September 30, 2011

Something Everyone Should Know!

As a volunteer at the San Diego Central Animal Shelter, I see so many animals that deserve a chance at happiness and life. Too many of them are getting less, as people continue to purchase their pets from stores and breeders. I have learned the hard way not to ask about a favorite dog I have enjoyed walking if I don’t see them him or her in their kennel.
Awareness and compassion is the key

As I look around me, I see that there is still a lot of work to do in spreading the word. With more public education, a commitment to spaying and neutering, and making kind choices when it comes to pet ownership, there really could be much less animal suffering than there is today.

Things to know about Shelter pets

Before I began volunteering at the San Diego Central Animal Shelter in 2009, I had very little idea of some of the things that I’ll be sharing with you. Very often when I am there, many of the cats I see and the dogs I walk are healthy, loving, well behaved, physically appealing pets. I believe that many people who haven’t been on the inside of a shelter as the volunteers have may think that most of the animals there are not the best adjusted or most attractive pets. Not only is this not true; some rare and pure breed pets are there, as well as the “most adorable puppies and kitties in the world”.

Other good pet sources

Shelter pets are all ages. In looking for a specific breed, if you don’t find the exact type of pet you want, than taking a little more time and looking in the five shelter locations is likely to increase your odds. Many of the pets are included on the shelters websites. If you don’t find another just as wonderful pet as you look, you may so at, a specific breed rescue group or The Humane Society. I have also experienced first hand that the pets that don’t stand out in the crowd are often a real gem as I get to know them.

More quality control and reassurance for you

Another important fact; every cat and dog in the shelter has gone through an observation period so we can get to know their personality better and take note of anything that needs to be addressed. Some of the dogs attend obedience training. The volunteers that interact directly with the animals answer specific questions on an intake form and add other behavioral patterns they have noticed. These notes are available to the public when inquiring about a particular pet. There are interaction areas in the shelter if you would like to look more closely at a particular animal to see how the “chemistry” is between you. You are also welcome to bring your animals from home to see how they respond to a pet you are interested in. The 30 day grace period that every adoption allows will give your home companions a chance to make sure all is copasetic with the new family member. The shelter highly encourages all two-legged family members to come in to meet the dog or cat of interest. There are medical forms available at all times in case the volunteers have noticed anything that needs to be addressed medically. The Shelter is diligent about maintaining a high level of health with all their pets.

What is included in the adoption fees

When a pet is adopted, the fees include licensing, spaying or neutering, all shots, a micro chip for future identification, and a health exam before they leave the shelter, as well as another complimentary health exam within a month.

Adoption fees

In San Diego County, pets that are five years and older are half price, and these pets have the added benefit of having out grown “puppy syndrome”. Seniors pay half price for their pet, and from time to time there are half price discounts on animals that have been at the shelter for more than 30 days. The cost for puppies and dogs is $69.00, kittens and cats are $58.00 and rabbits and guinea pigs are $25.00. Pet Sponsoring, volunteering and donations are a great way to help support the shelter as well.

Sensitivity and resiliency

As animals are sensitive beings; they do respond to the stress and loneliness of shelter living. This is likely to be the only side the public sees of them. This being said, they have an amazing ability to rediscover their true nature of loving, playful, nurturing companions, with a little love and attention. I experience this regularly as a volunteer!

Other animals available at the shelter

Felines and canines are not the only residents at the shelter; there are rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and reptiles also. If one is interested in a parrot, conure or cockatoo, there are local bird rescue groups with a variety of birds to choose from.

Inspired to care
I am inspired to be a voice of these wonderful animals. They are so worth it. With more education, diligence with spaying and neutering and a commitment to making caring choices, I believe we can all help end the cycle of cruelty to animals! It is very clear to me when I remember that for every pet that is purchased from a breeder or pet shop, this takes the chance away from a shelter pet to have happiness and life. With all the problems in the world, it is nice to know of one that has a simple solution: adoption!

Please help spread the word and information to your family, friends and the community by sharing this email or its message. Thank you!

The web info to all San Diego County Shelters is The phone number for the Central Shelter in Linda Vista and South County in Bonita is (619)767- 2675, Chula Vista is (619)691-5123, North County Coastal is (760)438-2312 and North County Inland is (760)746-7307. If you would like to become a volunteer, you can download an application, pick one up, or call (619)767- 2782.

This email is a volunteer public service by Cheri Joseph, with no affiliation with any organization, agency, company or club.

September 28, 2011

What is Puppy Stars Hiding?

