“Something was wrong”
“Rescue dogs are hardly ever purebred puppies,” said former state lawmaker Nancy Young Wright, now president of Rescue Me Tucson, a nonprofit that works to create a pet adoption center for use by local rescue groups.
Tucsonan Randy Willoughby, who volunteers for Harley’s Dream, a national group working to end puppy mills, said she noticed “something was wrong” as soon as she entered the new factory outlet.
Instead of rescues, she said, the cages apparently contained purebreds with high âadoptionâ fees: $ 2,500 for a pug; $ 3,500 for an English Bulldog; $ 2,800 for a Welsh Corgi and $ 2,000 for a Chihuahua.
The puppies’ origins – the names and federal registration numbers of the breeders they came from – were not disclosed on any of the cages, as required by state law, she said.
Above it, big-screen TVs were showing ads in English and Spanish offering funding for those who couldn’t afford adoption fees up front.
âThey seemed to be targeting people who really couldn’t afford these dogs,â Willoughby said. âIt just seemed very misleading. “
She took pictures and filed a complaint a few days later with the animal control service in the town of Marana. A friend who was with her at the store did the same, she said.