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Protesters Plan to Picket 'I Heart Puppies' Store in Corona del Mar

A rally is scheduled for Sunday.

Following weeks of public scrutiny and with a court hearing looming, I Heart Puppies in Corona del Mar now faces the prospect of picketers in front of its store Sunday.

The boycott/adoption rally is being organized by the Animal Protection & Rescue League. More than 100 people have confirmed they will attend the protest, according to Brenda Calvillo, the event's organizer.

"The goal of the rally is to stop the store from selling dogs from puppy mills, convert to a more humane model, educate the public about issues surrounding puppy mills and to promote adoption from shelters and rescues," Calvillo explained. 

I Heart Puppies garnered attention last month, when the Companion Animal Protection Society, a nonprofit group, launched an investigation into the store July 5 following complaints from residents and assertions the store gets its puppies from Midwest puppy mills.

Store owner Brooke Bradford did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment for this story but has stated that she does not support illegal kennels or those with a history of problems with USDA requirements. 

The CAPS investigation led to the temporary closure of I Heart Puppies while the store complied with safety regulations and considered demands from CAPS—which cited a USDA inspection report that says one puppy came from a Nebraska puppy mill where the breeder shot a golden retriever in the head—to put its animals up for adoption or risk being the target of a protest.

A request for a restraining order was also filed last month by Bradford against Carole Davis, the West Coast director of CAPS, according to court records.

Davis said she had contact with Bradford on only two occasions and said her actions were not done in a harassing manner. Davis would not say if she was going to attend the protest but did say CAPS supports it.

"We are assisting [APRL] in what we do by furnishing the local organization with investigative materials that they need to bolster their case against the store," Davis said. 

Calvillo is asking protesters to bring video cameras, cell phones and cameras to document the day's activities.

"Orange County residents should attend because this store's business practices are unethical," Calvillo said. "Selling dogs from puppy mills adversely affects unsuspecting consumers who aren't aware of the dogs' origins."      

