New Documentation of Florida Pet Stores Selling Cruelly Bred Puppies

March 7, 2023

a small dog in a cage

In September 2022, two Miami pet stores—Glamorous Puppies and Puppies Secret—received Yorkshire Terrier puppies from one of the most notorious commercial dog dealers in the country, according to newly received documentation from the State of Iowa. 

These puppies were shipped by Henry Sommers, a dog dealer with a long history of abusing animals. Sommers operated as a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)-licensed dealer at the time. He had already been cited for over 75 documented violations of the Animal Welfare Act and was fined more than $12,000 by the USDA for multiple, serious violations. In late-January 2023, Sommers was arrested and charged by the State of Iowa for animal neglect, after over a decade of harming dogs without the USDA stepping in.

Documentation and pictures we obtained from the USDA and the Iowa Department of Agriculture reveal the abysmal conditions experienced by dogs in Sommers’ facility: 

  • Lack of veterinary care
    Reports detail numerous dogs with dental disease, eye wounds and other injuries who were not seen by a veterinarian or given medical treatment. Many of these violations were labeled as direct or critical, which are considered serious or life-threatening
  • Unauthorized euthanasia methods
    Documents show Sommers possessed controlled substances at his facility which he used to sedate or euthanize dogs. He was conducting euthanasia himself without authorization or recommendation of a veterinarian. Reports suggest he was killing his dogs in a manner likely to inflict prolonged and painful deaths.
  • Inadequate and dangerous housing
    Dogs were kept in enclosures that were too small, had exposed and pointed wires, and flooring that allowed dogs’ feet to be trapped. Sommers was repeatedly cited for failing to maintain a sanitary environment, with the strong smell of waste and lack of ventilation.

Despite this horrific track record, the USDA allowed Sommers to continue breeding and shipping puppies out of state, including to Florida, to be sold to pet lovers who had no idea they were lining the pockets of such a cruel breeder. 

Florida must do more to protect dogs. In 2021, we reported that 40% of Florida’s puppy-selling stores imported dogs from another deplorable puppy mill in Iowa where over 200 violations of the Animal Welfare Act were documented. 

Florida has more puppy-selling pet stores than most other states in the country. Puppies are often shipped from out-of-state, cruel, commercial breeding facilities like Sommers’, where dogs are bred at every opportunity in order to produce as many puppies as possible with minimal care provided to the dogs, maximizing puppy mill profits.

Puppy-selling stores are the driver that keeps the puppy mill pipeline going. It’s time to shut down the pipeline that is importing cruelty into the Sunshine State. It can be done—New York shut down the puppy mill pipeline into their state in 2022! 

Florida residents—we need your help! Use our easy online form TODAY to contact your state legislators and urge them to support S.B. 800/H.B. 849. 

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