Puppy Stars ROUND FOUR!
When: Friday, October 7
5-7 PM
We won't give up.
We're not going away.
Tell Puppy Stars to stop selling puppies.
6167 Balboa Avenue
Dogs, kids, humans of all ages welcome....
This is a legal protest, protected by our first amendment rights.

September 26, 2011

Round Three a Great Success

Sunday September 25 --Voices of dedicated protesters filled the Clairemont Balboa Crest mall as the Animal Defense Team once again targeted the Puppy Stars store on Balboa Ave. Please visit this website often in the next week or so. We are beginning an even more intense campaign and need your help! We had great coverage last night on TV Channel 6 with a story from the news anchor and video interviews with our protesters. Attention Puppy Stars: WE ARE NOT GOING AWAY!

All protesters welcome! Including children, dogs and humans of all ages...

Keep those letters, emails and phone calls going. Tell Puppy Stars we do not want puppy stores and will boycott their business until they stop selling puppies. They need to know they are not supported by the community. They are telling customers they don't buy from puppy mills. Yet their dogs are from Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Kansas, Ohio and other notorious puppy mill states.
We will soon have lists of local breeder rescues and shelters available for customers to use to find the
puppy or dog of their dreams.
Purchasing a puppy from a pet store is an act of animal cruelty.

September 24, 2011

ADT Letter to Puppy Star's Store

The San Diego Animal Defense Team sent the following letter to the Clairemont Puppy Star's store on Septemember 10. As of today, September 24, we are sorry to say there has been no response at all.

September 10, 2011

Le Kim and Nguyen Huong, Owners Puppy Star’s
6171 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA 92111

Dear Le Kim and Nguyen Huong:

The San Diego Animal Defense Team works to stop the cycle of cruelty that begins with the mass breeding of puppies and ends with their sale in pet stores while thousands of adoptable animals die in San Diego shelters for lack of homes. Animal Defense Team would like to offer Puppy Star’s a unique opportunity to join us in standing up against the needless death of homeless pets and the cruel mass dog breeding industry by becoming the first “Rescue Only” pet store in San Diego.

The public is becoming increasingly aware that mass breeding facilities, often called puppy mills, supply pet stores that sell puppies, and they do not want to support such an industry, especially when millions of healthy and adoptable pets are put to sleep every year in shelters. Cities across the United States are passing ordinances banning the retail sale of dogs and cats. ( )
Glendale and West Hollywood are the most recent cities in California to pass such legislation, and judging from public interest and increased awareness, we believe that San Diego will soon follow.

As you can see in this video that shows the celebration put on by the City of Glendale for “Pet Rush” and store owner Rene Karapedian, the community strongly supports a humane model where a pet store focuses on grooming, retail sale of pet products, and other pet services rather than the sale of puppies. The County of Los Angeles and many local rescue groups have teamed with “Pet Rush” to offer rescue puppies for adoption at the store, and the result has so far been amazing! Pet Rush now has the reputation of being a model to the community for helping to battle the homeless pet problem by supporting rescue puppies rather than perpetuating the cruel mass breeding industry, and their business is booming. See the video of the opening of Pet Rush as the first rescue only pet store in Glendale: Pet Rush has the following statement on their website, found at

“Pet Rush is Glendale's first rescue-only pet store. We have formed partnership with most Los Angeles county shelters with the help of Best Friends Of America and the Jason Heigl Foundation. Our goal is to find good loving homes for homeless pets who might not be adopted if left in government-run shelters and would have to be put down due to overcrowded conditions. Pet Rush is part of a movement that is happening across Los Angeles and throughout the nation, people are becoming more consumer-savy and socially conscious. Buying a breeder dog from a pet store is often compared to the blood diamond industry and people are less inclined to risk being a part of such a sad reality. At Pet Rush we believe that given enough time and know-how, a home can be found for almost every animal, and we do not believe that euthanasia is the answer.”

We're sure that you and your staff genuinely care about dogs but have never seen where your puppies actually come from. We invite you to research the breeding facilities that supply your brokers and see for yourself what a cruel industry this is. We believe that once you realize that you are supporting such places, that you will not want to be associated with them anymore. The following video is a good example of where pet store puppies come from:
Animal Defense Team is willing to assist in your transition to a humane model, to provide contacts with breed rescues and shelters in San Diego, and to promote your store and celebrate it as the first rescue only pet shop in San Diego if you decide to cooperate with us in combating animal cruelty and promoting the adoption of rescue and shelter pets. We can also give you contact information for Best Friends Animal Society’s “Puppies Aren’t Products” campaign where professional marketing and PR people will volunteer to work with you to transition to a humane model. See:

We sincerely hope that you will take the time to look into the puppy breeding industry that you are supporting and consider becoming a leader in offering a “humane model” pet shop, which we believe is going to be the trend in San Diego, especially when new legislation banning retail sales of dogs and cats, is passed. Please contact us at to further discuss this matter.

