Humane Society finds stores violating dog sales - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Humane Society finds stores violating dog sales

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An investigation by the Humane Society of the United States alleges several pet stores in Palm Beach County are violating laws regulating the sale of dogs in our area.

But some pet shop owners say that’s false and they’re doing nothing wrong. 

An undercover video from the Humane Society of the United States claims to show one of its investigators in January asking a Waggs to Riches employee in Delray Beach whether the store sells dogs. The reason is, last year the city passed an ordinance banning the sale of dogs in pet stores. 

Q: Do you sell a lot of dogs here?
A: No, they’re primarily from my Boca store. These guys are here for their boarding and grooming because we don’t have enough space in Boca yet.
Q: …Someone asks a question about the Boca store that’s hard to hear in the video….
Q: But you will sell them. They are for sale here? 
A: Yes
 
Kim Curler is the owner of both Waggs to Riches in Delray, a store that’s been open for almost 11 years, and another store in Boca Raton.
 
“Do you sell puppies at the store in Delray?” WPTV asked Curler. “No, we do not,” she replied. “I opened a store in Boca Raton, where i can legally sell puppies.”
 
Curler told me in the video, her employee got confused by the questions she was asked and mispoke.

"I think the last statement was so vague that the interpretation was exactly that, that yes, indeed we do sell dogs in Boca," explained Curler. "I don't believe she thought they meant here in Delray Beach because she already answered that question in the beginning of that secret interview."

 “I believe, she believed that they were meaning we sell dogs, which we do, in Boca,” explained Curler, who also added, “My first reaction was why did they have to interview someone without them knowing?”

 Waggs to Riches in Delray Beach is one of at least four in the county that the Humane Society of the United States claims violated local laws. The organization also claims the owner of Heavenly Puppies in Boca Raton purchased from a breeder who had been cited for a direct violation for a dog with an injured eye, that Waggs to Riches in Boca Raton purchased dogs from a breeder with three indirect violations. That’s the same allegation the group made against Wet Kisses in Lake Worth, but the owner of that shop said she’s following the law.
 
“Our people are looking into that right now and if there is an issue, it will be addressed,” said Dave Walesky, the operations manager at Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control.
 
Walesky says since the USDA deactivated a website last month with breeders’ inspection reports, investigating those allegations are harder. 
 
“Without having that website available to us our hands are tied in that regard to make sure they came from good places,” explained Walesky.
 
That’s why the county enforced an ordinance last year cracking down on pet stores that buy from puppy mill breeders. But with the federal government’s records removed from its site, the ordinance must now be re-written.

The owner of Heavenly Puppies in Boca Raton did not return our call. 

Click here to see Humane Society of the United States findings.

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