Press Release

Animal Legal Defense Fund Files Class Action Lawsuit against Barkworks Pet Store Chain for Selling Sick “Puppy Mill” Puppies

Lawsuit Alleges Company Engages in Widespread Consumer Deception


Santa Ana, CA — The nonprofit Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), the nation’s leading legal advocacy organization for animals, amended its legal complaint to bring a class action lawsuit, on behalf of broad class of misled puppy purchasers, against Barkworks, a Southern California pet store chain with locations in Orange, Los Angeles, Ventura, and Riverside counties.

Barkworks has been orchestrating a long-running scheme to defraud unsuspecting consumers by misrepresenting the health and origins of the puppies it sells.

The amended complaint, filed in Orange County Superior Court, alleges that Barkworks systematically violated California consumer protection law by tricking consumers into buying sick puppy mills dogs.

Trusting purchasers relied on Barkworks’ explicit representations that its puppies were “not from puppy mills” and had been examined and treated by veterinarians prior to sale—representations buyers soon learned were false when their new puppies immediately fell seriously ill.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is expanding its lawsuit, first filed in 2014 on behalf of individual plaintiffs, to add class action allegations after uncovering documents detailing the widespread nature of Barkworks’ deception and hearing story after story of heartbroken purchasers who had to rush their new puppy to the vet just days or even hours after bringing her home.

Barkworks’ illegal business practices include misrepresenting puppy mills as “reputable” breeders, providing inaccurate breeder license numbers and addresses, fabricating breeding certificates, and lying about providing veterinary care to the fragile animals.

“The public has a right to know where they are getting their puppies from,” said Stephen Wells, executive director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund. “Barkworks has deceived consumers for years about the horrific conditions suffered by the puppies they buy, sell, and profit from. Dog lovers have a right to the truth.”