Animal Advocates in Uproar Over Doggie Style Pet Store

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 358 | Posted Apr. 6, 2011

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Wehr says each shipment of dogs sets her organization back $1,000. They don’t charge Operation Ava for transport, but the fee for each dog is $90, plus expected but not specified donations.

Once put in the windows at Operation Ava, consumers are charged $350 for puppies, $275 for regular adult dogs. Skeptics call that profit.

Gutierrez says all proceeds from adoptions go back into the program and that the majority of their rescues come from ACCT. (PSPCA will not provide specific numbers.) Gutierrez doesn’t see how saving animals from all over the country could be bad.

“If we have an empty space … we are not going to say, ‘we’re sorry, this animal was not born or found in the Philly ZIP code, so we’re not going to save its life,’” Gutierrez says.

By far, Operation Ava is not the only Northeast rescue to work with shelters in the South. Some of the vitriol is mired in Doggie Style’s murky history.

Back in 2009, there was a problem. PW obtained and reviewed documents that indicate that in 2009, the PSPCA investigated Doggie Style in response to the puppy mill rumors, and confronted Goldfarb about it.

In correspondence with Doggie Style Vice President (and former PSPCA CEO) Howard Nelson last fall, PSPCA Sue Cosby states that Goldfarb admitted Doggie Style had “purchased” dogs with physical imperfections that were rejected by breeders.

Of course, as Wehr said, it’s not their fault they are born in a mill. But supporting puppy mills in any way contradicts the goals and mission of PSPCA, which regularly fights against puppy mills in Pennsylvania. Documents confirm that as a result of her findings, Cosby temporarily severed the relationship with Doggie Style, though it’s unclear for how long.

Goldfarb denies that there’s ever been an issue.

“I don’t remember any real issues between us and the PSPCA,” says Goldfarb. “We never had imperfect dogs from breeders, not the situation. I don’t know what to tell you. We didn’t have them ... to this day we have a great relationship with the PSPCA.”

PSPCA spokesperson Wendy Marano initially declined to comment for this article, stating it was not PSPCA’s place to comment on another organization.

Eventually, PSPCA issued a statement claiming they did not conduct a formal investigation into Doggie Style, and did not address what went down in 2009. It’s this lack of transparency that greases the rumor mill, and supports the suffering that comes from it.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 358 of 358
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1. Matt Ruben said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 09:32AM

“Excellent piece. It lays out the issues very clearly, cutting through the vitriol (and I recognize that reasonable people can disagree about whether the vitriol is warranted or not) and getting to the real issues.”

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2. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 10:24AM

“Ira Goldfarb is an awful man and it thrills me to see him under fire”

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3. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:03AM

“I agree with Anonymous# 2. Ira Goldfarb was very rude to me, so I imagine that he is not compassionate towards animals. People and pets are better off without him and his overpriced stores. Go to Petsmart people!”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:50AM

“No, dont go to Petsmart! Support local, mom and pop, pet supply stores!
DoggieStyle is NOT a mom and pop pet store.


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5. Jorge Rondine said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 01:17PM

“Where are these mom & pop stores? In Philadelphia? It's either Monster Pets, Petsmart, or DoggieStyle. All chains..”

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6. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 01:23PM

“@Jorge Rondine: Go to Walk It Like a Dog on Moyamensing b/w Christian and Washington, or head out to Hatboro in Montco to Pabby's Pet Pantry.”

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7. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 01:26PM

“Well, I live in Northern Libs...there are at least 2 that I know of in this area.”

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8. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 01:28PM

“Bon Jour, Chic Petique, and Spots Spot are just a few options, Jorge”

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9. Jorge Rondine said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 01:43PM

“Thanks a lot for your suggestions. I look forward to checking out the shops mentioned.”

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10. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 01:47PM

“Accent on Animals 8th and South. LitterPaws 10th and Spruce.”

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11. Amanda said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 02:04PM

“I love that this issue is drawing so much attention!!!! The shaddy actions of DoggieStyle and Operation Ava need to be brought to the attention of all Philadelphians. Not just those of us in Northern Liberties who have been going crazy on the message board, trying to get the word out. No one should be supporting them. I am all for the adoption of animals...but the way Operation Ava/DoggieStyle is not something I can support.”

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12. Jessica Miller said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 02:15PM

“Well, it's quite obvious Doggie Style is trying to monopolize the dog supply market in Philadelphia, they open stores just a few blocks from already established, smaller shops in hopes to steal their business. When Ira started his own company producing dog toys and clothing a few years ago (United K9s) he had the resources to have everything manufactured in the city, creating jobs and revenue but he chose to make everything in China. Now with his "dog rescue" they are shipping in younger, more appealing dogs from the south to make a profit instead of helping out the countless dogs that need help here in Philadelphia. As a resident of Philadelphia I am fed up with this man expecting us to spend our money in his stores without doing anything to support or help the city. I'm glad the heat is on them, my hope is it will leave them no choice but to actually start walking the walk and rescuing dogs here in Philadelphia, as unglamorous and unprofitable as it is. Then maybe they won't have to spend their days trolling message boards defending their establishment.”

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13. Kim Wolf said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 02:22PM

“More dogs' lives could potentially be saved IF Operation Ava uses a broader range of dogs (like the "small fluffy dogs" they're transferring from the South) to attract more people to their facility AND THEN uses that opportunity to market ALL types of dogs (including dogs transferred from Philadelphia animal control). So, I disagree that every dog transferred in from outside of Philly equates to the death of a dog who originated in Philly. There are people who never consider dogs from Philly animal control, so if more people can see those dogs mixed into a new environment (like Operation Ava), then it gives those dogs a chance they didn't otherwise have. However, if Operation Ava is ONLY marketing the small fluffies from the South and not capitalizing on this opportunity, then they ARE indeed failing the dogs and certainly can't claim to be helping to make Philly a "No Kill" city.”

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14. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 02:45PM

“Great piece!!!! SO happy that know others can see that these people are just looking to make a buck and could care less about the animals.....Ask them about the animals that were in their care when they were sick and did not get the animal any medical help that die......howard Nelson is a slick punk as well who had to get to go and under bid to the city so much to get the city animal control contract....F'ed it up and then left for health reason.....i hope no one spends one dollar in this so called rescue.......and they fold ..........”

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15. Stacey Siegel said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 03:07PM

“I love the quote in the article, "Goldfarb and Gutierrez were called “devils in sheep’s clothing.” I could not have said it better myself! Oporation Ava is a front for Doggy Style! It's a way to make money without paying taxes. But let's talk facts...

FACT: I've been at ACCT volunteering when Oporation Ava has come in to "pull dogs" and I've heard them say, "you don't have any dogs for us here!" BTW, we have never had a shortage of animals at ACCT, what he was really saying was he didn't want to take any of our pitty pals! "I can order me up some dogs from the south for $75 and they'll come to us fixed and vaccinated and we can charge an adoption fee of $350." That's their fee for puppies!"

FACT: They call themselves "No-Kill", but let's put this in perspective! They only take desirable, adoptable animals, and if they don't have the space, they don't take any animals in!!! So why would they kill any animals!!! ACCT has to take in every animal that comes through their doors!”

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16. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 03:17PM

“the owners of this company are EVIL and do not care at all about animals! They have no family values. The owner cheated on his wife with the secretary witch is now the cfo of the company! Some of his own children do not even have relationships with him! After the wife was out of the picture( the one that actually cared about animals) the company went to shit, spreading like wildfire! Everything was about making money. I can't even tell you how may animals die in their care. They treat their employees like shit. Do you ever wonder why every time you walk into one of their shops it is someone different? I could go on forever....Support your LOCAL pet supply shop. Doggie style is just another chain.”

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17. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 03:36PM

“@Stacey Sigel: A majority of rescues are no kill BECAUSE they limit their intake to only the most adoptable (um, hello, PAWS?). I'm not saying I'm a fan of Operation Ava, but your argument is somewhat flawed.”

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18. Kim Wolf said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 03:59PM

“As an animal welfare organization Operation Ava has an obligation to educate adopters to see every dog as an individual – including purebred dogs and including “small and fluffy” breeds. There’s ample science illustrating the behavioral diversity within purebred groups of dogs. If Operation Ava is adopting out dogs based on physical appearance and generalizations about behavior/personality, then I feel badly for the dogs in their care who may or may not meet those behavioral expectations. Whether we're talking about "pit bull" dogs or Shih Tzus, every dog deserves to be viewed as an individual instead of a stereotype -- and every dog deserves to be paired with the best match for their lifestyle and preferences. It's our job as animal welfare advocates to do that for every dog in our care, and I hope that Operation Ava does that for any dog that comes into their program.”

