Henderson, NV — That pricey puppy in the pet retailer window could come with a pedigree, but exactly where does it come from?
Make contact with 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears traces 1 valley pet store’s sick dogs back to states that are notorious for puppy mills.
Tabitha Cavanaugh cuddles her new puppy, Buddy, as if he was her infant, “I really like animals. We’re animal lovers, especially with Dachshunds.”
When she 1st saw him at Pet Pros on South Eastern in Henderson, she was worried about how thin he was, a missing patch of fur on his side and scabs on his ears.
“He just didn’t look wholesome to me at all. So that is a single of the motives why I had to have him. I had to save him. I had to bring him back.”
After she purchased Buddy, he was diagnosed with worms and a bacterial infection in each ears as well as a healing wound on his side.
But he was in a lot much better shape than Valentino, a pricey pug Richard Woods purchased for $ 1,800 as a Christmas present for his partner.
“He stayed five days in the hospital, and we did take him in and they determined he had pneumonia,” stated Richard.
Make contact with 13 has received e mail after email from concerned clients about Pet Pros promoting sick puppies, dogs also large for their cages, and failure to disclose well being concerns at the time of sale.
We sent a producer with a hidden camera into Pet Pros. We saw dozens of dogs. At times a number of breeds in one particular cage. Some older puppies have been as extended as the cages they have been in.
Price tag tags ranged from $ 600 to $ 4,000 and there had been higher pressure sales tactic signs attempting to force people into acquiring on the spot.
We asked an employee exactly where the puppies come from, “Are the breeders local or are they out of state?”
“They are out of state. They’re USDA licensed breeders. They are all from Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas,” stated an employee.
All prime puppy mill states according to the Humane Society of the United States. Number one particular on that list? Missouri, which is where Valentino and Buddy each came from.
Pet Pros gave Tabitha a certificate of pedigree from Missouri breeder Pat Sperandio.
The smiling, happy family members picture Pet Pros gave her stands in stark contrast to USDA images Speak to 13 obtained. Pictures we showed to Tabitha.
At an inspection last June, Buddy’s breeder had 194 adult dogs and 126 puppies.
For the duration of that and previous inspections, there had been a number of violations such as dirty, contaminated water, chewed feed bowls, unsanitary conditions, overcrowded cages, excessive flies and inadequate shelter.
An adult, female Shih Tzu was thin, lethargic and could not stand up.
An isolation room housing 4 puppies had such higher levels of urine that the ammonia burned the inspectors nose and eyes.
“That is so sad,” Tabitha stated, searching more than the USDA images. “That is no way to live for anyone. No living creature must reside like this.”
HSUS has asked clients across the nation to sign a pledge to not buy puppy mill dogs from pet retailers.
“There is just suffering, there’s cruelty, there’s neglect, actually, that’s linked with a lot of this,” explained Gina Greisen with Nevada Voters for Animals.
“There is no cause in the year 2015 when we’re killing 20,000 animals every year at the shelter that we have pet stores.”
Greisen’s group sparked a new inquiry by Henderson Animal Manage soon after videotaping a puppy coughing, sneezing and hacking in the Pet Pros store. Pet Pros was offering the dog for sale even though it was clearly sick.
Selling sick animals is not Pet Pros’ only issue. Get in touch with 13 found the store hasn’t even been legally capable to operate for the last two months.
They allowed their City of Henderson organization license to expire at the end of November, but they kept their doors open and kept selling dogs.
Soon after Contact 13 started investigating, the City of Henderson served them with a cease and desist order due to complaints about sick puppies and non-compliance with a city ordinance.
We went to Pet Pros for answers and discovered a locked door, although employees had been inside.
Regardless of several attempts to get a response each in person and more than the telephone, no one from Pet Pros is speaking.
A City of Henderson spokesperson says Pet Pros will appeal the cease and desist order to the City Council on Feb. 17. Contact 13 will be there.
In the meantime, animal manage is visiting the store everyday to make certain the puppies are cared for.