San Diego Animal Defense Team

September 20, 2011


As we prepare for Round Three at the Puppy Stars store in Clairemont next Sunday at noon, it's also time to celebrate VICTORY! After the SD Animal Defense Team singlehandedly took on the Puparazzi puppy store in Mission Valley shopping mall with multiple protests, it is now closed! We have power. We are speaking for the majority of citizens of San Diego. We do not support greed over the humane treatment of animals.

BAN PUPPY MILLS and the STORES THAT SELL THEIR PUPPIES! Here are some of the participants in the SD Animal Defense Team who dedicated their time and energy to shutting down the Puparazzi store in Mission Valley!

September 13, 2011

Puppy Stars Protest Sunday Sept. 25: Round Three!

Puppy Stars Protest: Round Three!
Sunday September 25, 2011
Puppy Stars puppy store
6167 Balboa Ave.
12 Noon - 2 PM
Meet on Balboa Ave. in front of the store.
Bring water, friends, signs:

Shame on Puppy Stars!
Boycott Puppy Stars
Puppy Stars: What Are You Hiding?
Missouri Pups at Puppy Stars
Honk if you hate puppy mills!

Our protests are perfectly legal
and are protected by our first amendment rights.
Dogs are farmed as livestock at unlicensed kennels as well as under the jurisdiction of the
US Department of Agriculture. The primary objective is to maximize profits and to do that,
the dogs need to suffer terribly. Hungry. Thirsty. Mange. Matted hair. Dirty. Injuries without treatment. Often brutally debarked. Physical and mental abuse and neglect. Puppies in Puppy Stars are coming from facilities in Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio.These are some of the worst puppy mill states in the country, filled with breeding kennels of up to 1,000 dogs.
Is that OK with you? We didn't think so.
Join us to tell Puppy Stars: We don't want another puppy store in San Diego. Stop selling puppies or "go humane" and turn your store into a legitimate center for rescues.

Please remember we also need you to make calls, write letters and send messages.
See the post below.
Thanks for all you do to help these prisoners of greed!

September 11, 2011


Please call, email or write to the Puppy Star's puppy store in Clairemont and let them know that you will not patronize their store or use their grooming services until they stop selling puppies!

Puppy Star's (owners are Le Kim and Nguyen Huong)
6171 Balboa Ave.
San Diego, CA 92111
858-560-0143 (Note! This is now the correct phone number! Call!)

Their website is There is a link to send emails to them under the listing Contact Us or email them at
If you want to write a letter, a sample letter is in the post below.

Thanks so much for your help. Together, we can put an end to puppy mills
and save the lives
of shelter and rescue dogs!


September 09, 2011

letters to pet stores

An article in Pet Business discussed the profit margin on puppies. It indicated that for puppies sold in the first two weeks the margin is 101% percent. If the puppy is sold in two months, the margin is 4% and if sold at three months, the margin is a negative 26%. According to that article, the profit margin for puppies at Petland stores is between 5 and 10%. The impact that slow sales can have is very evident. Stores will only sell puppies if it improves their bottom line. If you boycott stores that sell puppies, it's so important for them to know that you are boycotting them. Otherwise they may attribute it to some other factor. Please send them a letter. Also, you might include a copy of your sales receipt for products you purchased at a different store that does not sell puppies just to show them how much business selling puppies cost them. But sure to take off any credit card numbers from the receipt.

Your letter could say something like this:

Dear Pet Store Owner:

I am very concerned about the sale of puppies in pet stores. I do not support commercial kennels that breed puppies for resale. Often the conditions in these kennels are abhorrent. Additionally, according to studies by the United States Center for Disease Control and the State of California, half of the puppies sold in pet stores are incubating diseases. This does not even count the number of pet store puppies that have genetic defects that are not initially obvious. And finally, there are millions of dogs killed in this country every year. Since pet stores often encourage impulse purchases, they are large contributors to this crisis. This is evidenced by the fact that according to several studies 30% of the dogs in shelters across the country are purebreed dogs.