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19. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 04:28PM

“This just proves so many sad realities about people whom its been long suspected.
At least we can all shop with a clear conscience at http://www.thechicpetique.com/
and support a small lady owned rescue oriented business.”

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20. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 04:29PM

“I am a former employee of Doggie Style, which let me tell you there are tons of "formers" bc they treat the employees like shit and fire people all of the time. I can assure you they are making a profit off of Oporation Ava...Ira and Claudia don't give a f*** about their own dogs let alone ones that need homes. Their bulldog Chloe was brought to a meeting once, you could see her ribs, she was dirty, and had dirty, torn collar and leash on, and ate a bowl of food faster than a starving Ethiopian. BOYCOTT DOGGIE STYLE if u can they are evil scum bags who care about money only. Also, on a side note if u go to Oporation Ava's website...the disabled pug they claim to have saved is actually their accountant Jeff's dog who he adopted on his own. PW please do another story!!! I know about 20 former employees that would give you interviews willingly and we all can account our horrid experiences with these cruel people!!!”

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21. Stacey Siegel said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 04:33PM

“At anonymous, not sure how the argument is flawed! I was simply stating a fact! They are "No-Kill", as is PAWS. Perhaps you are involved in animal rescue and already know that, but those that aren't might understand what that means! I hope I was able to clarify that for them.

FACT: When Doggy Style opened their businesses in Philadelphia, they visited the "Mom and Pop" neighborhood pet shops and suggested that the owners "sell them their businesses now because they were going to monopolize the industry and run them out of business anyway."

Opinion: Ethically and morally corrupt! =(”

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22. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 05:19PM

“I actually saw some information, one employee pricing all the local pet stores to see how much they could get in the market for puppies. And I can definitely vouch for their callous treatment of their own pets. I saw their own dogs get in a bloody fight and no one in the family took the time to break it up, their accountant did. There were punctures, no one even stopped to look, besides me. The pictures on the site are bordering on fraudulent, misleading at the very least. Just really horrible people that I would hesitate to let them touch my dogs. Not that they would want to, they don't seem to like animals at all. There is no way they are paying that much for the dogs from the south. They just exhibit really spineless and despicable treatment of their animals, estranged family and employees. It's purely about profit.”

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23. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 05:23PM

“I am also a former employee who had to dish money out for sugar the shop cat who would have died from something so minor if we the employees didn't step in! Also ira fought tooth and nail trying to get Leehe fai (his ex wife) dogs from her through the divorce ...not only did he leave her with nothing he was trying to steal her own dogs!
When i herd Claudia's daughter Ava was opening a "rescue" I knew they had to be stopped they are for sure using her as a front for laundering money
Ira had the 3rd floor of the doggiestyle headquaters on third and market seal and dry walled...during the confrontation with leehe and claudia i saw claudia moving files and papers up and down the stairs...in my opinion Doggie style is a front for something...i'm pretty sure he has millions buried in Mexico where Claudia is from.
I hope his "empire" falls but unfortunately he has a whole slew of lawyers that he will pay endless amounts of money to and he will probably get away with this!”

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24. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 05:28PM

“I am also a former employee who had to dish money out for sugar the shop cat who would have died from something so minor if we the employees didn't step in!
When i herd Ava claudia's daughter was opening a rescue I new he had to be stopped! Ira is a disgusting human being (if you can call him that) and Claudia got what she paid for.”

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25. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 05:30PM

“Operation Ava hired a "Vice President of Programming" who quit just a few weeks into employment - sounds like she didn't like either how she was treated or how the organization was run. As for Howard Nelson - he ran out like a coward at PSPCA when he was caught lying and spending massive amounts of $$ and now he is running Operation Ava with Claudia, what a joke. Dogs are taken from Acct but only the cute, fluffy ones or puppies (the ones that can easily be placed), they leave the grown Pit Bulls behind which unfortunately is what 80% of Acct's intake dogs are. They transfer dogs up from the south so they can always have cute, fluffy dogs in their store, oh sorry, their "rescue".”

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26. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 05:39PM

“Just to clarify that last comment... Sugar, the store cat at market street store did die. He caught something from the kittens that were at the store and up for adoption at the time. The store employees knew he was sick but since Sugar was not one of the rescue kittens there was not anyone to contact about it except Ira and Claudia. Ira did not feel like taking sugar to an animal hospital or take his sickness seriously. Sugar was simply "quarantined" in the backroom where he died in a cage, laying in his own vomit. It was the tragic what happened to sugar, he was an amazing, sweet cat and no animal should ever have to suffer like he did.”

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27. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 05:45PM

“Sugar must have gotten sick again because he was treated after we made a big deal to Ira about it..thats so sad he was such a sweet cat! RIP sugar”

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28. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 05:56PM

“Howard fudged euthanasia rates at PSPCA so what makes you think he won't fudge numbers of Operation Ava's? Ask any employee who worked there during his short time. Also, someone should ask him what HIS definition is of "no-kill". It certainly doesn't mean any animal that comes through the door will be adopted. If they suddenly get sick, he will deem them "unadoptable". HIS DEFINITION of "No Kill" is any "adoptable" (according to him) animal will be adopted out. Just hope there is not so much as a flea found on any animal they save or they will suddenly be deemed "unadoptable" but they will still claim they are a "No Kill". In terms of employees - expect every move you make to be watched through camera's and expect to be told to lie about certain aspects of the organization.”

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29. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 07:18PM

“Seems like "Anonymous" is very unhappy....”

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30. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 08:04PM

“I'm sorry, but I don't see what's wrong with transporting dogs up from the South to get them adopted. If the adopter would have otherwise gone to a breeder, isn't it better that they adopt? You can't force someone to adopt a "pit bull" -- they're not for everyone. Some people prefer small, fluffy dogs, and there's nothing wrong with that. ACCT obviously doesn't get many.

Or does this just interfere with Garrett Ellwood's agenda?”

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31. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 08:10PM

“RIP Sugar...i am also a former employee of the devils known as DoggieStyle aka Ira and Claudia. They have no souls and all they care about is $$$$$. So glad that they are finally being exposed for the greedy, corrupt, scumbags that they are. Ira was such a pompous pear who thought he was the Donald Trump of Philadelphia - not even close, buddy. Claudia was the "accountant" who sashayed around wearing inappropriate, revealing clothing and eventually began an affair with Ira - makes you wonder how she got that CEO position. The only person who really cared about the animals and had a real passion for helping them was his ex-wife, Leehe Fai and they eliminated her from the equation with absolutely no remorse. They are a bunch of selfish assholes and i hope they go out of business. SOON!!!”

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32. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 08:15PM

“Really people!! Get a grip. I don't want to address Irv, Ira, Howard (and Howard has nothing to do with Operation Ava) Has nothing to do with the issues at hand. First of all, most people start businesses to make a profit..period. If one business puts another busines out of business...part of the American way and oh well, guess they should have done a better job keeping up with running a succesful business.

Secondly, if Operation Ava pulls Pit Bulls from ACCT, but also wants to offer other choices to potential adopters, they are still saving lives by getting the dogs from other shelters...what is there to complain about. Not everyone wants to adopt a Pit Bull, not that I have any issues with the breed, nor does everyone want a Chihuahua or a little fluffy puppy, but I dare say the average adopter wants a choice....so again, what is the problem here?? Lives are being saved and families are finding new pets to add to their home.

It seems pretty simple to me.”

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33. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 08:24PM

“will management of operation ava forgo compensation for running a non profit charity? being that it has been listed as a 501c 80% of its money may go to paying management. if they would maybe they wouldnt have to charge such a high "adoption fee". the spca charges a lot less and includes neutering, microchip, vaccines and food. what is operation ava giveing for its "adoption fee"?”

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34. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 08:36PM

“Leehe was the only one who cared about animals. Claudia is a whore. Ira is a scumbag who only cares about $$$$.”

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35. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 08:37PM

“Maybe Oporation Ava doesn't have the grant money to cover salaries and overhead the way that the PSPCA does, to cover Sue Cosby's 6-figure salary.”

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36. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 09:00PM

“As it seems that many of you have facts that you want to express in order to "out" this so called...OpOration...why don't you contact Tara, who was nice enough to get this article published, and have them do another (as it was previously suggested). If any of you want to "go on record" and really do something about the abuse, neglect, etc that is happening- email her at tmurtha@philadelphiaweekly.com. Now is the time! She is obviously ready, and willing...to do something right! For the first time---Ira's money can't buy him the truth!”

