Puppy mills and an evil pet store owner - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Puppy mills and an evil pet store owner

This article is starting with Gloria Eun Hye Lee, the woman nominated online as currently the most hated person in Las Vegas. But I’ll end the article with photos of my adorable foster puppies so you don’t just end up angry after reading this.

Gloria tried to burn down her pet store (with Kirk Bills) by pouring gasoline all over her pet shop, into and around her 27 puppies cages that she and her husband raised since birth, lit it on fire and left, attempting to let the 27 puppies be burned alive, according to surveillance cameras that recorded the incident.

Some of the puppies in the pet store that was set on fire. (Photo provided by Christine Smith)

Some of the puppies in the pet store that was set on fire.
(Photo provided by Christine Smith)

This woman of the year didn’t turn off her surveillance cameras and the whole thing was caught on tape. She is a three-time felon for convictions in California for bank theft, forgery and escape. And Lee was also charged with criminal charges of improper animal care including not vaccinating the puppies she was selling in 2008.

Luckily for these puppies the sprinklers went off in time before they were burned alive. The puppies are being held in a shelter until court matters are done and because the puppies she was selling were not vaccinated again.

Puppies found in the store that was set on fire; (Photo provided by Christine Smith)

Puppies found in the store that was set on fire;
(Photo provided by Christine Smith)

At a local pet store I visited these breeds were selling for $800 and up so I can only assume that her unvaccinated puppies were going for the same amount. Nice to know the people spending that much money were getting a puppy that could die from parvovirus after a walk at the park.

Which brings me to my strong dislike of puppy mills. I’m sure we have all seen the photos of mother dogs with their puppies stacked in wire cages. No room to play, or escape sleeping in their own feces. This woman proves my point. What kind of care do you think she gave to the puppies she raised, when she could look them in their innocent eyes, before trying to light them on fire?

I’m fostering a year old poodle and her four puppies from the same shelter the puppies rescued from the fire are being housed at. They came to me barely a week old with their eyes closed and I have had great joy watching them grow up into very energetic playful loving puppies. I started them in their own room with a wood floor covered in potty pads and blankets.

Top L-R: Buster and Gremlin Bottom: Damian and one of the cats. (Photo provided by Christine Smith)

Top L-R: Buster and Gremlin
Bottom: Damian and one of the cats.
(Photo provided by Christine Smith)

They quickly grew into needing a whole floor to play. I do a load of laundry a day and a lot of potty pad changes to keep them clean. I can see first hand how much waste would build up in a cage they couldn’t escape from if they were in a puppy mill. And I highly doubt puppy mills are doing daily cage cleanings.

Anyone who could see an entire mill of mom dogs and their puppies horribly confined and only see dollar signs is the same as this woman in my book.

I’ve rescued a few animals that were born in puppy mills. Buster, a Shih Tzu who was blind, missing all his teeth and his legs were bent from spending 17 years in a cage as a breeding dog. Gremlin, born missing half his front leg and needed a $5,000 surgery for Spinal Bifida. Willie, a Persian cat who, due to inbreeding to make his nose as small as possible, couldn’t breathe and had one deformed eye. And my little Damian, his front leg is twisted from an inbreeding birth defect, and the only dog I’ve ever had  that was “intentionally mean” from lack of socialization as a puppy and first owner abuse.

Hopefully my soap box of anger towards people who run puppy mills has made you think twice about where the puppies in pet stores come from and their health. I wanted to write a much more positive article, but then this psycho tried to cook 27 puppies and made me rant!

Two of the foster puppies living with Christine. (Photo provided by Christine Smith)

Two of the foster puppies living with Christine.
(Photo provided by Christine Smith)

On a much more positive note, fostering puppies has been one of the highlights of my life! I highly recommend it! Seeing them learn to bark the first time, proudly climb stairs, terrorize my cats that somehow put up with them, etc., has been so much fun! It’s a daily episode of the TV show Too Cute. I’ve included a few pics of them so you can finish reading this article saying “Aw” instead of wanting to punch a woman who should not have magenta hair when she needs to go into hiding.

The puppies at my home will be up for adoption this Valentine’s Day at the Zappo’s convention at The Animal Foundation booth. Two boys and two girls, very adorable little balls of fur I’m going to miss!

What are your thoughts on puppy mills? Some of my friends bought dogs from pet stores, only to have to pay thousands in vet bills and still ended up having put their pets to sleep. Were any of you lucky enough to have the animals you bought be healthy? Do you know anyone who runs pet stores who don’t purchase their animals from mills? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section or you can email me directly.

About the author

Christine Smith

Christine Smith was born in San Dimas California and lived in a few other states but considers Cali the best. She loves biking and rollerblading up the coast and supporting the local beach bars. Her heart has always been with rescuing animals rescue groups gave up on for being too vicious or sick, She'd rehabilitate them and find them homes. She's rescued 114 and counting! After visiting Playboy studios with a friend she was named Playboy’s Miss December 2005. Christine enjoyed traveling all over the US, hosting events and doing autograph signings. She won a Celebrity of the Year award in London for radio interviews. Had fun being in TV shows and movies, Bad Teacher is her favorite; Christine considers working with Cameron Diaz was an honor! She felt very blessed to have the title of Playmate; it allowed her to help countless charities by “using her name.” She received an award from the Veterans Administration for her volunteer work and has been able to help many charities helping the wonderful people who serve our country and many animal rescue groups. Her favorite part of being a Playmate has been meeting her fans, and she’d try to make each person feel special and give them an experience to remember. She is very excited to now be a part of The Baltimore Post-Examiner and be able share her experiences and speak with all the readers! Contact the author.

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