Happiness Is Pets

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Unethical Sales Practices
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DOWNERS GROVE, ILLINOIS -- On Mar. 6, 2007 at the Happiness is Pets Downers Grove IL store,1226 Ogden Av; my wife and I looked at a puppy that was in a display cage, and verified the on-sale price with 2 employees, at $295.00, which was also on the sale sign on the bin the dog was in. The employees also informed me that a micro chip was already implanted in the puppy also. The Store was closing within an hr. or so, we left undecided for sure.

After deciding to buy the puppy later that evening, I called back the next morning, the staff employee at Happiness is Pets first said she couldn't find the dog after looking for about 5 minutes.. I asked her to check the sales records to see if the dog was sold the night of the 6th, after we left. She had no record of that. I called the store back about a half hour later the morning of the 7th, after my wife called the employee {Amanda}, and gave her the exact location of the puppy in the display case viewing pen. At this time the same employee, Amanda, then said she located the dog, but its price was $698.00, and that the sign on the display pen was on backwards when we viewed it the night before, which it wasn't, and that the dog was new, and was never on sale, although 2 employees of the store verified the sale price the night of the 6th.. When I asked Amanda to speak with the manager, I was told she was on day off, and I left my phone number for her to call me.

I then called another Happiness is pets Store and spoke with their Manager, who contacted the store in Downers, then, and without speaking to the employees involved the night of the 6th, spoke to Amanda, then told me that the sign was on the cage backwards the night we saw the puppy, and that he would never sell the dog for the advertised on the sale pen price that the puppy was in, although he did not check this complaint out with the employees on duty at the time I initially viewed the puppy with my wife, although he agreed to speak to them about the matter.

I believe a store employee or a friend of theirs wanted this puppy, and that the employees and therefore Happiness is Pets deliberately tried to mislead us, so someone they knew could look at, or purchase the puppy for the sale price, or some other type of unethical sales practices that I am unaware of occurred. As myself and my wife were looking to purchase a puppy to replace our recently deceased dog, we were highly dissatisfied with the service provided by this company, its employees, management, and their overall unethical sales practices.

Their evasiveness and lack of logic in explaining this was almost laughable when they were put on the spot to answer my questions regarding the above. I am 55 years old, and never gotten deceptive answers to prior store employee inquiries and unethical service from any store,this bad, in my entire life. I'm following up with the BBB, Il. Attorney General Consumer Fraud Unit, and the Village of Downers Grove, IL Business complaint Division in regard to this, and letting everyone I can know about this company and its underhanded tactics. Anyway, Buyer Beware of this Company, in my opinion.

R. Whitty Woodridge, IL.
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Hugh_Jorgen on 03/07/2007:
55 and never lied to or received a deceptive answer from a store employee? You sir, are a lucky man! Forget this overpriced puppy mill dog and get a pre-loved dog from one of the many rescue groups out there.
*Brenda* on 03/07/2007:
Yeah! BOO to puppy mills!
Anonymous on 03/07/2007:
I don't like pets.
grandma005 on 03/07/2007:
Please don't ever never buy a puppy from a pet store. Have you been in the dark ages? There are too many posts about buying a puppy from those places. You are asking for a sick or dead puppy. They only care about money. The breeder of the puppy only cares about money. Buy for puppy from a home breeder . They take of puppy from day it was born. They give it love,care and medical care. The mother of the puppy is their pet. They love the mother and the pet. A puppy that is mistreated and unloved turns out to be a bitter and trainable dog that bites. If you love paying vet bills,watching your puppy suffer and maybe even die, then go to a pet store. The store charges twice as much or more than a home breeder anyway. I for the like of me can't understand why people insist ongoing to a pet store. If you people would stop it, they would all go out of business.
SherryH on 03/07/2007:
Amen, Hugh and all! This just needs to be said. With almost weekly news about breeders producing sick dogs only for profit and thousands of dollars in vet bills cost by unsuspecting owners, you really should have been an informed buyer. Adopt out of shelters. Do you know how many full bred unwanted dogs are put to death there? If everyone adopted from shelters, there would be no need for puppy mills: two huge problems solved!
tander on 03/07/2007:
Please don't buy a puppy from a pet store, you're letting back yard breeders and puppy mills get away with selling in pet shops. Most of the puppies you buy in a pet shop are going to be sick because there's too many together in one cage and it's a haven for spreading diseases.
If you are going to buy a puppy there is so many good ones at the Humane Societies and shelters that are very cheap, they are up to date on shots and spayed and neutered, and there only charging you for the vet bills and for their care.
rnick821 on 03/08/2007:
Look at www.petfinder.org Their database is HUGE and is connected to most of the shelters in any given area. Just checking your area for puppies, I found a lot of VERY cute puppies of all sizes.