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37. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 09:04PM

“I'm really glad this article was written. There are so many amazing local pet stores run by knowledgeable people who really love animals, so I don't understand why anyone would go to Doggie Style and buy the poorly-made knockoffs they sell. Don't give your money to a man who cares only about profit - support your local neighborhood pet store instead and stay away from the franchises!”

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38. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 09:09PM

“Well if anyone knows the business ethics of Doggie Style one can only imagine the business (nonprofit or for porfit??) Operation Ava is ran. Please note that anything that Ira Goldfrab does is for money not for the goodness of his heart. Ethics are not part of his vocabulary nor are the welfare the abandoned dogs and cats of Philadelphia of his concerns. You might also want to do some invesigate reporting on the finances of the Operation Ava and Doggie Style because his partner Ms. Gutierrez can't even take taxes out of paychecks or pay them to the city so I wonder where the funding came from for Operation Ava and where any of the donations really go to?”

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39. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 09:55PM

“well, anon38, sue cosby has not given her own employees any raises, including small percentage cost of living increases, in three years. you started working for her in 2009, you make the same amount today. no wonder she has a comfortable 6 digit salary.....”

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40. Anonymous said... on Apr 6, 2011 at 11:25PM

“This is a great article! For all those that are simply jaded. I worked for doggiestyle for 3 years I witnessed first hand all the kittens/cats that died sick cats and kittens that were sent back to the spca to be put down because they had a slight cough. I also remember when he was selling puppys Purebreed puppys out of his montgomery store then he had them in the back of market street store, He got into some trouble for not haveing proper license and had to remove them. They have a bulldog with severe allergies that they never took care of they left her in her cage all day and night. She had yellow stains from the feces and urine being left in her cage. I could go on all day with storys of how they mistreated animals and people! Yes this shelter would be a great thing if it really was to benifit the animals, but I can't see how they wen't from not caring and mistreating animals to animal lovers and saveing lives. They have alot of people fooled!”

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41. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 05:05AM

“#35: How hilarious that you say Howard has nothing to do with Operation Ava when HE lists HIMSELF as the President of it on his OWN WEBSITE!!!

http://howardrnelson.com/career/”

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42. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 06:18AM

“The anonymous posts are from a handful of people posting multiple times.

Anonymous, multi-posts typically are never about the fact or truth.

Writing styles have identified similar posts and suprisingly there are few posters here.

I follow Tara Murtha on her twitter and she exclaimed that posts are exploding on her story. Even that post lacks facts.”

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43. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 06:43AM

“All these posts are a reiteration of the same tales.......enough already!!!!....such a cast of characters.......an absolute embarrrasment to those not in Philadelphia, looking in, seeing us....no doubt they are shaking their heads at this....”

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44. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 06:45AM

“Sue is paid...$188,900.00 @ PSPCA...!”

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45. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 07:09AM

“This is to #35: Yes, people start businesses to make money! However, animal rescue IS NOT a money making business! Rescues function because they want to save the lives of animals, not make a profit off of them! Please don't get that twisted! Talk to any reputable rescue, STAR, Street Tails, PAWS, Project MEOW, and the list goes on!

ANIMAL RESCUE = COMPASSION, CARE, & LOVE FOR UNWANTED ANIMALS, NOT PROFIT!”

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46. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 08:29AM

“In response to #18, you may want to visit PAWS some time to see the dogs that they deal with. Trust me, they are not the most adoptable. They take some of the most difficult cases.”

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47. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 08:37AM

“I think it's high time for an expose on Ira and Claudia..”

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48. loveyourpet said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 09:03AM

“I really think we are forgetting the importance of the issues at hand. This is about the treatment of animals. With that being said Operation Ava is definitely NOT the place to go. Are we really to believe these people (Goldfarb, Gutierrez, and Nelson) are doing this to save lives?
I am one of the many employees who left this hostile, fraudulent, and indecent work environment. As part of the Doggiestyle team you were faced with cleaning and walking Chloe. This was of course Claudia, and the girls companion. This poor animal was caged for 10 to 12 hours a day, and left in it’s own urine. Are we now to believe they are only it to save lives? What I would like to know is Ali Baba and his coherts ready to forgo their salaries? Better yet, who will be handling the accounting? I’m sure someone from the IRS would be willing to help…. AT NO CHARGE.”

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49. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 09:06AM

“@47 -- I don't quite understand what is embarrassing about people coming together to share stories of an operation that clearly isn't wanted....FOR GOOD REASON! I'm sure most of these people have concern and care for animals in their hearts and want what is best for them. DoggieStyle/Operation Ava is NOT what is best for animals because all that the owners are concerned with is how much money they can get from their dogs. There is nothing wrong with sharing stories to help those not "in the know" about the shady ways of Operation Ava and DoggieStyle.”

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50. Penelope said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 09:53AM

“I agree with Stacy. Also a volunteer at ACCT, this whole thing disguists me. While our city dogs are being euthanized, these so-called "rescuers" are pulling "fluffy" dogs from other states. The fluffy dogs will get a home over our city pits. Give our pits a chance! They need homes, too! And $350 as a fee for a puppy??? You might as well go to Lancaster and get your own fluffy dog from a puppy mill!!”

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51. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:04AM

“Penelope -- those "fluffy dogs" from other states need homes, too. You cannot make someone adopt a pit if they don't one, whether it's because they believe the myths about them, can't handle their size (or are not allowed by landlords to own a dog that size or that breed). THERE IS NOTHING UNETHICAL ABOUT ADOPTING A SMALL DOG, WHETHER ITS FROM PA OR NOT!

A $350 fee for a rescue puppy iS NOT UNHEARD OF (do your research), and if you're suggesting they may as well go buy from a breeder, well, then you have no business calling yourself a shelter volunteer and advocate. You are ignorant.”

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52. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:04AM

“"Where there is smoke there is fire"
Boy the people of Operation Ava are really hated.
These people obviously pissed many people off.
Guess I'll take my business elsewhere until the smoke clears.”

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53. Les & Rob said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:11AM

“$350 for a rescue LOL
The SPCA on Erie Avenue has all the rescues you want for less than $100.”

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54. Former Employee said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:50AM

“Where are the vet records for Sugar (the store cat that died most likely from panleukopenia) Even if an animal dies in your home you still would take the animal in to be cremated to a vet............... Ira and Claudia's pets go to Queen Village vet so wouldn't they have the records of the cremation? The answer would be NO, because Cesar, Claudia's brother threw Sugar away in the dumpster behind the Market street store. If this were no true they would be able to produce vet records for Sugar's cremation!”

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55. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 11:23AM

“To Anonymous #47:

Have a visit to any Doggie Style store and see for yourself the turnover. They fire everyone. By the way, I enjoy that you complain about someone posting as anonymous and yet you do the same thing. FAIL.”

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56. Diane Schiller said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 11:59AM

“Yes, some legitimate rescues charge $300 to adopt one of their dogs, however these rescues are usually run by a small group of people who pay for all their food and vet care out of pocket. Most rescues will foster a dog for months until they find a perfect home for it, this costs a lot of money. I am a frequent visitor to the Passyunk store, where Op Ava houses many of their dogs. These dogs are almost always puppies, they arrive only days (sometimes the same day) after being neutered/spayed from the shelter they came from. They go from a shelter, to a car, straight to the window or back room of the store. They are taken care of by the employees of the store, they are almost always anxious, scared, and confused. They get to spend only small amounts of time with random customers and the employees and sleep in cages alone at night with no supervision. There is no one who's sole responsibility is to take care of them and their food is donated. Where is the cost in taking care of them?”

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57. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 02:35PM

“If you really hate this organization and believe that they are improperly using their tax exempt status to turn profits that they then hide, you should contact the IRS and the city auditors office and see if an investigation can be started.”

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58. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 02:35PM

“@Les & Rob -- the PSPCA has endowments, grants, and TONS of private donations to alleviate the cost of overhead, salaries and caring for the animals. Private rescues, such as Home At Last dog rescue (based in North Wales), Second Time Around Rescue (based in Royersford), Adopt a Boxer Rescue -- they all charge around $300 for an adoption fee -- do you think THEY are "posing" as a non-profit?”

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59. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 02:38PM

“Dana Spain (PAWS founder) is a dog- can we put her in a shelter? PLEASE!!”

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60. C.L. said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 02:39PM

“The responses to negative posts all sound the same. Written by the same person who sends our inter offices memos at Doggie Style. Anonymous defender is HOWARD.”

