Friday, May 9, 2008

Posh Puppy in Beverly Hills Closes following Puppy Mill Scandal

Read the West LA article here:

Posh Puppy in Beverly Hills Closes Following "Puppy Mill" Scandal

By Kelly Hartog
Editor, BHCNP
(this article is By Kelly Hartog, NOT Carole Davis)

The Posh Puppy pet store in Beverly Hills is now closed

BEVERLY HILLS - It has taken almost five months of active campaigning by animal rights organizations, but on May 7, the doors of the Posh Puppy pet store in Beverly Hills were shuttered and a 'For Lease' sign was placed in the window.

The brouhaha began back on December 22, 2007, when the Humane Society of the United States, The Best Friends for Animals and the Last Chance for Animals organizations, spearheaded by local actress, writer and animal activist Carole Raphaelle Davis, held a protest outside the Posh Puppy store at 9699 Wilshire Blvd., to make passersby aware that pet stores, including Posh Puppy are merely fronts for puppy mills, that keep their dogs caged in inhumane conditions and breed them until they die."We chose Posh Puppy for its location and visibility," Davis, who has been a spokesperson for Last Chance for Animals for 19 years, told BHCNP. "This is the place where people buy teacup puppies and we chose December 22, because it was the Saturday before Christmas, which is the biggest puppy-buying day of the year."That protest turned into a weekly sustained movement, where locals, activists and celebrities turned out to make people aware of the shocking treatment dogs undergo in puppy mill kennels. The protests were also designed to encourage people to adopt dogs from shelters. "At least 25% of dogs in shelters are purebred animals, and many of those---particularly the teacup dogs--- are those who were originally from puppy mills," said Davis.

The boon in teacup puppies that can go for up to $4,500 each, has inadvertently been bolstered by the likes of celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton and Britney Spears."I think that [these three girls] alone have done more harm to dogs than anyone else in recent history," Davis said. "These dogs are not fashion accessories, but millions of little girls want to emulate these celebrities."

While the protests went on weekly outside Posh Puppy, Davis along with other animal activist organizations was deeply entrenched in an undercover investigation seeking out the puppy mills that supply stores such as Posh Puppy. That investigation uncovered that one of Posh Puppy's suppliers was World Kennels USA in Littlerock, CA. Authorities raided the kennels on May 2 and removed 302 breeding dogs being kept in severe inhumane conditions.

One of those dogs was Millie ---a 10-year-old Maltese, who is now being fostered by Davis at her home. Millie was so- named by Davis because she was a puppy 'mill' dog. This is the first time Millie has ever been outside of a cage in her entire life. She is scrawny, emaciated, has a urinary tract infection and eye infections. She curls up on Davis's lap and is constantly craving human comfort."It's taken five days for her to trust me," says Davis. "When we rescued her she was shaking, trembling and terrified. Her vocal chords were cut in the kennels so she couldn't bark." Millie's story is not uncommon. She's just one of the hundreds of female dogs who have been kept for eight to ten years in a cage, and have been bred twice a year. "People should know, that the cute little puppies they buy in these pet stores have mothers who have been kept in horrific conditions for years," said Davis. "It costs only $67 to adopt a puppy from a shelter," she points out.

BHCNP's interview with Davis took place on the morning of May 7. During our interview, Davis received an email that revealed Posh Puppy's doors were closed and the For Lease sign was posted outside. Davis let out a squeal and shouted 'We did it!' before high-fiving this reporter.

Altercations between the protesters and Posh Puppy's store owners John and Michelle Yoon have been common over the last few months. The Yoon's have protested throughout they were running a legitimate business and purchasing their puppies from reputable sources only. However, as of May 7, Posh Puppy's doors in Beverly Hills have been closed, mail is piling up outside the door (including a vet bill from Brent Air Veterinarians) and the store's phone remains unanswered).

