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Barkworks Vacates Westside Pavilion Location; Sales of Puppy Mill Dogs Come to Abrupt End

New ordinance hastens closure

After four years of peacefully educating the public about the evils of puppy mills and the fact that they are in business to supply pet stores, Best Friends Animal Society today learned from Westside Pavilion management that Barkworks, a pet store supplied by the mass commercial breeding operations, will close its doors Dec. 31.

Closure of the Barkworks store was most likely hastened by the new LA City ordinance that bans the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits within the city, but allows for pet stores to offer animals for adoption from shelters or rescue groups.

"The closure of this location of Barkworks is an incredibly gratifying way to the end the year, not just because of what it means to the animals, but also because of what it means for our amazing, passionate and tireless volunteers," said Elizabeth Oreck, national manager of puppy mill initiatives for Best Friends Animal Society. "Our volunteers, who have committed so much time and energy to informing the public about Barkworks and its connection to puppy mills, helped make this happen."

"These folks have invested literally hundreds and hundreds of hours to raise awareness, not just about Barkworks' practices but about puppy mill issues in general and the fact that pet stores are keeping this cruel industry alive."

Elizabeth Oreck is available for an interview this weekend and into next week on this development with Barkworks. To set up an interview please use media contacts at the top of this release.

Last year, Best Friends successfully sued the Macerich Company, owners of the mall, in California appellate court over the right to educate mall customers about Barkworks' ties to puppy mills. Additionally, Best Friends provided evidence for a complaint filed against Barkworks in California on behalf of the store's customers.

"Although we wish that Barkworks had considered converting to an adoption center for rescued pets, we are extremely pleased that there will be one fewer retail outlet for puppies bred in cruel and inhumane mills throughout the country," Oreck said.

Best Friends Animal Society, organizer of the NKLA (No Kill Los Angeles) coalition to stop the killing of adoptable animals in LA city shelters, encourages adoption from city shelters or rescue groups and rejects the notion of supporting the puppy mill industry by buying from a pet store or online retailer.

As part of a key organizational initiative, the Society has for many years advocated for changes in the law to combat puppy mills on local, state, and national levels. This persistent effort helped introduce and pass the recent ordinance banning the retail sale of pets within the city limits.

Over the last four years, Best Friends has sponsored pet adoption events featuring shelter/rescue pets while introducing legislation to ban puppy sales. This has resulted in a significant number of pet store closures across the country, as well as conversion of pet stores to an adoption-only business model.

Oreck said the closures are part of a national trend as consumers reject old-style pet shops that most likely are stocked by puppy mills.

Best Friends' puppy mill initiatives ( educates consumers about where most pet stores get their pet inventory-factory-like commercial breeding operations where puppies and breeding parents are forced to live in squalid conditions. Dogs used for breeding in puppy mills spend their entire lives in small, crowded cages without adequate exercise, human interaction or veterinary care. Most have never played with toys, walked on grass, enjoyed treats or felt human affection. They exist solely to produce the millions of puppies sold online or supplied to pet stores nationwide.

About Best Friends Animal Society®

Best Friends Animal Society®, named Animal Welfare Non-Profit National Brand of the Year based on the 2012 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study, is a national animal welfare organization building no-kill programs and partnerships that will bring about a day when there are No More Homeless Pets®. The society's leading initiatives in animal care and community programs are coordinated from its Kanab, Utah headquarters, the country's largest no-kill sanctuary. This work is made possible by the personal and financial support of a grassroots network of supporters and community partners across the nation.

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