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61. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 02:57PM

“This organization is misdirected by miserable Ira, mistress Claudia, and mistrusted Howard. Anyone who really wants a scoop should contact his new son-in-law John. He lasted a few weeks working for them until quitting like all the rest. You'll get an earful, I did. He would definately add some insight in the next expose. With the people in charge of this organization it's only a matter of time for the next article.”

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62. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 04:24PM

“HILARIOUS - Howard must be embarrassed that he put that one of his CURRENT positions right now was the "President of Operation Ava". Between this morning and now HE REMOVED IT. Even HE is apparently embarrassed to be a part of the "non-profit" organization and with good reason. Good move, Howard the Coward.

http://howardrnelson.com/career/”

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63. Former DS employee said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 04:33PM

“Does anyone even know if they still have chloe and bella their 2 dogs that they don't take care of or did they dump them like they dumped claudias dog that grew too big?”

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64. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 04:41PM

“As an outsider, I thought Philadelphia was the city of "brotherly love", but this shady, corporate business, appears to be concentrating on one thing and that is Money! With no concern for the welfare of the animals in the city, that truly need help, they want to put out of business the businesses, who genuinely care for the animals and respectfully appreciate their customers. If people patronize this type of greedy business, Philadelphia will lose that which makes it so unique; a flury of small, independent, creative shops. It will be a shame. Philadelphians watch where you invest your money. Look for the little shop around the corner, where you will get genuine help and respect and keep Philadelphia PRIDE!”

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65. Former Doggie Style Slave said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 09:15PM

“When you go to adopt at OpOration Ava ask Ray Little(Director of Adoptions for Operation Ava) if he knows what happen to Sugar(the former Market St cat). He used to be the PSPCA liaison with Doggie Style. He personally came to pull cats from the Market Store when the relation was severed over the selling of puppies at the Montgomeryville Doggie Style. He knows lots it is terribly convenient that he now gets paid by them.”

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66. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 10:50PM

“Ray Little told PSPCA staff that Ira admitted that he was getting puppy mill dogs to sell at the store. Thats why there wasn't any investigation. Ray comes to PSPCA and ACCT to take animals but all he wants are the small, cute, fluffy dogs. There are lots of real rescues that are struggling but they still take the hard cases.

To #51: You're right. There is nothing unethical about wanting a small dog. There are small homeless dogs in Philly too! There might not be as many small dogs as there are Pitts but, they are there. When this city has so many homeless animals why should we bring in more from the south?

Oporation Ava is a pet store in disguise.”

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67. employee said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 11:27PM

“I understand why some may think it's wrong to rescue a majority of their dogs from the south when there are so many dogs in Philly that need help, I sort of agree. I say sort of because these are helpless animals and no one has the right to say what company should or should not help them find a home. I definitely don't agree with everything Claudia and Ira do as business people, but I can say one thing that is extremely positive about their company... the fact that most of their stores have at least one dog there that's up for adoption is showing a "shelter dog" in a new light and encouraging adoption amongst animal lovers. People come into the stores, without thinking about adopting a new pet, and many of those people are the ones that end up adopting these animals. I don't see a problem with that, these animals need homes and just because Claudia and Ira have poor business skills does not mean these animals don't deserve it.”

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68. Anonymous said... on Apr 7, 2011 at 11:48PM

“Ira is a great business man he has the perfect scam!”

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69. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 06:19AM

“If you think Ira is a good and savvy business man, you must really be into Hitler as well. Because this bag of crap is an animal killer leading a pet holocaust.”

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70. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:14AM

“URGENT:
why so much anger....???”

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71. Doggy Style is PA Puppy Miilers' best friend said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:17AM

“as I was saying.... great to see some controversy generated around the unethical practices of this place - Sue from the SPCA should work there - right up her ally!

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72. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:28AM

“FOCUS ON THE FUZZ BALLS PLEASE =)

http://www.philadoptables.org/adopt”

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73. Alex the Dog said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:29AM

“Can't wait for the next rant!.....this is sooooo exciting....”

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74. Pam said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:30AM

“He should "rescue" animals from the area where his "stores" are located...and never purchase from Puppy Mills-which should be ILLEGAL.These places are out for the "buck" and GENERALLY do not care about animal welfare....”

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75. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 09:16AM

“Lancaster County is one of the largest "Puppy-Mill" regions in the USA...

"Puppies for Sale" on Rt. 30, yesterday...sold off the back of an old truck....!
....why no PSPCA...??

Perhaps this ANGRY GROUP should visit Lancaster and pick up some of the puppies....

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76. Jen Hate said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 09:33AM

“I used to work next door to their Old City location & remember complaints about their illegal hoarding of animals for boarding back in 2009. While I had a nice relationship w all of the workers & would never hold an employee responsible for their corporate job, I am an insanely bigger supporter of an animal's life over the obvious exploitation of business even by the crass NAME of this chain of stores. I hope that these disgusting pigs finally go out of business & am proud to know this article is not only out but to be posting information myself as a STILL offended person by just their name. I have a lot more dirt. They are disgusting. Anyone who laughs at animal exploitation by sexualizing a store children go to should be hopefully railed into the ground this year.”

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77. Jennie said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 09:52AM

“To those who think a $350 adoption fee is justified, PAWS (which is no-kill and pulls a wide variety of dogs from ACCT) charges just $75 for adult dogs.

As a long time disliker of Operation Ava (and someone who is thankful they finally started spelling operation correctly), I'm still more interested in encouraging them to pull more dogs of varying sizes and types from ACCT than I am in just shutting them down. I would hope with all this much needed public scrutiny, they'll think twice and change their tune.”

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78. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 11:02AM

“Looking to hit 100 comments by 5pm....!”

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79. Stacey Siegel said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 11:23AM

“@76, wish we could rescue the pups being sold off the back of an old truck in Lancaster! But sadly, the doors of ACCT are always being opened by people surrendering their animals right here in Philadelphia! Not to mention the countless police officers that come by with a stray in the back of their car! We have our hands full here!!!

I am grateful that this story has been published! The word needs to be out that Doggy Style/Operation AVA is about one thing, making money and now that they are calling their shop a "rescue" they get to do it tax free! The owners DO NOT care about the well being of the animals in their care!

I am not saying that Doggy Style can't "order up dogs from the south!" What I am saying is that the animals in their care need to be cared for! I would not feel confident that our homeless animals being placed in their shop will be cared for properly!!!!”

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80. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 11:28AM

“These people are disgusting....please, don't even think about supporting this franchise. Rescue from the ACCT or PAWS. And for those of you who wonder where the local mom and pop stores are, google is magical. I am so glad that Baltimore Pet Shoppe is my neighborhood pet store!”

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81. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 11:40AM

“Operation Ava is SUCH a scam. They want to "order" (first of all who uses that word when truly rescuing dogs- Operation Ava does, I have heard it by their employee) certain breeds/puppies at Acct. DO NOT SHOP AT "DOGGIE STYLE".”

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82. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 11:50AM

“The bottom line is, as a pet company expands and becomes profitable the original nature of absolute care and caution towards animals slowly dissolves and turns into "what can i do to make more money". Businesses in pet retail should remain small and self sufficient in order to provide the best care, food, etc. When all business turns to pure profits the ceos could care less about the welfare of the animals provided to the business or to the public.”

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83. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 02:05PM

“Ira Goldfarb is such an asshole...terrible human being.”

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84. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 02:25PM

“Ditto: Howard Nelson is an a**hole and terrible human being also - and in addition, a huge drama "Queen"”

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85. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 02:58PM

“Stacy....don't the puppies in the back of a truck, shivering, no water, unfed also deserve a chance.....???”

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86. Nikki said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 03:06PM

“If Howard Nelson and Ray Little claim to be such "animal lovers", how can they stand to work where they do? I understand that maybe they took the job in the beginning because of the enormous salaries they were offered, but one would think...a TRUE animal person would leave after seeing how the place is really run. Isn't that why they already lost their VP of Programming?! She's actually a human being who truly cares about the welfare of our homeless animals!”

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87. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 03:39PM

“A great, non-fictional, short story of deceit, dishonor, and adultery.
http://www.paed.uscourts.gov/documents/opinions/09D0072P.pdf”

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88. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:07PM

“I like to know how they got approved for a kennel license how are they non profit???No matter what we write on here how many horror stories have to be told dumb people will walk by see a cute little puppy in the window of his store and go in and purchase it! They will buy his marked up food and cute little clothes. We must take action! WE have to have a voice for these poor animals in his care!”

