Newport Beach, CA – After five years of educating the public about puppy mill dogs like those sold at Russo’s Pets, the store closed its doors June 30. Right up until the end, its Facebook page promoted its puppies with photos of happy kids with their new pets even as others were posting on that same page that they were alarmed at the number of sick dogs they saw in the store.
Now, thanks in part to Best Friends volunteer Brenda Cavillo and her team, the store lost its lease at the tony Fashion Island shopping destination. The Newport Beach City Council had declined to discuss an ordinance banning puppy mill dogs. Russo’s has another store in Laguna Niguel which features only pet supplies. It is unknown whether the retailer will attempt to open at another location where puppy mill dogs are still permitted.
Cavillo also was part of a team that succeeded in shutting down Barkworks in Mission Viejo after a four-year education effort with the public. Barkworks still has a store in Brea that features puppy mill dogs. A team of Best Friends volunteers has worked that the mall on weekends for nearly five years to educate consumers there about puppy mills.
“We have to work city by city (on this issue) in order to get state support (for such bans),” Cavillo said.
Article Photo courtesy of Brenda Cavillo
Main Photo: Yelp