"But I want a purebred so I can perhaps breed/show it."

(that wasn't from your post, but I have heard this one before)

Trust me, you will not find a breed/show quality dog in a pet store. If you're looking for that, you're going to have to go to a reputable breeder.

Good luck. Stay out of the pet store!
lori224 on 11/16/2008:
This store gets all their dogs from PUPPY MILLS! Just google it and you'll see all the horror stories. I have one of their dogs and there is not enough room here to tell you all about her problems.
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They Were Great!
Posted by on
My husband and I purchased a 12 week old puppy from the Lombard store, as she happened to be on sale. She was healthy and happy, the store manager Sandra was kind, sweet and helpful. The store even recommended a few vets that we can take puppy to for a check up. One vet location ( The Wheaton animal hospital - was awful) so I took her to my own and after I found out she needed eye surgery I called the store. She said to check with the Elmurst Animal hospital and they took care of the cost TWICE, which way exceeded the cost of the puppy (her surgery is common on her breed, not the store or from the breeder) Even after I went into the store to get another puppy and we had a 'misunderstanding' about the second puppy purchase and I was really disappointed, Sandra did call me back and explained what happened and apologized.

Overall, even getting an expensive kitten from a private breeder in the past, everything is buyer beware, however if you are an animal lover, its the love they give you over anything else.
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BokiBean on 03/25/2009:
PresleyMom, I'm sorry to hear you bought a dog (on sale) when there are millions of homeless dogs and puppies available for adoption.
PresleyMom on 03/25/2009:
Yes, I know there are dogs and cats up for adoption, I have adopted cats from the Humane Society. Unless Humane Society can treat people as human beings who are looking for a dog or cat companion, more people would go there. ( we didn't buy our dog because it was on sale, we bought it because we fell in love with her) and no cost of our money to get her would matter. How about I saved a dog that may be would have never been bought and destroyed later. Watch your tone there BokiBean.
Anonymous on 03/25/2009:
PresleyMom brings up a very valid point. A lot of pet shop animals are destroyed when they are too old or are found to have treatable medical conditions that the shop or potential owner is not willing to cover. This sounds like a very responsible shop and PresleyMom sounds like a wonderful human companion for animals. Getting a shelter animal is a nice thought, but it should not be the only choice. Good post! BTW: BokiBean is good people...give her a chance before you write her off. ;-)
PresleyMom on 03/25/2009:
Well I would give PokiBean a chance if I wasn't presented as a being who buys at pet stores. I purchased a kitten at a humane society, I wanted to get another kitten as a companion for her and return back to the same place and they treated me poorly, they were rude and questioned my intentions on getting another kitten. (this is after I have donated money and kitty liter to them). I purchased a kitten from a breeder/vet - she was fantastic. I got another kitten at another breeder and the kitten came to me covered with ringworm. It was a lot of WORK and MONEY but I got him healthy and he is happy. I have purchased from every case scenerio and as I see it, no matter what, I have a clean and safe environments for my animals that I love. They get lots of attention and good medical care (no matter what the cost) and I feel every time I get an animal, I am saving them from what could be potentional a bad place for them long term. You cannot HATE on my for purchasing at a store, sometimes they can be more responsible than some lady breeding animals in her house or your local humane society (which a lot of time, they turn animals away).
Anonymous on 03/25/2009:
PresleyMom, I agree that unwanted pets should be adopted first, but you made some excellent points. Whose to say which pets are unwanted? Thank you for being a responsble and humane pet owner, which is the whole idea anyway.
Anonymous on 03/25/2009:
I get Boki's passion and I am sure the comment was not meant as harsh as it seems. Here is what I wish-I wish they would quit breeding these gorgeous little animals until all of the other gorgeous animals were adopted. I also wish all of the morons out there would get their animals fixed so they do not produce more. As is, be happy with your new love and be excellent to it.
BokiBean on 03/25/2009:
Thanks Doc and Sherdy. I'm sticking to my guns here though.

Happiness Is Pets has complaints all over the net for selling sick puppy mill puppies. Its an easy Google away. They also have frequent protests at various store locations (they are apparently only in Illinois) because that they buy from puppy mills.

The fact that that the OP may have saved a puppy mill baby from a crate existence in a pet shop is not a good excuse when it's a supply and demand business. Clearly, he was an impulse buy..just the kind they like. You buy, they pocket the cash and get another puppy mill pup and put a sale sticker over it.

Also, if the OP thought that it was any kind of decent shop at all I don't understand the suggestion that they might have killed him if he wasn't sold. That's not much of an excuse when the argument is that they're selling puppy mill pets. In fact, it bolsters it, as mills and shops that sell from them specialize in younger animals with more immediate appeal - the clock is running to sell them before they "age out".