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89. Stacey Siegel said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:13PM

“@90, I ABSOLUTELY think that the puppies in the back of the truck DESERVE to be rescued! And if it was happening in Philadelphia, I, along with carloads of other volunteers, would be out there rescuing the litter!!! If I didn't work, volunteer, foster, have a Pen Pal @ ACCT, and have two resident dogs of my own, I would be helping the puppies in Lancaster!

There are rescues, such as the Main Line Animal Rescue, that will go out to Lancaster and rescue the puppy mill dogs, and I totally respect and support them for that!

With that said, I am not really sure how that is relevant when we are discussing the corruption and poor treatment of animals in the Doggy Style/Operation Ava "Rescue," and the questionable way in which they "order up" their dogs!

Now the teacher in me redirects! Let's stay focused and on task!

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90. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:15PM

“I am quite happy that this article came out, as I have had many run-ins with Ira and his ex (who was no peach, but she did care about her animals) - He is a horrible man who told me straight out that he pays his employees very little, and he is lucky that it is the animal business and people are "willing to work for less." When the stores first opened and I didn't know it was Ira who owned them, I interviewed for a manager position (coming in with 12 years experience) and he wouldn't even pay me $15/hr, to manage his store. He likes to play the, "Don't you know who I am??" game. Yes, we all know. This is a very small city. You are a horrible man who only cares about money. You are a disgrace to the business world, the animal world, and the human race. I hope someone has the good sense to shut you down.”

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91. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:26PM

“@post95 beautifully stated!”

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92. caninepro said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:36PM

“@#77 Jen Hate - well said - and further, I could not agree with you more about the name "Doggie Style." The whole fiasco with this store and its star players, Howie-Ira-Claudia, is extremely disturbing. Ray Little will be out of there once he reaches his breaking point as so many other former employees - who happen to be excellent volunteers. In the mean time I am glad Ray is there because at least some of the animals will be well taken care of. Nothing wrong with saving animals from the South if that is indeed what they are doing. There are many reputable rescues who do this without charging $350/adoption, and the fee used to be much higher before the first Doggie Style expose. Why not contribute a portion of the exorbitant retail instead of exploiting animals in the name of rescue. I applaud the author for telling this story and hope it compels the public to do something - like not shopping there at the very least.”

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93. Karla said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 05:01PM

““I don’t remember any real issues between us and the PSPCA,” says Goldfarb. “We never had imperfect dogs from breeders, not the situation. I don’t know what to tell you. We didn’t have them ... to this day we have a great relationship with the PSPCA.”

Tough call between which comment is more ignorant, Ira's above or Claudia's: “If we have an empty space … we are not going to say, ‘we’re sorry, this animal was not born or found in the Philly ZIP code, so we’re not going to save its life,’” Gutierrez says.

TOTAL BS and poor Ava to have her name dragged into the mire. Next thing we're going to hear is that Howard Nelson has a great relationship with the PSPCA... and that nasty hissy fit he had on his way out, witnessed by the entire staff that day, never really happened.

Goodbye Doggie Style and Oporation Ava - don't let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya.


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94. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 05:36PM

“I wonder why Howard loves the name of "Doggie Style" so much ?”

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95. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 05:36PM

“there are many posts about Doggie Style and Sugar the cat, but he is only one of many. Look at the much bigger picture. Why is ACCT not overly fond of Operation Ava/ Doggie Style at the moment? Why did the PSPCA sever relations with them? Why did the PSPCA and Howard end his contract abruptly? Why did Howard leave the PSPCA with his tail between his legs? What happened to all the unaccounted for cats and kittens supplied by the PSPCA to Doggie Style (hint: many died at the Passyunk Ave and Market St stores) that were never adopted? How many animals were sick, untreated and then returned to the PSPCA as unwanted from Doggie Style? Were these numbers fudged by Nelson too? Why yesterday did Howard remove himself as president of Operation Ava form his Linkedln profile? Was being listed as president of an organization just a typo?”

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96. shame on you said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 05:59PM

“I would love to hear what Ira's ex-wife has to say about his business practices. . .”

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97. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 06:20PM

“@Karla & @#100: Yes Karla, it is true Howard left the PSPCA in a huge hissy fit and with his tail between his legs, as you said. He screamed, yelled and berated employees while he was there and then got caught by the board for lying. The President of the Board in 2008 even mentioned how he (Howard) lied to the press. He fudged numbers and had animals transferred and euthed in the middle of the night in secret. HE was there at PSPCA when the initial investigation of where Doggie Style's puppies came from.
The bottom line is that Operation Ava/Doggie Style care only about money and not about the welfare, rescue and care of animals. People with such character should not be in the animal rescue field.
Ira treats his staff the same as Howard so it is a perfect match business match. I feel sorry for their employees who are hired because they really do genuinely care about animals and want to make a difference. Most of them quit or are fired soon after they begin.”

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98. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 08:34PM

“I have met Ira Goldfarb a couple times in person and I can definitely say that he is rude condescending and generally a terrible, evil person. Is your dog a rescue Ira?? Didn't think so.”

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99. speak 4the animals said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 10:53PM

“Doggie style team is the place you want to be. It is filled with excitement. You get to work an 11 hour day with a smile on your face. Don’t forget the contract we all signed. Make sure you’re presentable and greet everyone that enters. If you need a break during your eleven hour day, make sure you clock out. Breaks will be deducted whether you clock out or not. Do not eat or drink behind the counter, and never ever eat tuna fish or onions. Funny thing is you never get a break. There is usually only one employee at any given time…. When exactly can a break be taken? The doors have to be locked just to go to the bathroom. Don’t worry you will get a phone call asking where you were, and what you were doing from one of the spies manning the cameras. I always wondered if the bathrooms also had hidden cameras.
Don’t ever ask about holiday pay, sick days, health insurance, or a raise. A raise is usually met with those famous last words: we will re-evaluate you in 3 months. Don’t worry though, you are now on their radar, and will soon be abused or fired. Let’s discuss overtime. Shhhhhh, that never happens at Doggie Style. Any overtime pay is put in an envelope and paid in cash. In many cases, after several phone calls they might even get that right.
This goes out to Goldfarb, and Claudia his overpriced glorified call girl. This is unacceptable.
Let’s ask ourselves one question. Is this the type of people that should be in charge of a charity? I think not. Instead of giving to charity, they made one…. For themselves. It is always better to receive than give! Right?

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100. anon on here... said... on Apr 9, 2011 at 07:13AM

“@ Stacy Siegel - you ROCK! Thank you for not only walking the talk and for having the gutts to do it under your own name.”

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101. anon on here said... on Apr 9, 2011 at 07:30AM

“My other 2 cents - for the poster above looking for city places to buy pet supplies, Chic Petique in NoLibs and BoneJour on 3rd St on Old City... in case they haven't already been mentioned, and no I don't own or work there - just shop there - a lot!!! The always have adoptable animals from PAWS or ACCT and have for years. Imagine how much good a place like Doggie Style could do if they donated even a small portion of retail profits toward rescue. They have many stores and growing. I'd drop the whole Operation Ava thing b/c of all the controversy and start over - put someone in charge who cares about animals and knows what they're doing, and let them run it! Doggie Style will continue to profit and be a shining example by donating funds to their rescue. Doing the right thing does wonders for one's reputation, conscience too.”

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102. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 06:32AM

“The people at Operation Ava don't educate the people buying their dogs either. It seems they just get their money and the deal is done. I live in NoLibs and was walking my dog the other day. We (my pup and I) ran into someone who had just "adopted" a dog from from OA. We stood talking for 2-3 minutes while our dogs played around and near the end of the conversation he nonchalantly mentioned that his dog had Kennel Cough. Anyone who has a dog knows that Kennel Cough is highly contagious and that if your dog has it you should always keep him/her away from other dogs. It should've been the first words out of his mouth. I know how bad Operation Ava is and I don't want it in my neighborhood. Owning a dog is a commitment and there is a lot to learn. Selling dogs for profit and then not educating people on how to take care of them is deplorable.”

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103. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 08:38AM

“To Post 108: Why educate potential owners on dogs when you are just in it to make lots of money? Unbelievable.”

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104. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 01:04PM

“As for their deplorable treatment of employees...here's one for you. A good friend of mine worked for them. He got bitten by one of the SPCA cats for adoption and ended up admitted to the hospital with a dangerous infection. Ira told him NOT to file Workman's Comp and that they would pay the bill ($9,000). When he got out of the hospital and was called into Ira's office, he was told "you cost me money". He was eventually "laid off" and the bill went unpaid. After taking Goliath to court, David won. Score one for the little guy. Those people are horrendous. R.I.P. Sugar.”

