CA Vets Believe 'Puppy Mill' Dogs Being Passed Off as Rescues

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Californians may be buying animals from puppy mills, thinking they're giving a rescue dog a home.  

Despite a new California law that only allows pet stores to sell animals that come from public shelters or non-profit rescue groups, the animal advocacy organization Bailing Out Benji says puppy mills are registering as sham rescue groups and shipping their animals off to pet stores just like they did before the law.  

Executive director Mindi Callison tells KNX it's a case of "buyer beware."

Veterinarians say high-price pet store puppies are showing up in their offices across the state, with diseases long associated with commercial breeders.  

“There was one, 8 or 9 weeks old, malnourished, no vaccinations, distemper,” Joe Simmons, an emergency veterinarian in Huntington Beach told the OC Register. “Any pup drinking its mom’s milk would get protection from mom. There’s a good chance, in these cases, the mothers aren’t vaccinated either.”

The puppy mill ban went into effect on Jan. 1.