I commend the OP for going to the local shelter, pound or humane society in the past, but blaming rude employees there for not going back is just another cop out. Its not the people who work there, its about the animals.

That said, yes I know I sound harsh...but to PresleyMom, I know you are good people, and I know you love your dog and its a great dog. I love my dogs too, and hate to see animals used for profit (IMHO it always leads to abuse/neglect) and living in conditions that are common to puppy mills.
Anonymous on 03/26/2009:
That was deep, Boki. I am sure everyone appreciates your views on these alarming facts. If everyone wasn't already aware, they sure are now. We should all try to something to get the puppy mills shut down. Is there something you can suggest?
BokiBean on 03/26/2009:
Thanks, knowitall2! Can you tell its a passion of mine? :D

There is the apathy regarding puppy mills in general. I guess people don't realize how truly awful and inhumane they are.

Just getting people to realize that the awful truth is that its not about the one dog they save, its about the hundreds of thousands that have to suffer. If people buy these dogs the mills are going to continue to breed them, and that makes those buyers part of the problem and not the solution.

People aren't BAD when they buy a cute puppy from a pet store like this..they're just ill-informed. So I guess its about speaking out and telling people what is going on.

Its my opinion that you can't bust enough puppy mills, they just pop up again somewhere else. The only way to shut them down is to do away with the demand..
Anonymous on 03/26/2009:
So, everyone out there, do not let anyone you know buy a puppy from a pet shop, and by all means not directly from a puppy mill. The only way to get the word across is with education. Give them the facts and talk them out of it. Thanks, Boki, for explaining this in a very kind way.
jktshff1 on 03/26/2009:
Very well put Boki....
Anonymous on 03/26/2009:
I certainly understand your passion, Boki. My last three dogs (two living at present) are adopted, retired racing greyhounds. My wife and I belong to two retired greyhound adoption support groups. Depending on whom you read, the racing industry retires 30,000-50,000 greyhounds per year. Only about 18,000 of them are adopted. The rest are killed or used for research. While we believe retiree adoption is a wonderful concept, there are two objective ways to look at greyhound adoption: !) Adopters are reducing the number of greyhounds destroyed when they become unprofitable, or 2) Adopters are enabling the racing industry to breed more dogs to race. Some greyhound breeders are very responsible and attempt to breed only enough dogs to replace their retirees. Others, focus only on the profitability and overbreed, abuse the dogs in training, cull (kill) unpromising puppies, or 'euthanize' (by horrible methods) unprofitable dogs. As such, they are the puppy mills for the dog racing industry. Good and bad exists in pet shops, supplying breeders, and adoption agencies. It can also be argued that adopting from a shelter also enables irresponsible owners who do not spay or neuter, as well as people who mistake a lifelong lifelong commitment to be a 'cute' impulse buy and, when it becomes inconvenient, drop it at a shelter in a too often vain hope it will be adopted before it is killed. Clearly the passions run deep here, and there are many valid arguments. I simply want to wish Presleysmom and her new family dog a long, happy life together. I will not stand in judgment of how she fulfilled her desire for a pet...there are just too many good arguments all the way around.
BokiBean on 03/26/2009:
Absolutely, Doc, all the points you make are valid.

Greyhounds, huh? We have a very active greyhound rescue here (they require a fenced yard for obvious reasons in order to adopt so I've only been able to participate indirectly) that is doing good work.

I know the argument about whether rescue groups for greyhounds might enable..but here this group has uncovered a couple of really horrible scandals - one in which retiree dogs were being shipped out on a weekly basis to this old man who shot them in his yard (years of this, and hundreds of dogs, he never understood what was wrong with it and died before he and the people involved could be prosecuted). All of this in a state where gambling is ILLEGAL, go figure.

PresleyMom was right when she said you can run into the same trouble with breeders that sell online, and even local breeders that place ads in the paper. Where there is a profit margin, there is a way for unscrupulous people to profit.

Malfoy, my chihuahua is a rescue from bad, bad breeders who thought because he looked good, he was good and therefore bred him silly. He had an undescended testicle and has constant bladder stones..both of which are considered reasons for taking any animal out of the gene pool. He's mine now, and imperfect as he is (bad health, and only loves ME hehe), I love him with all my heart.

You made a GREAT point as well when you mentioned impulse buys that people drop off at local shelters. Its estimated that 20% of animals in shelters at any given time are "purebreeds", and many times people can call their local shelters, let them know what kind of breed they are interested in, and the shelter will call them back if a dog comes in matching that breed. Rescue groups do this often, some of them develop relationships with shelters that enable them to solely rely on this method to rescue certain breeds.

Happy Trails to you and your hit-the-doggy-lotto greyhounds! :)

CrystalSword on 03/26/2009:
Our two were rescues of sorts because the hairy ones in a litter like they came from are usually put down when they are weaned, their only purpose in life is to help keep the others in the litter warm.....both were fixed at 10 weeks.