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105. Norm Eckert said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 02:26PM

“First I am a dog owner. Relocating to Philadphia with a dog that was not a rescue dog was at times embarrassing. As I became more acquainted with this dog rescue phenomenon and the dedication and passion of the people who did the rescue, the fostering and the adopting, I was humbled. Some have taken on the effort of creating a 501c3 non-profit. This of course enables them to do fund raising and provide for donations in an effort to expanded their ability to provide more funds for animal rescue. But the most of these people are individuals paying for costs out of pocket and taking these rescue animals into their homes. This includes feeding, vet bills, prescreening for adoption. Doggie Style certain has the right to expand it's business. But to expand it on the false premise it is compassionate about and caring about animal rescue is unacceptable. They are in this for profit. To me it is a puppy process for profit to enhance the business profit center profile of Doggie Style.”

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106. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 05:46PM

“Shop at Chic Petique in NoLibs...the owner is awesome and she supports the local shelters!!!Plus the store is really cool!”

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107. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 06:43PM

“Tara, please follow up on this story - there is lots more to be told about this disgusting organization and the way they treat animals.”

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108. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 06:47PM

“Here is an example of a liar, cheater and a disgusting human being.....watch and vomit
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWXZQdzv-yA

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109. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 07:24PM

“Operation Ava's adoption center has no cages and a vet on staff (which I am sure has cost them a lot of money to build and staff, explaining the higher adoption fees). Whatever their past was I think they have cleaned up their act in terms of the rumor about the puppy mill dogs. We may not like the owners as people, but the point is they are taking animals from high-kill shelters and giving them homes. I agree with the point that having a variety of dogs is important, and they did have some pit bulls when I went to visit the adoption center. They do save animals from down south, but they also pull animals from Philly too. I had a nice conversation with Howard who has a few pit bulls of his own, one who came from a place where she was severely abused and took a long time to rehabilitate. Someone who takes in a dog like that must care about animals... and I refuse to believe that all the rumors surrounding the company could possibly be true!”

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110. Valerie said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 09:03PM

“If everyone who commented went out tomorrow and rescue one stray cat in let's say Strawberry Mansion or Nicetown sections of Philadelphia, them maybe you could express your opinion. But like most people, you do NOTHING but criticize others.”

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111. Former DS slave said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 10:25PM


Then, less than two months into the six-month contract, Nelson vanished. Soon after posting PSPCA’s first month’s “save rate” stats and amid controversy elsewhere in the state—there was community outrage over a shelter shut down in Monroe County, the Pocono Record published reports alleging abuse of authority and the board was reportedly pressuring Nelson to answer “certain questions”—he suddenly resigned via email on Feb. 11, citing health concerns and “an environment no longer conducive to my success or the success of the organization.”



A recent item in the business section of Philly.com announced that Nelson was named vice president of retail operations at Doggie Style, the mini franchise of local boutique pet stores and president of Oporation AvA, its nonprofit arm.


The above are two quote's from prior Tara Mutha Stories... Howard left SPCA in a cloud of controversy this is not in doubt why I wonder is it still being questioned? Next question - Why was Howard originally president of Operation Ava and now he is not? He had even claimed on his own web sit up until 4 days ago that he was President now he is only a Board Member.
Snakes are slippery! Howard is a perfect fit with the nest of snakes that are Doggie Style, United K9's, Operation Ava, and the yet to be named antler company.

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112. former Doggie Style employee or maybe current said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 10:56PM

“So here is another question- I have heard Ira is in the antler business. Where is he getting these antlers from? Reputable dealers disclose to customers where their product is from, whether they are naturally shed, farmed, type of animal - deer, moose, etc. This product has been seen at a recent pet show (Global Pet Expo) with the United K9's pet line yet trying to look separate. It seems that Ira will also be peddling this “NEW” product at the next big pet show in Atlantic City(Backers Pet Show). So do you think with all the other things he has done that he is not just cutting up antlers in his American St warehouse? So who regulates that... is it Department of Agriculture? Just another of many things to think about!”

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113. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 11:15PM

“you are kidding about the antlers, right? If you live in rural PA or NY, you basically trip over them in the woods because deer shed them naturally every year. I once had someone offer to give me a bunch for my dog when I moved to the city and didn't have as much access to antlers as when I lived in the country. It's really not hard to come by at all.”

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114. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 09:37AM

“Q: Does anyone know what Ira's business endeavors were prior to Doggie Style?

A: Furs

Seriosly.”

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115. ilovedogs said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 12:21PM

“To those mentioning turnover, the Spruce store has had the same employees for at least a year, and a couple of them have been there for a few years! I've seen many older dogs in that store for adoption, including their current one, Pepper, who is a 6 year old dachsund, Sammy who was an older shih tzu and many others, and their adoption process is very stringent... they check vet references and landlords.They have adopted out harder cases too. Some of the above comments are just absolutely unfounded and bordering on slander.”

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116. SMc said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 12:44PM

“i believe it would be healthy if the negative perspectives and opinions about Doggie Style, could be put on the back-burner. the larger picture "THE BIG PICTURE" of Operation Ava's mission, ANIMAL RESCUE, has become an argument over how some local retailers and rescue members feel about Doggie Style franchise. we could all do this together, we could make a difference in the euthanasia rate of this country.... yes COUNTRY. i encourage anyone to go to the OPERATION AVA, Save-A-Life Rescue Center and get the truth. put your feelings aside, and find the truth and remember the reason you care.... the animals. (858 N. 3rd Street, Philadelphia, PA)”

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117. dogsinphillyshelter said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 01:00PM

“From a Philly shelter dog's point of view "i sure wish there was a local, no kill shelter that could take me. Maybe one that says they can house up to 120 animals! That sure would clear up a lot of the space in this high kill shelter.... Oh wait- there is!! Oh wait- never mind...they are full with dogs from the south, so there's no room for me there. I guess being me just isn't good enough....I'll just wait here with my paws crossed hoping I make it through another day without being put to sleep over lack of space."”

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118. ilovedogs said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 01:35PM

“They need a variety of dogs to meet the demand of the adopters. They do pull dogs from ACCT, and even some pit bulls... but no matter what, they can't save them all. Dogs in the south are also from high-kill shelters. They will also be put to sleep... or sometimes shot in the head because that is legal there. Why are we criticizing Op Ava for saving animals in the South? Whether here in Philly or in the South, they all need to be saved. Why can't rescuers all just get along? We all have the same mission... to rescue animals from being killed.”

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119. one of the many said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 01:50PM

“This is a reply to #115 – Are you kidding? It is great that you have the same person waiting on you for a WHOLE year, Give me a break! Try this question how many employees do they have in all locations that have worked for them longer than say 6 months, a year, two years?

As far as older dogs – hey in the last 6 months I adopted an 81/2 yr old dog, 6 yrs old is prime time for a small dog considering they live to 12 and over…. Old dogs are over 11 for small dogs, over 8 for medium size, 7 for large giant breeds. Try getting your facts straight!

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120. ilovedogs said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 02:00PM

“reply to #119... okay, it's a retail job, with many college students working there, so a year IS actually a long time to work in a retail store for people that age. There are a few older people that work in the Spruce store because they LOVE animals and choose to work there.
And as for older dogs, 6 is old enough to be considered an adult and harder to adopt out. There have been older ones as well as I said in my post. The reality is most people want younger dogs, it is just harder to adopt the older ones... it's the truth whether you like it or not. And just from shopping there on a regular basis and seeing what dogs stay in the store the longest, it's always the older dogs no matter how sweet or well-behaved. The point is they DO try to adopt older dogs, but they can only save what is in demand.”

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121. K. Taylor said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 02:39PM

“in terms of Post 116:
We would be focusing on the bigger picture of Operation Ava saving animals if they were honest. When Howard was at the PSPCA he claimed it was a no-kill shelter and then when he found out animals had any kind of issue or they were too full - he had them euthanized. Therefore, he was a dishonest man in terms of his animal rescue. He was also completely dishonest when it came to the "Good Home Guarantee" that he made during his time at the Washington Humane Society. The board resignation letters (of PSPCA) are on the Pocono Record (under the Animal Abuse) Web site where they tell a story of a dishonest CEO (Howard) in their reasons for resigning. I am very Pro-working with animal rescue but just because you call a vet refererence, does not make you a good, responsible rescue. What people are referring to is the dishonest track record. I certainly am in support of anyone rescuing/saving animals but only if it is done with honesty.”

