Animal Legal Defense Fund Announces Resolution of Lawsuit Against Barkworks for Selling Sick “Puppy Mill” Puppies
Closure for case combatting California pet store chain’s alleged misrepresentations.
SANTA ANA, CA. – The Animal Legal Defense Fund reached a formal resolution in a hard-fought lawsuit against Barkworks, a pet store chain in Southern California. The lawsuit, which alleged that Barkworks orchestrated a scheme to trick buyers into purchasing sick puppies sourced from puppy mills in violation of California consumer protection laws, was resolved to the mutual satisfaction of the parties. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, the nation’s preeminent legal advocacy organization for animals, brought the lawsuit on behalf of Barkworks puppy purchasers harmed by Barkworks practices they claimed were illegal and deceptive.
The action alleged that Barkworks misrepresented its puppy mill breeders as “reputable,” falsely claimed that all its puppies were healthy at the time of sale and provided inaccurate breeder license numbers. After the lawsuit was filed, the Animal Legal Defense Fund learned about many other Barkworks consumers, including purchasers who had to rush their new puppy for emergency veterinary treatment only days after bringing the puppy home.
When the lawsuit was filed in 2014, Barkworks had six stores across Southern California. In the intervening years, the in-store signage challenged in the lawsuit as false and misleading – including signs claiming puppies received veterinary checks and advertising its puppies as coming from “responsible breeders” – was taken down from the stores. Barkworks also closed four of the stores, and its remaining two stores will likely close by January 1, 2019, when California’s law banning the sale of dogs from commercial breeders comes into effect.
“We’re pleased to have reached a resolution of our action against Barkworks,” says Animal Legal Defense Fund Executive Director Stephen Wells. “The increasing number of communities across the country prohibiting the retail sale of pets make it clear that the era of stores selling puppies is waning, thanks to advocates’ efforts.”
The Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Humane Society of the United States sent a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) urging it to investigate the harmful pet leasing industry for deceiving consumers.October 1, 2018 Press Release
Maryland Requires Research Facilities to Help Surviving Dogs and Cats Find Adoptive Homes After Experiments EndMaryland has joined the growing list of states that require research facilities to make efforts to find adoptive homes for healthy, surviving dogs and cats rather than putting them to death at the conclusion of the research.August 23, 2018 Animal Law Update
On April 24, 2018, Governor Larry Hogan signed into law HB 1662, the “No More Puppy-Mill Pups Act of 2018,” making Maryland the second state to ban the retail sale of dogs and cats obtained from commercial breeding facilities.August 15, 2018 Animal Law Update