m. miller August 01, 2011 at 10:38 PM
awesome!! It's only going to get worse from here Bradford...great idea to open a pet store that sells overpriced puppies from puppy mills in 2011.
Davis Carrington August 01, 2011 at 10:52 PM
What a great article! More people in Orange County should become aware of what they are supporting when they purchase puppies from a traditional 'pet store'. Most of the suppliers that generate puppies to feed the pet store industry are subhuman.
Carole Sax August 01, 2011 at 11:00 PM
I'm really looking forward to Sunday, educating and informing Orange County about puppy mills and the right choice to adopt and save a life. Sunday there was a story on ABC 7 news about the O.C. shelter, shitzus, poodles, tons of purebred and poodle mixes available for adoption. There is NO EXCUSE to buy a puppy ever, and remember no responsible hobby breeder would ever sell to a pet store. This store gets their supply from puppy mills, breeders with over 100 dogs, that is a commercial breeding facility. Just know the puppy you buy will have many medical issues down the line, and unfortunately these mass produced dogs end up at the pound. Be politically correct O.C. and boycott this store until they go humane and that means rescue only. It works!
Norma Sandler August 01, 2011 at 11:10 PM
It isn't at all that Bradford and her two cronies don't get it. With all the info. they have been given, they surely understand about puppy mills, tortured and murdered animals and the connection to her store. So what is it then? The only thing I can come up with is THEY JUST DON'T CARE. They are probably reincarnations of concentration camp officers who tortured and killed all day and then had a lovely dinner with their families and played with their kids. NO CONCIENCE! The knowledge of where these puppies come from makes them as guilty as the puppy mill owners. It has to stop NOW. They can go humane. They will get a lot of help to do so if they want it. Most people know where pet store puppies come from and the risk in buying one. The thousands spent on vet bills, the heartache and suffering and possible death of the puppy and for what? There are so many dogs and puppies literally dying for your love and about 30% are pure bred. Have a heart and don't by ANYTHING from this store.
Norma Sandler August 01, 2011 at 11:11 PM
Carole does not harrass. She educates.
Paige Chandler August 01, 2011 at 11:12 PM
Thank you for educating us on the business of puppy mills and the shops that support them. I have always found an informed consumer will make the right choices. I appreciated the Corona Del Mar Patch reporting on such an important issue. We must support a kinder and gentler world!
sylvie August 01, 2011 at 11:38 PM
Great ! I'll be there with my husband and 2 friends. It is lying to the public when they don't mention that the dogs are from mills. The public needs to know so they don't get dupped. Sylvie
Mary LaHay August 02, 2011 at 02:24 AM
Sure wish I could be there to support the protest but it's a little too far. I'm in Iowa. But there are many of us here who are watching this story closely and our hearts will be there with the protesters on Sunday. Our state has the sad reputation of having the second largest number of USDA-licensed dog breeding facilities with more than 300. Most of them are just awful. Visit our website, www.iowavca.org, to see photos and read reports. Good luck on Sunday!! Mary
doggysweatet August 02, 2011 at 04:18 AM
Adopt do not buy. If you have to ask why you do not know 500,000 die, every year in cali alone! Thats why.
Bella August 02, 2011 at 07:00 AM
I have put out the word to my network to protest the sale of puppy mill dogs at I $$$ Puppies.
DPOC DOG CLUB August 02, 2011 at 11:51 PM
Hope there is a good turn out. Have not had the misfortune of going to this store, but I have heard all about it. If CAPS is investigating I would seriously recommend to the store owner to consider what they are saying, and Stop Your Practices! Irvine will be voting soon, and once they pass their legislation to ban the sale of companion animals it's only a matter of time until neighboring Newport Beach will pass similar legislation, so "I Heart Puppies" might as well change now, or in the future they will not have a store to keep open anyway!
Nisha Gutierrez-Jaime (Editor) August 03, 2011 at 10:01 PM
Thank you for your comments, just wanted to let you know the protest is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.
jennifer August 05, 2011 at 07:07 PM
Unbelievable that in 2011 people still don't get it. I'll be there in support and to bring awareness to this crucial and heartbreaking issue. “The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything” ~ Albert Einstein
Kelly Sawyer "Animal Defender" August 06, 2011 at 11:06 PM
I am truly saddened that as a city of humane, award winning preservation of life, and outstanding ethical business reputation, that this is taking place in our city. We ar known as community leaders. This store and owner Brooke Bradford is being fraudulent and negligent at a time where Shelter kills have sky rocketed and are at an all time high, thanks to the massive influx and endless supply of these mostly midwest canine factories. We should be upholding our reputation of "preservation of life" and supporting our neighbor Los Angeles in saving lives and supplying pet stores with shelter animals that will help relieve burdens of the tax payers. As a citizen, educate yourself on this issue, and request an ordinance from city officials that duly represents us as the humane city and citizens that we are. California Governor just passed a bill for this exact reason for sale of animals in public streets and venues for the entire state of California. The purpose, to protect the health and welfare of citizens, and to assist in eliminating the horrific breeding conditions from which these animals suffer. California Governor is on board, Los Angeles in on board, many states across the nation are drafting legislation to end the practice of puppymills in their state, let us not parade this cruelty in the very beautiful shops of our city for all visiting patrons to see and view us as selfish and inhumane.
Norma Sandler August 07, 2011 at 06:13 AM
This is from thehonestkitchen.com, makers of pet food and other supplies: please note, we do not sell to stores that sell puppies and kittens, or are in any way connected with ‘mass breeding’ or puppy mills or other large scale facilities that produce or market animals to be sold via retail stores or web sites. These operations do not meet the Honest Kitchen’s requirements for representing or selling our products.
Loretka August 08, 2011 at 01:58 AM
I am in New Jersey, and Norma emailed me your Patch article. I hope your protest was successful in bringing awareness to the public. Little by little the puppy mills will be put out of business if dedicated people like you continue your untiring work. Bless you, and good luck.

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