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122. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 02:48PM

“do people not change and learn from their mistakes?”

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123. cheryl said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 05:07PM

“Responding to #15 NO PLACE HAS A TURNOVER LIKE D.S
Let's start with the office. It usually has 6-7 employees at any given time.
TURNOVERS: Accounting -3, Office managers-3, Buyers-4, Wholesale-2,web designers- 2, asst to Ira -8, V.P.-2 (ex-wife & mistress),secretaries & asst - 10. This is what we came up with off hand.
STORE MANAGER TURNOVERS (Fired or Quit)
Market-6, Passyunk-6, Walnut-4, Spruce-5, Sansom-5, Warrington-1, Manyunk-4, Paoli-2, Montgomeriville-3 Some we forgot.”

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124. Lou said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 05:25PM

“Just stopped off at Operation Ava/Puppy City and they tried selling me a puppy. Why is this shelter not overloaded with the abused, unwanted, sick, and older animals? Other shelters/rescues don't even have room.
This place is a scam.”

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125. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 06:10PM

“Has anyone every seen all the glossy postcards, stickers, flyers, etc that Operation Ava has printed and on display in each Doggie Style store?? I can't imagine a legitimate rescue spending that much money on "advertising" when it could be used on the care of the animals they are rescuing.

In full disclosure, I have shopped at Doggie Style and my mom has shopped there on several visits to Philadelphia...and I have never seen the same employee there on repeat visits. Several months ago I started reading things about the company and decided I didn't want to shop there.”

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126. K. Taylor said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 06:56PM

“@122: Yes, of course people can change but when you have gone and deceived 2 very large Animal Welfare organizations in the past 4 years and run out of your last job and give no notice to leaving except an email, because of lying, you begin to wonder. Then there is the question of someone who lists being a President of an animal rescue organization (Operation Ava) on both his own website and his LinkedIn Profile and then suddenly, when an article comes out, removes them two days later. All of these situations do not sound like a man who has changed. It is true that Howard's personal dogs are rescues and one of them is a Pit Bull and I do give him credit for that - but that is all. It doesn't make up for up for all the years of lying and deception in the animal field from 4 years ago until 4 days ago (on his websites).”

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127. Vincent said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 07:09PM

“Passed by there while it was under construction. I am a electrician so I asked the guys working ther if they needed help. They said no. They had all the windows covered and I saw no permits posted. The guys there were all foreignors. They were doing alot of work so I called L&I to report them and see if all the permits were pulled. They told me I was not the first person to call on them and they were looking into it. After reading all this shit on them I bet they didn't pull no permits, and are not even licensed.

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128. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 08:01PM

“@ #118 I volunteer at ACCT and they haven't pulled an ACCT dog in WEEKS!

@ #117 Yes! You are right on.”

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129. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 08:10PM

“hundreds of animals are killed every week in our shelters- a shelter that YOUR tax dollars funds.

why aren't the animal's we're killing offered one of those 120 cages spaces? why do they die if there are open cage spaces in the city, but a rescue chooses to import puppy mill dogs from out of state?

that doesn't sound like rescuing to me.”

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130. BGGsMom said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 08:22PM

“Dear "Dogsinphillyshelter",

Yes, that does suck that all the shelters are full. But if all these negative people with petty grudges against the owner of DoggieStyle get their way you'll have 120 more furry friends to join you out in the cold because that's what it sounds like these people are doing, TRYING TO GET A SHELTER SHUT DOWN! (yeah and they claim they love animals too, crazy isn't it?)

Maybe if more people got over their differences and actually worked together they'd be able to help you and other animals ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. High-kill shelters with disgusting ways of killing innocent animals like you are all over and it shouldn't matter where a dog was born, the bottom line is they should ALL have homes. So if Operation Ava pulls from them because not everyone in the Philadelphia area is open to adopting a Pit Bull (which as someone stated 80% of ACCT's intakes are) that should be acceptable.

SO GET OVER YOUR B.S. PEOPLE AND JUST HELP ANIMALS FIND SAFE, LOVING HOMES!!”

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131. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 08:28PM

“I agree, BGGsMom. No matter what anyone can say about Howard or Ira or Claudia, the bottom line is there are dogs and cats that need to be saved from death, and any action taken against Operation Ava just gets more animals killed. If you don't want to shop there then don't; but don't try to close down something that is obviously, at the core, a way to save homeless animals.”

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132. rescue dogs mom said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 08:48PM

“It astounds me that some of you supporters of Doggie Style are still not seeing the BIG PICTURE. I will try to clear it up for you! Anyone who has worked for DS, or had dealt with them or their management is terrified for these animals. They don’t care for the animals they own(Bella and Chloe), have in their stores(Sugar), or had at prior times for adoption(dying kittens from Market, dead kittens from Passyunk) WHY would any of that behavior change now. We all want more animals saved and given homes but if they are still not getting needed care and attention their suffering is just being prolonged. Is this the fate you want to bestow on these animals? I understand every rescue is always over filled but whatever animals are pulled by Operation Ava are just going on to suffer more not less I would hope they should go with a reputable rescue instead! But hey that is just me...what do I know!”

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133. Anwsers anyone? said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 09:00PM

“So does anyone have any info on the antler business Ira is now in? I do not want to end up buying any of his product mistakenly for my dog. Does anyone know what company name they are sold under? And for #113 I live in the city and my dog likes antlers so yes I buy antlers for my dog and I do not want my money going to Ira Goldfarb!”

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134. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 09:28PM

“They have two full-time vets on call now. That is part of the reason why the adoptions seem expensive.”

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135. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 09:36PM

“ACCT, PAWS and the PSPCA all have multiple vets on staff, usually 7 days a week.

Yet it is still only $75 to adopt a dog! How do they do it???? Low adoption fees AND they adopt out Philly's homeless dogs!?
Why does Operation Ava need to sell puppy mill puppies for $300 to pay for their vet ? Maybe they should consult one of Philly's rescues for Philly's dogs, since OpAva seems to need serious help.”

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136. Anonymous said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 09:45PM

“If Ira is SO impacted by euthanasia methods in the south (gassing, gun shot, heart stick) why doesn't he move there??? Those communities absolutely need the help of rescuers and animal advocates, but buying dogs from the south does little to actually address the root of the problem. If anything, it encourages breeders and irresponsible pet owners in that community if their pet over-population is simply sold to another area of the county.

If Ira really cared about dogs being gassed, like his Holocaust survivor relatives, he would move to the South and devote his energies to education and low cost spay neuter resources in these communities where the puppies come from.

REMOVING THE CONSEQUENCE (surplus puppies) ONLY ENCOURAGES THE PROBLEM

Hey! Guess what Ira is NOT GOING TO DO?”

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137. JB said... on Apr 12, 2011 at 09:50PM

“I am a true animal lover. I would NEVER turn a profit on a rescue. Doggie Style and Oporation Ava is a huge scam. They are not animal lovers!!! They are money lovers! As an old customer, who learned her lesson, I have seen what goes on in this store and became friendly with past employees. I had an issue once and spoke with the owner. He was extremely arrogant and didn't seem to care about what happened. It irks me that he only sees dollar signs...Goldfarb also has been threatening local dog walking/pet boutiques in the area that he will put them out of business. Please support your other local pet boutiques! Bonejour and Chic Petique are two of my favorites. Please don't support Doggie Style!”

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138. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 06:58AM

“#135. Op Ava just built an adoption center that cost thousands to rehab... I don't know if any of you saw the condition of Doggie World but it is a million times better with the construction they did on it. ACCT/PSPCA get money from the state to pay for their vets, etc. PAWS doesn't have the facility that houses 120 animals.

Honestly, most people I know who are looking for a dog will check all sources. If they want a pit bull or bully breed, they will go to those other organizations. But as many have stated before, those orgs don't usually have a variety of breeds. People will wait and search for the type of dog they're looking for, even rescue from out of state, whether Operation Ava is doing it for them or not.”

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139. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 07:57AM

“I bet of all the negative responses condemning the practices of Operation Ava in terms of how they treat their animals, maybe 1% of you have actually visited the adoption center and seen the condition of the animals, how happy and healthy they are and the amazing facility they have built there. You sound like a whole bunch of disgruntled ex-employees who are probably posting all of this as retaliation for however Ira has rubbed you the wrong way. Maybe you don't believe in the ethics of his personal life, but the Operation Ava center still speaks for itself, and if you went there you would know that.”