Posh Puppy has a second store in Tarzana. Calls to that store by BHCNP also remained unanswered.Davis says while many pet store owners, managers and employees are fully aware of the conditions of the dogs that breed the puppies they purchase, there are also plenty who have no idea of the cruelty and horror the dogs go through. "They don't visit the kennels, they don't ask questions and they trust the organizations that have beautiful Web sites showing dogs being well taken care of. Nothing could be further from the truth," she scoffs. "Which is why," she adds, "it's so important for us to educate the public and make sure they adopt dogs from shelters."

In the meantime, Davis's enthusiasm at the closure of Posh Puppy and the raid on World Kennels USA is a little guarded. "This is bittersweet for us," she said. "We're overjoyed at the newfound freedom of these [302 rescued dogs], but that's just one kennel and one store. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs suffering in terrible breeding facilities, and our hearts bleed for them."BHCNP is continuing its investigation into the puppy mill phenomenon with a series of articles. Please check back shortly for more in-depth reporting on this issue.


Rory Freedman says:Thank God for Carole Davis and all the other activists who took the time and energy to educate the public about puppy mills. That they managed to shut down such a heinous, cruel operation is a testament to the fact that educated consumers want nothing to do with such barbaric, inhumane practices.Real animal lovers know: Animals should never be purchased!

Ed Buck says:Carole just lit the fire in a field ready to burn. To those of us who have been volunteering in rescuses, we often dreamed that we could "do something" about puppy mill vendors. The formula for this store closing was one part activist action (that felt good), and two parts consciousness raising (that did more good).

Capri says:As one of the proud protesters, I am thrilled that this "little shop of horrors" is now closed. I think it is critical to make sure this info (article) is WIDELY cross posted, especially to our children and their friends. Children need the truth to educate the adults who are sometimes to busy to care about God's precious creatures. Spread the word: "Puppy millers love MONEY, not Dogs"! We will prevail for those who have no voices!

Capri says:P.s. Final comment. "Every dog (or cat) deserves a home and every home deserves a dog (or cat)"

carole Raphaelle Davis says:So many people were involved with this investigation and sustained campaign. All the folks from LCA, Best Friends Animal Society, HSUS, Animal Alliance and tons of volunteers. It must be noted that we never wanted to shut them down. We want these puppy mill fronts to go HUMANE. They can sell the accessories, just not animals from pet factories, including cats, birds etc.I am so grateful to each and every activist who stood with us against cruelty to animals. Dogs deserve better than to live out their lives in cages. Now, thanks to you, the public is becomming aware. To other puppy mill fronts in Los Angeles, I have something to say to you:Stop lying to the public about the provenance of these dogs. Stop playing semantics about "licensed breeders." The public is not as stupid as you would like. Go humane now or we are coming to you next. An average dog lover

Tina Clark says:Thank you BHCNP for running this story. It is SO important that everyone learns where those cute puppies come from. Thank you Carole and everyone who came out to the protests for making this happen. We are winning! We must keep educating the public, and shut down these horrible mills for good.

Eric Seidman says:I am so grateful there are people in this world who know how wonderful dogs are and how much they deserve everything we can do to make the world they live in as loving as we wish ours could be. Stop the holocaust against these helpless loving creatures!
Iris says:ALL puppy mills and unlicensed breeders need to be shut down!

Kevin Rooney says:Thank you for writing this article. Every word spoken on this issue helps extend awareness of the cruelty being committed against animals in the name of profit. Puppy mills, dog fighting, dog racing, horse racing, factory farming and slaughter houses are all a world away from most people. Perhaps, if they read this article at lunch, they will stop to consider how their main course came to be on their plate, and after lunch go not to a puppy store to buy the off-spring of a tortured breeding dog, but go instead to a rescue organization or shelter to save an innocent dog or cat's life.

Jane says:Well done Carole and everyone who protested this horrible store. I hope The Puppy Love store in the Beverly Center soon become a target. It has been there since the mall opened in 1982 and has been selling sick animals ever since.

