April 24, 2018

Court Orders Injunction Against Pet Store Chain, Barkworks


The California Superior Court of Los Angeles County, reacting to what began as an investigation prompted by Best Friends Animal Society (www.bestfriends.org) and other animal welfare groups, has entered a permanent injunction against Barkworks, a Los Angeles-area pet store chain dogged with accusations that it acquires its animals from “puppy mills” and conceals that fact from consumers.

The court order stems from settlement of a lawsuit against Barkworks brought by several parties in September 2011, which alleged that consumers bought puppies from Barkworks after assurances that the puppies came from “reputable breeders” and were “not ill.”

However, the lawsuit claimed that the puppies became extremely ill and exhibited health problems commonly associated with dogs from puppy mills.

Best Friends Animal Society and other organizations have for years been actively campaigning against puppy mills, mass commercial breeding operations that sometimes house hundreds of dogs and puppies in extremely confined conditions.

As part of the settlement, Barkworks agreed to compensate the parties for their veterinary bills and disclose more information about the source of its puppies to future customers. Specifically, the settlement requires Barkworks to disclose that its puppies may become sick with diseases like parvovirus and heart disease and that it does not inspect the breeding facilities where the puppies originate. Barkworks must also disclose the breeder’s name, contact information, and USDA certificate number to facilitate research into a puppy’s background.

“This is a great day for countless dogs suffering in puppy mills because the injunction strikes at the core of what we have been campaigning against for the last two years,” said Elizabeth Oreck, national manager of puppy mill initiatives for Best Friends. “That the court has ordered Barkworks to reveal more information about the dogs it sells will make for more awareness among would-be pet owners and encourage them to adopt an animal from their local shelter.”