Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Cause to Celebrate: L.A. Barkworks Closes

Something has me stumped. A major event occurred recently in Los Angeles, California. One with significance for all who care about the welfare of pets. And yet…the L.A. media didn’t run the story – or anyone else. It sits quietly, like a well-guarded secret. Let’s blow the lid off this thing, and then rip open the treat bags and celebrate… Barkworks in L.A. has closed following pressure from protesters! Barkworks has been documented as one of the many pet shops that sells dogs from puppy mills.
Photo courtesy of CAPS
After extensive investigations and campaigning by Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), landmark protesting by its volunteers and an outcry from a public that does not want to see the sale of puppies from inhumane backgrounds – Barkworks’ flagship store in L.A.’s Westside Pavilion is closing. That’s music to our ears! One by one, we need these pet stores to close down or choose to go humane.

CAPS has filed a class action lawsuit charging Barkworks with selling sick dogs and defrauding customers. The closing will not impact the continuation of this lawsuit. Barkworks is a pet store that has knowingly supported the cruelty and greed of multiple puppy mills by purchasing its puppies from them. Most of their puppies have originated from mills in the Midwest. Typical of pet stores selling puppy mill dogs, Barkworks has led their customers to believe that the puppies have come from reputable breeders. There are still five other stores currently operating.

It was big news when L.A. recently passed a ban on the sale of puppy mill dogs and cats. Currently the largest city to have done so, it set the standard and paved the way for other cities to follow. CAPS had a hand in that, too. Undercover investigations performed by the organization were part of its report on pet stores and puppy mills presented to the city council.

Most of us know that cute little puppies sold in these pet stores are the product of great suffering in the miserable lives of the parent dogs bred incessantly to produce them. There are still too many people, though, who aren't aware of either the horrendous treatment of these innocent dogs, or the extent of the greed and inhumanity involved. Even setting aside the issues of humane treatment of animals, there is still the disturbing practice by these stores of deceit and fraudulent claims regarding the breeding and upbringing of the puppies, and the true state of their health.

Should you cross paths with someone who doesn't believe pet store puppies come from despicable puppy mills, urge them to visit CAPS’ website. There you can find the results of the many investigations the organization has meticulously gathered, and information about the various mills in our country that could curl your hair. Just reading about and viewing the videos showing some of the findings about two of the purported “breeders” that supplied puppies for Barkworks, Barb Crick and Amos Slabaugh, made me cry. No one in their right mind wants to condone this inhumane treatment of dogs or support the profits of these businesses.

As for the landmark protesting – CAPS volunteers protested inside the mall – something that had previously been considered illegal, until the organization realized that California’s law protected the right to protest more than federal laws do. Threats were even made by the mall that security guards would arrest protesters. Speaking up for those without a voice can mean running up against many who’d rather you just quietly went home.

Kudos to Companion Animal Protection Society for doing right by our canine friends. Applause for all the protesters who took time to attend demonstrations and speak up for the dogs. And a big, heartfelt Thank You to all involved, for what you do and for making a difference. You are our heroes!
For details about CAPS and Barkworks, click here

Now…on to the next pet store…


  1. Thats great news. Way to go CAPS! And like you say, who's next :)

    1. You bet, Leo - and we hope for the"next"ones to include those in Europe as well!

  2. Awesome news Kim! You're right! I didn't hear about this anywhere!

    It is so encouraging to hear they successfully shut down the LA store. Let's hope the others are next. If I know CAPS, they will keep moving forward and exposing these stores and the puppy mills that sell to them. CAPS shut down Kathy Jo Bauck here. SHe had one of the largest puppy mills in the state. Her husband used to perform his own veterinary care on their dogs even though he had no medical training at all. Thank God for CAPS. They brought them down,

    1. You know firsthand, Mel, between following the Bauck story and sharing your home with former mill dogs. Thrilled to share this news with you. And you're right, if anyone can bring on these changes it's CAPS!

  3. Good news. Very good news. May it continue.

    1. Wendy, we've missed you! Must get over to visit your site it's been too long - my apologies.
      Yes, it's great news, you can spread it"down under" for us!

  4. Woot Woot! Well isn't THAT great news! Yaaaaaaaay :0)

  5. That's awesome! Hope you have a Happy New Year!


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