Consequently, I think you should know that I will not purchase anything from your store until you stop selling puppies. Please do not contribute to the misery of the dogs in commercial kennels or to the misery of dogs dumped in shelters. Dogs are our companions and our best friends. They deserve better from us. I appeal to your compassion.

Thank you for your attention.

September 05, 2011

Del Mar Death Toll Reaches 12

From the San Diego Union-Tribune
DEL MAR — It’s now a dozen horse fatalities. That’s 12 horses that were vanned into Del Mar this summer to race, but they were vanned off and won’t be going home from the 72nd meeting.

Last year, five horses were euthanized during the summer meeting at Del Mar. Two were injured in turf races and then put down. Five others were injured on the Polytrack, one in a morning workout, four in afternoon racing, and then euthanized.

This year’s 12th horse fatality, Burns, a 3-year-old colt owned by Madeline Auerbach and Alfred Pais and trained by Barry Abrams, broke down on the backstretch turn in the Del Mar Derby and had to be euthanized. Burns broke sesamoid bones in his right foreleg.

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who won the Pacific Classic last Sunday, managed to keep Burns up, but Valenzuela suffered a leg injury that caused him to miss his final two mounts. He will be evaluated Monday to see if he can race. He has seven mounts on the Labor Day card.

Burns, the son of Unusual Heat by Little Hottie, is the fourth horse to suffer a catastrophic injury on the turf course.

One Sept. 1, Lordgivemealift, a 5-year-old gelding, broke down in a 5-furlong turf race. He was owned by Altamira Racing Stable and trained by Peter Miller.

Eight other horses were put down after getting injured on the Polytrack, with six injured in workouts and two others in afternoon racing. One of the fatalities from afternoon racing was from an injury the horse suffered trying to elude a fallen horse on the Polytrack. The horse, a 3-year-old filly named Our Lady Gaga, wasn’t euthanized until nearly a month later after she returned to Santa Anita.

September 04, 2011

Round Two: Animal Defense Team does it again!

Peter -- powered by tofu!

Over 20 animal advocates spent their Saturday afternoon protesting the puppy store Puppy Stars in Clairemont (6167 Balboa Ave). It's a busy area with lots of traffic and the community has been very supportive of our protests. Some even saw us and came over and protested with us! We had enough people that we were able to have a protest line both on the street and in front of the store. Once again, the SD Police were called by the owner or manager of the store and once again the SDPD upheld our first amendment rights to protest there. It was unfortunate that the owner or manager resorted to racist name-calling and sexual harrassment of our protesters in front of his store.
We will be sending the Puppy Stars owner a letter this week outlining what we are asking of him (that he stop selling puppies or change to a humane model featuring rescue groups). We will publish the letter on this website as soon as it is sent. We are also including a Puppy Friendly Pet Store Pledge from the Humane Society of the United States and the invitation from them to sign.
We will be returning to protest at Puppy Stars. The date will be announced on this website and we invite YOU to join us!

Puppy Stars 858-560-0143
What do we want?
No more puppy stores!
When do  we want it?

Puppy Stars 6167 Balboa Ave. in Clairemont

This nice rescue dog Tiky saw us from the street, stopped and parked and came over to cheer us on!

Del Mar Death Toll at 10 on August 31

Aug. 31 San Diego Union-Tribune

Two more horses were euthanized at the Del Mar Racetrack as a result of injuries on the Polytrack.

It raised the total of deceased horses to 10 for the meeting, three more than were euthanized last summer at Del Mar. There are seven racing days left, including today's card of eight races.

Last year, seven horses were euthanized at Del Mar, four after being injured in afternoon racing on the Polytrack, one in a morning workout on Polytrack and two from injuries on the turf course.

Thus far, eight of the deaths this year were because of injuries on the Polytrack, six during workouts in the morning, one in an afternoon race and another who was hurt trying to elude the fallen horse during that race over the Polytrack. Two other horses were euthanized after breaking down in turf races.

The horses were Rejuvenating, a 2-year-old filly in trainer Jenine Sahadi’s barn. She was hurt Monday during a workout and euthanized. The second was Point Guard, a 3-year-old colt trained by Eoin Harty.

Rejuvenating was an unraced filly. But Point Guard had one race. He raced May 15 this year at Hollywood Park and finished fifth. Bred by Stonerside Stable and owned by Darley Stable, the son of Afleet Alex out of La Grande Mamma worked five furlongs Tuesday at Del Mar. His time of 1:04.60 was the worst of 10 workers at that distance. He broke down after working.