Rachel Riskind says:Carole, I applaud you for your efforts and dedication to this cause. If all the people who "didn't know" joined forces with the well-informed, we could maybe turn the tides against those who refuse to listen, don't care, or are just looking for a "designer dog" for snob appeal. Lord knows Paris Hilton should NOT be an example of anything to anybody except perhaps those choosing to go into the adult film industry.

Adell Lantz says:I am jumping up and down with joy.All these stores should be stopped from selling these fur-babies.Its these kids that end up in shelters with only afew days to live,thrown away like garbage.There should be more articles like this but also to support all the local rescuers that pull these kids and keep them until a suitable home can be found(some-times for months)taking care of medical issues or just caring for them,giving all their heart,body and soul
Gerald says:Carole and everyone who supported your efforts, this is just one of many animal lovers who is forever thankful for your courage, conviction, compassion, and tenacity. And let us pray that your example creates an avalanch of similar action against this barbaric practice. To quote Margaret Meade: A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

Ellen Lavinthal says:As Carole points out, the victory is bittersweet as we know there are hundreds of thousands of dogsliving in puppy mills in deplorable conditions exacerbated by untreated medical conditions. There are enough status symbols out there, why can\'t we leave animals out of it?

Desiree says:It\'s wonderful to see that these efforts ARE making a difference. Sometimes this abuse seems so widespread that it seems hopeless, but it\'s NOT and you show that. THANK YOU!

Kris Kelly says:This was hard work but paid off.An old acting teacher of mine once told her to write in lipstick on our bathroom mirror "I am human therefore I am enough"I think that people try and validate themselves with designer accessories to feel "enough" and the designer puppies are just another one of these accessories.Remember people these puppies are living beings with feelings just like us. Even if you are not an animal lover you should RESPECT Gods creatures.
devildogranch says:Hooray for our side! As the saying goes, we've won the battle, but not the war. I'm optimistic that the tide is turning - with celebs like Oprah catching on... we need to build on this momentum. THANK YOU, Carole! You are truly an inspiration.

PeggySue says:HEY JInky... was that closing a wedding present??? If so, what a way to go! I was there and witnessed yournuptials. Hope you and Finley are doing great. Hope everyone celebrates with closing that other Posh Puppy store. Maybe you could come over here to Las Vegas and help us close Millionaire Mutts.Your fanPeggySue in Las Vegas.
DianeC says:Educate the public about the puppy mill and pet store connection and close down pet stores that sell puppies! One down many more to go. :( Great Job!!! Anyone in the Inland Empire interested in getting together to protest the many pet stores out here, please let me know maybe our voices will be as strong as those that closed down POSH PUPPY!!With great respect,Diane C Victorville,

Alexandra Connolly says:Congratulations on your successful campaign! You are speaking to a public who are not aware of such cruelty and may have less heart ache if they turn a blind eye and buy a "perfect dog". You are certainly making me convince others to adopt, lets hope that we can all save a few more lives.Keep up the good work!

diana lannes says:Great news! So glad to have played a small part in this, and ready to do more! Great work, LCA, Carole, Oprah, everyone!

Helen says:Great news... but within the last month, at least two new pet stores trumpeting sales of puppies have opened up within a mile or so of my house. (And I'm sure there are more than just these two...)As the immigrant population increases rapidly, as far as I can see, they are celebrating their entry to the middle class by buying lots of new vehicles - the bigger, the better; and puppies - the smaller, the better. Spay/neuter are not in their vocabulary.Happy to send the store addresses to anyone interested.

Marjorie Loeb says:Carole, the puppies are so blessed to have you on their side. Thank you for bringing us all together every Saturday to get the job done and thank you for remembering there are kitten mills too - rescue, rescue, rescue, I think the public is beginning to get it!
Miles says:It's a good thing we have a platform like BHCNP to get these issues out in the air - where other news carriers are concerned enough to let us know what's going on! Good work, and keep it coming!

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