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Southern California pet stores sold 'puppy mill' dogs, suit claims

September 29, 2011 |  2:00 pm

Homeless dog

A Los Angeles law firm filed a lawsuit Thursday against a chain of Southern California pet stores alleging it sells puppies from commercial breeding facilities, commonly known as “puppy mills.”

The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims that Barkworks, a chain of six stores in Southern California, breeds puppies that are prone to a variety of illnesses and health problems while assuring customers that they come from registered breeders.

Barkworks’ website says the chain buys its puppies only from “professional, reputable breeder[s].”

The plaintiffs -- five customers who bought puppies at Barkworks -- said they received the names of the breeders of their pets from the store, but the information did not correspond to U.S. Department of Agriculture registered breeders.

Phone calls requesting comment from Barkworks' owner had not been returned Thursday afternoon.


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Photo: A homeless dog waits for adoption at the West L.A. shelter in 2007. Credit: Los Angeles Times