We still paid for them, but it was that or they'd have probably been destroyed....then Bearbear's "look Ma, I can fly" stunt last November....another almost $4,000...he was and is worth it though. he's already jumping off the couch when I'm not looking so he's not allowed up there unless I am right there.

We have a great humane society here, very friendly staff, but I won't be getting any more animals for a long long time! We just have to go there to get tags for the dogs.
lori224 on 05/25/2009:
Presleymom - Please don't take this personal, but you are the consumer Happiness Is Pets is looking for. They suckered you in their lies. And that's all they are is lies. They play on your emotions, get it? The dogs in the stores are spending the most important part of their lives in a cage, and most of these poor puppies are taken from their mother, (who has been in a cage all her life), at 4 and 5 weeks old. These are dogs that come from puppy mills and when you got your dog, that just opened the door for one more puppy mill dog to stay in a cage their entire life. I don't care how nice the "salesperson" is, they are all liars. Isn't our concern with the animal, not the employee? They are mostly family at this store and the honest truth is they are selling you FRAUD. They told you your dog came from a breeder....which one? Here is their main breeder, Steve Kruse. Google him. And here are their other breeders, Moeller, Keys, Graber, Knapp, Gadient, and the list goes on. Google the horendous conditions these millers keep their dogs in. How do the dogs get to the store? Check out their white box truck sometime and see if the dogs inside are still alive. Sometimes they die on the ride up here from Iowa where they come from. Has anyone ever checked out Chloe's Bill? Google that. How about Petland? Google that. Happiness is pets is about to have a rude awakening. They have only been able to stay in business this long because the internet was not here 20 years ago.
PresleyMom on 05/25/2009:
No it doesn't matter if the sales person was nice or not, but YES I don't approve of puppy mills, but if I buy an animal that came from one and take care of her and love her, didn't I save a life of a dog that didn't get sold and was sent back to the breeder to be destroyed?
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Puppies that are sold
Posted by on
LOMBARD, ILLINOIS -- So everyone complains about Happiness Is Pets. No one ever compliments on them. Over 90% of sales there are referrals or precustomers! If all these dogs are puppy mill dogs and bad employees then why do they continue to come back??? they must be doing something right. Just like people some are sickly some are healthy. That's life get over it. I was looking at a puppy there, they let me look at breeder info, phone numbers, medical records the whole nine yards. As myself being a vet tech, I no what's right and what's wrong. They are doing the correct things.

Please remember these are living things, they are TV sets. Some times pets require extra care. You cannot handle it... don't buy one.
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madconsumer on 01/27/2008:
did you ever get to see the parents and the breeding areas? and as well the nursery?

most of the time, these areas will determine the quality of the animals.
2inform on 01/27/2008:
Just because "they continue to come back" doesn't mean that they are "doing something right." If that holds true, then cigerette companies and drug dealers are "doing something right" too.

Please provide specifics as to what is right.
*Brenda* on 01/27/2008:
If you are a vet tech you should KNOW that any puppy sold in a pet store is most likely from a puppy mill! You OBVIOUSLY do not know what's right and wrong if you advocate buying a PUPPY MILL dog.
Principissa on 01/27/2008:
I agree with Brenda. Almost all of those pets at that store are from a puppy mill. I won't post a link here due to the graphic and horrific content, but do a google search of puppy mill and see what you come up with. If you are a true animal lover and "vet tech" you would never ever purchase an animal from a pet store. Find a reputable local breeder or better yet adopt an animal from a shelter. It sickens me that someone who claims to work in the veterinary field would advocate for a puppy mill.
runaway on 01/27/2008:
Agree with Principissa 100%
jktshff1 on 01/27/2008:
Brenda and Princi are right on the money!
Nohandle on 01/27/2008:
There's only one pet store in this area I would even contemplate doing business with. They have a few animals on display for a short while and give you the information as to how to contact the breeder directly. The primary thing this pet store does is offer all types of pet products and they specialize in exotic fish for those who are into that. Both of my pets were "toss outs" and would probably have ended up at the pound at some point. Please check your local Humane Society or pound. They have some wonderful animals, pure breeds if you're into that or whatever you might want. Put your request in for a specific breed and if they don't have one they will put your name on the list.
idamay on 10/14/2008:
A vet tech thinks puppy mills are OK because they have been allowed to get a away with this for so long? Give me a break.. the internet is here now and it will be a different time for this horrible store. We are not in the 1950'S when people were not as informed as they are now. Of course that's all you hear is horror stories because they are all true. If you hear one, yeah OK, shrug it off, but the fact is there are hundreds. Please just google Happiness Is Pets and look at all the investigations, complaints, etc. [solicitation snip] This store should be shut down in my opinion.
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