Humane Society probes celebrity pet store

Dec. 12, 2007 at 5:15 PM

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles pet store whose customers include Hollywood celebrities has been selling animals from puppy mills, the Humane Society says.

Wayne Pacelle, the organization's president and executive director, said the Humane Society obtained its information through an undercover investigation of Pets of Bel Air, The Los Angeles Times reported. Pacelle made the charge at a news conference Tuesday at West Los Angeles Animal Care Center with Ed Boks, general manager of Animal Care Services, which runs Los Angeles animal shelters.

"Our employees were on the inside of Pets of Bel Air," Pacelle said. "Our undercover investigators found staffers were knowingly misrepresenting how the dogs were obtained."

A few hours later, the store, whose customers include Britney Spears and Denise Richards, was closed for failing to have a permit and not having veterinary records available for inspection. Boks called the closing "symbolic," saying the store could get a permit and reopen.

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