NewsLocal News


Fake animal rescue group sued for alleged "puppy laundering scheme"

Posted at 11:54 PM, Mar 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 02:54:20-05

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (KGTV) - An animal rights group is suing an organization purporting to be an animal rescue for allegedly violating a new California law.

ALDF claims that Bark Adoptions, registered to an address in Menifee, Calif. has been supplying dogs to pet stores in “an unlawful scheme to sell and launder puppy mill puppies .”

They claim it violates AB 485, a California law that was enacted on January 1 of 2019, sometimes referred to as the “Puppy Mill Ban.”

The law prohibits pet stores from selling animals from breeders, instead, only allowing stores to sell dogs from shelters or rescue groups.

The law specifically states that a “rescue group” must have tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) organization by the IRS. Furthermore, it must be in a “cooperative agreement with at least one private or public shelter.”

In February, 10News reported that Bark Adoptions had been supplying dogs to stores in San Diego County and Riverside County. Undercover video from the animal rights group, Companion Animal Protection Society, showed young, apparently purebred and designer puppies being sold for thousands of dollars.

10News obtained interstate certificates of veterinary inspection that showed Bark Adoptions was getting the 8-10 week old puppies shipped from another purported rescue in Iowa, called Rescue Pets Iowa.

The investigation by ALDF followed the same trail and alleged the defendants conveyed “those puppies to pet stores for profit.”

“This is what we’re alleging in our lawsuit, that it amounts to nothing short of a puppy laundering operation that we’re gonna try to stop with a court order,” said Christopher Berry, a staff attorney with ALDF.

10News reached out to Lara Abuzeid, an attorney for Bark Adoptions, but did not receive any comment on the lawsuit.