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The HSUS, Broward County Humane Society Take Custody of Puppies From Bankrupt Fla. Pet Store

Board Member of SPCA Wildlife Care Center Sponsors Puppies' Care

The Humane Society of the United States

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. — On Monday, notorious Florida-based puppy retailer Wizard of Claws filed for bankruptcy, resulting in the shuttering of the store and the seizure by the bankruptcy trustee of the store's remaining puppy inventory. When The Humane Society of the United States learned the bankruptcy trustee intended to auction off the remaining puppies housed at the store, a board member of the SPCA Wildlife Care Center stepped in to sponsor the dogs, and The HSUS brokered a deal to have all 32 dogs placed for adoption into loving, permanent homes.

The closure comes on the heels of a recent ruling by a Broward County judge refusing to dismiss a major class action lawsuit filed by Humane Society of the United States members and other individuals against Wizard of Claws for selling sick and dying puppies through its retail pet store and over the Internet to hundreds of unsuspecting consumers.

The 32 puppies seized by the bankruptcy trustee will be transferred to the custody of The HSUS and the Broward County Humane Society today. The dogs, which include Yorkies, Chihuahuas, Maltese, Pomeranians, dachshunds and Shih-tzus, will each be given evaluations and medical inspections as well as any needed veterinary treatment before being offered for adoption.

"This is a wonderful and unexpected happy ending for these puppies, and we are enormously grateful to the dogs' benefactor and the Broward County Humane Society for making this rescue possible," said Jonathan R. Lovvorn, vice president and chief counsel for animal protection litigation and research for The HSUS. "The bankruptcy and liquidation of Wizard of Claws should be a wake-up call for puppy mill dog peddlers everywhere, and serve as a stark reminder of why people should never buy puppies from pet stores or over the Internet."

The plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit are being represented on a pro bono basis by the New York, Miami, and Houston offices of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

A similar class action suit against Ohio-based Petland, Inc. is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona.

The Wizard of Claws filed for bankruptcy on June 1, 2009. To learn more about puppy mills, visit humanesociety.org/puppymills.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

The Humane Society of Broward County is a private, non-profit organization supported by donations from people and companies who want to help us help the animals. The shelter receives no government funding and is not affiliated with any local or national organization with a similar name. The HSBC is conveniently located at 2070 Griffin Rd., just a block west of I-95. Adoption hours are Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  For more information visit humanebroward.com or call 954-989-3977.