For two hours on Saturday, April 16, members of the San Diego Animal Defense Team protested outside the California Pets store, located in the North County Fair mall.
Jan Hatch, speaking for the San Diego Animal Defense Team, said that the activists want California Pets owner Joe Shamore "to stop selling puppies and go humane."
The activists handed out flyers to shoppers that alleged California Pets has received puppy shipments from puppy brokers such as the Hunte Corporation (Goodman, MO), Lambriar Inc. (Mahaska, KS), and Tracy’s K&J Pets (Fair Grove, MO). These brokers, which purchase puppies from kennels and mills for resale to pet stores, have all received citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, according to the flyer.
The flyer also highlighted legal violations by the Hunte Corporation, such as having "trenches of dead canines on the premises," for which the company was cited in 2003 by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Shamore says that California Pets has a "passion for stopping inhumane mills from existing." A sign above the puppy display declared that they are not from puppy mills. A small sign in the shop defined a puppy mill as a "breeding operation that produces a large number of puppies and overlooks humane treatment of breeding dogs." The sign suggested that some "private, backyard and show breeders" might fall under the definition of "puppy mill."
Hatch said that having no legal definition of "puppy mill" is problematic and contended that government-regulated USDA-licensed breeders "are puppy mills."
Shamore lamented that the Animal Defense Team refuses to work with him on a campaign to stop the "backyard breeders" that cause overpopulation in shelters. Hatch explained that her group deals with puppy mills and pet stores.