Saturday, February 25, 2012

Corona del Mar Pet Store Closes Under Pressure From Animal Rights Activists

CdM I Heart Puppies Store To Close

by Amy Senk, reposted from Corona del Mar Today
Read online here: 
posted: February 24th, 2012 12:33 pm |11Comments
UPDATED with comment from store owner and from an animal rights activist who had investigated the store.
Eight months after its opening drew thousands of protesters to Corona del Mar, I Heart Puppies is closing its retail shop at 2801 East Coast Highway, according to a sign in the shop’s window.
“I Heart Puppies would like to thank the community of CdM for their kindness, generosity, and support. Sadly, we are closing our store front,” the sign states. “I Heart Puppies will continue to provide the same quality puppies for sale on our website, where we will be able to offer a larger variety of breeds. We take pride in offering puppies from our reputable breeders; we personally visit our breeders and their kennels and continue to monitor them to maintain the highest level off quality. We look forward to providing you with professional, quality one one one service in selecting your future puppy.”
The store opened on July 1 at 2801 East Coast Highway, selling $1,500 puppies, food and accessories; read our story here. But the shop soon drew scrutiny from animal rights activists, who said the owners bought their dogs from inhumane Midwestern puppy mills, and protesters began picketing the shop in August; read our story here. Protesters also attended several City Council meetings, asking that Newport Beach consider a ban on puppy sales, but Council did not respond to those requests.
The store’s owners, Brooke Bradford, Suzanne Bradford and Summer Gorjian, defended their puppies and said they visited the kennels and breeders personally and did not buy from puppy mills — although animal rights activists challenge their claim.
In an email today, Carole Raphaelle Davis, West Coast director of the Companion Animal Protection Society, said the store’s closure was not the “victory we hoped for.”
“We wanted IHP to thrive as a ‘rescue only’ store like so many other pet shops we have converted to the humane business model,” she said. “We investigated and exposed evidence of the horrific puppy mills they were buying from and then we staged the largest animal rights protests in NB history. No store selling factory-bred pets has ever been able to withstand our formula of investigations and protracted protests by local activists…They could have made money AND saved lives of OC homeless pets desperately in need of homes.”
She added that many protesters continue to hope that the Newport Beach City Council would ban the sale of puppy mill animals.
“The public loves dogs and hates puppy mills and it is time for an ordinance in Newport Beach,” she said.
Protests and pressure from animal rights groups were not the reason for closing the shop, but rather high overhead and economic factors, owner Suzanne Bradford said today in an email.
“We are closing our store front and just doing Internet sales, with our same quality puppies,” she said. “We are planning a breeder tour to visit our breeders and look for some larger breed breeders. We are revamping our website ( will have videos of available puppies, parents, the breeder and their kennels.”
All puppies have been sold, she added.
A sign in the shop’s window says the final days will be Saturday and Sunday, when all merchandise will be 75 percent off. The shop was closed earlier today, and no puppies were in the cages in the window. The shop also has a Craigslist listing that says beds, toys, harnesses shampoo and other items will be discounted because the shop is closing.

11 Responses to “CdM I Heart Puppies Store To Close”

February 24th, 2012
easy come easy go I guess well thanks for bringing in the very first protest I've ever seen in 30 years good luck to you all (both sides of the coin)
February 24th, 2012
I am happy to see the drama will end this weekend. I hope the leasing agent will not make another unscrupulous choice in selecting a new tenant. I think consideration of a LIQUOR STORE there at the crosswalk to the ELEMENTARY SCHOOL will not be on the table this time, but one cannot be certain.
carole s
February 24th, 2012
This is the best news I got in a long time!! One less puppy mill front to support cruelty. Great job everyone, educating and informing people about the evil pet trade business. Support your local shelter and adopt/rescue, SAVE A LIFE!!
Dina K
February 24th, 2012
Too bad IHP is going to "continue to provide the same quality puppies for sale on our website." Puppy mill puppies aren't the quality most consumers would want. "Kennel" is just another fancy term for puppy mill and IHPs is counting that trusting consumers won't. Informed, progressive people know to adopt from a shelter or rescue, NOT purchase an animal from a "reputable breeder." If dogs are bred while others die in shelters, what's reputable about that? Seems more despicable to me. Shame on you - Brooke Bradford, Suzanne Bradford, and Summer Gorjian for your greed at the expense of animals and ignorant consumers.
Barbara Davilman
February 24th, 2012
If anyone ever needed any more proof that these women are just in this for the money then the decision for them to close their store and 'start selling dogs over the internet' is the proof anyone needs that they're greedy, inhumane assholes. Online dogs can go right to dog fighting rings or used as bait. No reputable breeder sells online without interviewing the home and doing a homecheck to make sure their puppy is going into a 'good, safe, loving' home. I'm so disgusted by these's hoping karma's a bitch.
February 24th, 2012
Bittersweet. I agree wholeheartedly with Ms. Davis' comments within this article. These women had an opportunity to convert this business to something that truly put animals first. Instead, they proved what so many of us saw from the start: a revenue-generating venture to be established through the forced procreation and sale of puppies slapped with thousand-dollar price tags. Now they'll continue their disgusting activity amidst the shadows of the Internet...unconcerned from where puppies come, with the places they end up, or the thousands upon thousands that die simply for having no home. The world would be a better place with fewer callous, soulless people as these three. Congratulations to CDM and all those who opposed IHP. Where there are animals, there will always be compassionate, caring humans fighting as their voice of reason and understanding.


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kacie lane said...

While it may seem beneficial for I Heart Puppies in Corona del Mar, California to close their storefront and continue selling dogs online, those who know about puppy mills will refuse to purchase online, as well. Advocates that constantly protested and assisted in shutting down this pet store in the first place will only continue to make selling puppies more difficult for storeowners, Brooke Bradford, Suzanne Bradford, and Summer Gorjian, especially if they believe that they are selling dogs obtained from mills. A simple research online can provide anyone with the fact that almost all dogs purchased in pet stores, online, and from ads in newspapers are obtained from puppy mills, as well as the horrific situations they are forced to struggle through day to day. Although the store owners are planning on posting videos of the puppies and their parents, as well as the breeding areas they came from, on their website you really cannot trust that, as these dogs can still come from the undesired puppy mills. In order to know just where your puppy is from, it is best to either find a reputable breeder, or visit the breeding location for yourself, or, even better, adopt from a shelter or rescue. The only way that puppy mills will diminish is if everyone discontinues purchasing the dogs that come from the places that sell them. These unhealthy and inhumane facilities are not ideal for dogs to live in, let alone for new pet owners to obtain their pets from.