Chicago chain accused of selling dogs from puppy mills

February 17, 2012

The Associated Press

A half dozen pet owners have filed a lawsuit alleging a chain of Chicago-area pet stores sells puppies from what the suit alleges are "some of the most despicable and horrendous puppy mills in the Midwest."

The class-action suit filed this week in Cook County Circuit Court names nearly 20 branches of Happiness Is Pets.

It alleges puppies have been transported to the stores in crowded vans, packed into crates and covered in feces. The lawsuit says an observer at one puppy mill saw what's described as "a burn pile of puppies."

The lawsuit accuses the chain of misrepresenting to customers that the puppies actually come from small-scale, reputable breeders.

A message seeking comment from one of the owners of Happiness is Pets, Ronald Berning, was not immediately returned Friday.