern California pet store chain (with locations in Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Riverside Counties), for selling sick and injured puppies and deceiving consumers about the well-being and health of the puppies. The complaint, filed today in Orange County Superior Court, alleges that Barkworks violated California state business practices and defrauded consumers by misrepresenting the care and origin of their puppies and by not ensuring veterinary care and rehabilitation of the puppies. In 2011, ALDF was involved with litigation against Barkworks that resulted in promises by the pet store chain to correct its practice of misinformation about the health and welfare of dogs in their stores. However, ALDF’s lawsuit alleges evidence of ongoing consumer fraud, including the fabrication of breeding certificates and serious animal neglect.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit paid upwards of thousands of dollars for “pure-bred” puppies who Barkworks claimed were from USDA-licensed reputable breeders. In reality, the consumers were sold puppies from “puppy mills”—large-scale commercial breeding facilities that churn out animals without consideration of animal welfare, genetic health, or adequate care. As a result, the plaintiffs’ puppies require expensive and lifelong medical care.

Puppies bred in puppy mills often lack adequate food, water, socialization, and veterinary care. It is common for puppy mill pups to carry congenital conditions and disease like parvovirus, giardia, mange, kennel cough, hip problems, and respiratory conditions. Investigations have documented immense suffering of dogs forced to be “breeder dogs” and churn out litter after litter in unnatural periods and unsanitary conditions.

“Today’s lawsuit stands up for puppies,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Barkworks has deceived consumers for years about the horrific conditions suffered by the innocent puppies they buy, sell, and profit from. Dog lovers have a right to the truth.”

ALDF’s complaint is available upon request.

14 thoughts on “Animal Legal Defense Fund Sues Pet Store Chain for Selling Sick and Injured “Puppy Mill” Puppies

  1. This is totally unexceptable !!

  2. Sandy Spiwak-Wallin says:

    BRAVO, BRAVO, BRAVO…If I ever earn a paycheck again, I will donate to ALDF…that is a promise!

  3. Anna Lysko says:

    Please can anyone stop this sick and madness ?! All these poor little baby’s and their mothers. Puppy mill should never exist, shelters are full of dogs waiting for a forever homes. Human race is embarrassing, this puppy mills thing is just unacceptable

  4. Michael Cisneros says:

    shut them down!!!

  5. Judy Phillips says:

    HOW CRUEL CAN YOU BE !!!!!!!#

  6. denise lorusso says:

    You are awesome ALDF !!! go get them

  7. Pinke Andersson says:

    I want to believe ALDF will have power enough to be heard!
    This must end! There must be better laws protecting poor puppies and mother-dogs,against those greedy monsters!

  8. Christine Devin says:

    I am curious if anyone is representing those who purchased these poor puppies. I bought my puppy at barkworks in Riverside on the 31st of August and he died September 19th from phunmonia. I paid over $1,500 for the baby and his vet bill was $2,553.00 I took him to the in the wee hours of the 17th because he was having difficulty breathing. All those days that we both suffered the baby and I and I am still so sad because I keep remembering his poor face begging for help and he couldn’t be saved. If anyone knows who to contact for legal advice, please post. Perseus and I will be grateful.

  9. Maureen says:


  10. We have a pet store locally that is chronic for the past 15+ years in selling puppy mill puppies. Lots of horror stores and very sick puppies as well as other animals. Is there any contact Info for upstate New York State that could help us start the same movement in legislation? I saved a GSD puppy and the post went viral here just a week ago.. I started The Sabbath Victory as a way for people to start telling stories and take more action.

  11. Doreen Hodnicki says:

    Stop puppy mill

  12. Thank you for exposing on other Pets for Profit scheme!

  13. Brandon says:

    Sure wish all these folks would go adopt a dog from the Animal Foundation regardless to stop puppy mill

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