Paris Hilton and Her Chihuahua, TinkerbellLooks like the exclusive Hollywood pet store, Pets of Bel Air, that’s frequented by the like of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, Denise Richards, Demi Moore and Robin Williams gets is dogs and puppies from the very same places that pretty much all pet stores get their dogs and puppies, puppy mills.

Charging thousands of dollars for dogs and puppies that they pay a few hundred for, Pets of Bel Air touts them as coming from exclusive breeders when the reality is far different.

An investigation by the HSUS has shown that “many of the puppies sold at Pets of Bel Air come from puppy mills in the Midwest—factory-like operations where the dogs are kept in barren cages and treated like production machines.”

That’s right, those houses of horror can now boast their ‘products’ in some of the swankiest homes in Hollywood, toted on arms and peeking out of doggie purses and carriers.

There are records showing that at least 28 of these puppy mills, yes, they can call themselves ‘private breeders’ but ‘private breeders’ housing 100-300 dogs caged mostly for life, have supplied dogs and puppies to Pets of Bel Air.

“Even the trendiest, most upscale pet stores may sell puppies from puppy mills,” Pacelle said. “No consumer is immune to the lies and deceit. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you shop. This investigation shows that a high-price and prestigious address are no assurance of a dog from a reputable breeder.”

State and federal inspection reports examined by HSUS investigators reveal that some of Pets of Bel Air breeder/dealers have been cited for their failure to comply with animal-welfare regulations, including inaccurate or non-existent recordkeeping; inadequate shelter from the elements; rusted, filthy and overcrowded cages; leaky roofs; feces-encrusted runs; filthy food bowls and, at one Missouri puppy mill, a leaking waste disposal system that “allows the waste to flow out onto the ground and on other animals.”

Two of the breeders did not have a USDA license, which is required for commercial breeding operations that sell puppies to pet stores.

The HSUS investigation, which took place earlier this year inside Pets of Bel Air and at several of the Midwestern puppy mills that supplied the store, reveals that Pets of Bel Air employees are encouraged by management to be dishonest with patrons about some of the animals’ origins and medical conditions.

Employees deny, for example, that any dogs come from puppy mills, and when puppies in the store are sick, Pets of Bel Air employees are encouraged to downplay the seriousness of their illness. (HSUS)

The puppies are often sick, but employess and management at Pets of Bel Air never admit it.

“Never say this dog is sick, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,” instructed one Pets of Bel Air employee in the undercover video.

HSUS and PETA have both bashed celebs for this latest trend in buying these tiny puppies and parading them around as accessories as setting a bad example and now we find that they are setting an even worse example by supporting puppy mills.

People see ‘pet store puppies’ as having more ‘value’ due to their high price tag that celebs willing shell out for them when in reality puppy mill puppies often have a plethora of problems from skin problems to genetic defects due their their poor breeding.

Celebs in the limelight need to help lead the fight against puppy mils! They need to adopt from shelters and rescues and start setting a good, responsible example.

Officials investigating Pets f Bel AirAnd the latest is that Pets of Bel Air has been closed down, at least temporarily, due to an expired license. On Tuesday afternoon, humane officers closed down the Pet Shop of Bel Air. Officers photographed everything.

Sadly, even official know that this won’t last long.

“That’s the real tragedy here, [that this] is largely symbolic,” said Ed Boks, the general manager of L.A. Animal Services. “All they have to do is pay their permit fees and they can open for business again.”

Store owner Tom Demick said Tuesday night in a phone interview that he had not bought puppies from a puppy mill — “not to our knowledge. I’ve worked with pet stores in the past. I’ve seen the worst. I set this store up to do the best. We pride ourselves on our animal husbandry. We’re all very compassionate about how we do it.”

Demick, who said his store had been open since 1999, took issue with the Humane Society’s videotape of employees downplaying dogs’ illnesses. “That was so twisted,” said Demick of the video. “They cut that segment short.”

He said it was an “oversight” that he had not paid for a permit. “I told the [animals services] officers I had no idea I was three years behind on this,” said Demick, who added he would take care of it immediately. (LA Times)

Humane Society wants everyone to know that this situation is by no means unique to Pets of Bel Air. They say most, if not all, or pet stores receive most of their supply of puppies from puppy mills. They just don’t want to admit it.

If you want to find out more about puppy mills, read The Horrors of Puppy Mills

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