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140. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:07AM

“to # 139: Thanks for that response, Howard. As an former employee (who quit) it is obvious you wrote it.”

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141. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:22AM

“LOL I assure you this isn't Howard”

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142. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:30AM

“Not only is it hilarious that you thought I was "obviously" Howard, you also proved my point that you are angry at the company and thus trying to take it down at the expense of the animals they are trying to save. If you saw me you would see how laughable your statement was since I am a short asian girl! Things seems so obvious to you, but you are obviously just jaded!!”

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143. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 11:11AM

“#136. Seriously? He's going to uproot his whole family to move south, because there are dogs that need saving there? Why not just do it from here?

Under your logic, ALL rescue agencies contribute to the problem because they are all removing surplus puppies from shelters, how does rescuing them from Philadelphia impact OUR irresponsible breeders/owners and puppy mills? Under this logic, we are also encouraging them to continue what they are doing. The puppies will all be killed if no one does anything and there will always be irresponsible pet owners. The difference is, if Op Ava doesn't save them, THEY WILL DIE IN THE SOUTH, usually by unethical means. Who cares if they cross state borders to find a home? As someone posted above, when people are searching for dogs, they will wait for the perfect one, regardless of what state they came from. That's why there are agencies that specialize in transport, or breed-specific rescue orgs. Your logic is SERIOUSLY flawed.”

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144. Captain Obvious said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 11:19AM

“This thread can be summed up in three simple words: Haters gonna hate.”

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145. Not Howard said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 11:32AM

“Also, to reiterate for the cheap seats in the back:

NOT EVERYONE WANTS A PIT BULL!”

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146. Get It Straight said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 01:38PM

“This is a reply to NOT HOWARD – Hey I don’t give a *%#$* who you are, but if you are going to defend Doggie Style and Operation Ava how about addressing Sugar dying or the conditions they keep their own animals in. I guess those are things you didn’t personally witness, but guess what I did! Sugar died from not getting care, and was then thrown away. He did not need to die, and if he was un savable he should have been cremated. So where are those records? Chloe and Bella stink even after a bath because they are kept in crates way too long in there own urine and feces. What about that? So Not Howard do you have answers now?”

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147. Not Howard said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 01:46PM

“All I know about Sugar was that he caught a communicable disease from some cats they were trying to adopt. Yes he should have gotten vet care, but the disease he had was incurable. Do I think it was wrong what happened? Yes. But do I think they have changed their ways, YES. BEcause I have seen firsthand what the new place looks like. HAVE YOU??”

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148. Try reading! said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 01:47PM

“To those who think we are haters, are you actually reading our posts? We are terrified of them hurting animals. Their track record is far worse than bad it is horrendous but hey you will find out for your self in due time, just as the rest of us did! But in that time for you to discover this how many more animals will they hurt?”

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149. Try Reading said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 01:48PM

“To those who think we are haters, are you actually reading our posts? We are terrified of them hurting animals. Their track record is far worse than bad it is horrendous but hey you will find out for your self in due time, just as the rest of us did! But in that time for you to discover this how many more animals will they hurt?”

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150. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 02:05PM

“I've spent considerable time in the new adoption center and the animals are all treated humanely, there is 2 full-time vets on site, and it is a far better facility than most other rescues I've seen. Since I have witnessed all this, it's hard to believe a lot of what is being said. If those things did happen, it appears they have amended their ways.”

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151. Captain Obvious said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 02:14PM

“With as much shit as people like to sling in Doggie Style's direction, ANYTHING bad that happens/happened at OpAva would be well-publicized.”

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152. Just Me said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 02:34PM

“On post #125, as for the stickers and "advertising" you mentioned, those dollars are fed back into the adoption center, much like buying a pink ribbon to support breast cancer awareness. It's all money going to the cause of saving more animals.”

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153. Mike P said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 04:09PM

“Most of us "disgruntled ex-employees" are actually animal lovers. That is why we work in this field. Our problem is the same people who own Doggie Style run Operation Ava, and they are no animal lovers. So many of us have left for just that reason. We would all support this organization if we believed for a second it to be legitimate. From Howard on down it reeks. This city needs all the recues possible, but this place is a farce. These people have abused animals and people in the past and will again.”

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154. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 04:53PM

“@Mike, #153 Post: I love that you used "disgruntled ex-employees", remember Howard would always use that phrase in every article where someone said something bad about him that he knew was true? Either that or DFE's (Disgruntled Former Employees). Just because a profit franchise applies for a non-profit status and the places "looks nice" does not mean they are good people. I love the post that says "have you seen how nice the place is......" Just because something looks nice, does not mean it is reputable, duh.”

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155. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 05:29PM

“That person didn't just say it LOOKED nice, she said the treatment of animals was up to par since people were talking about how badly they have (allegedly) been treated in the past. She is a volunteer there and sees how all the animals are cared for. She is a friend of mine who works with Howard and says he is a nice man who has never once raised his voice at the staff and it just seems unbelieveable that you are all talking about the same man. I can't say much about Ira because I don't know him or how he treats his dogs, but I know that the animals at Operation Ava Adoption Center are all cared for by vets, Ray Little the manager, some staff, and a whole lot of volunteers, all of which truly care about animals.”

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156. Get It Straight said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 07:22PM

“For Not Howard: You are an idiot... Sugar contracted panleukopenia from the kittens that were dying in Market. Panleukopenia is curable in adult cats trying looking it up the mortality rate for adult cats is between 10-15% in other word he had up to a 90% chance of living! But he was just a store cat not a rescue animal for SALE, for PROFIT, so I guess he did not matter!”

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157. Not Howard said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 07:36PM

“As I stated before, I don't know much about Sugar... I only know what is CURRENTLY happening in the new adoption center. I said what happened was wrong. I said I don't agree with it. But I also said from what I see now, no evidence of animals being abused or neglected at the new place, especially with 2 vets on staff and all the people around who care for the animals. They have rooms to run around, a huge yard to exercise in, and lots of toys. And on the subject of educating... they plan to have classes with experts on how to train your dog, fun agility training, and other events. Tell me how that sounds like people who hate animals!”

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158. A question said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 07:54PM

“With all the post that have been made don't any of you defender wonder why so many people have been burned by the Doggie Style machine?
Fact: Ira goes to China and had knock-off products made of other companies. Examples - Puppia, Bessie and Barney, Bowser, Premier, to name a few
Fact: Allows store animal to die from lack of medical care.
Fact: Allows pets for rescue to not get speedy medical care.
Fact: Treats employees badly in so many ways it is near impossible to list. Examples - not paying overtime instead giving straight time only after 40 hrs, no breaks, telling people they can't visit family because they "might" be on call for work , threatening a persons job for speaking to other stores, employees about concerns, etc.
Fact: not paying a medical bill for a work related injury until he was sued, even though he "promised to pay the bill so the employee would not go thru workman's comp

But you voluteer in the bright shiny new place so they must be great people!”

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159. Get It Straight said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:08PM

“Reply to Not Howard: Let me ask you this since you seem so informed on all Doggie Style/Op AVA stuff- Have you actually looked up Howard’s track record or spoken to him personally about why he falsely reported data? Your premise is erroneous, you are basically wiping their prior bad behavior clean because thing are “Pretty, Clean, Shiny.” By your premise anyone could go slaughter a bunch of animal and a year later open a rescue that you will defend. Your standards are high you fit perfectly in with the rest of Doggie Style Team! You could be volunteering for Paws or ACCT or PSPCA but you choose the “PRETTY PLACE”. Enough Said!”

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160. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:21PM

“I volunteer there because I was told about it through a friend. I didn't hear about any of this controversy until just recently, and there was no reason for me to suspect anything since I didn't know about it when I started there.. I do not condone animal abuse or neglect. All I am trying to say is I don't see any of that happening now. But I guess we can agree to disagree on all of this.”

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161. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:27PM

“So you are hearing about it now why are you still there? There are other places to voluteer. So you are also spineless as well!”

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162. sick of liars said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:34PM

“just because operation ava is listed as non profit doesnt make it a non profit. a 501c non profit organization is legally allowed to use 80% of funds raised to pay management salaries.
to truly be a non profit and show good faith is management going to forgo the money they make from operation ava since they are all making money employed by doggiestyle???
somehow i doubt it!”

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163. Anonymous said... on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:47PM

“Maybe I will volunteer somewhere else, I'm not opposed to it... I just don't see anything going wrong and all of the people I have dealt with there are animal lovers. You can hate me or whoever works there but there are plenty of people that are associated with Operation Ava that do care about the animals there. Anyway it's a pointless argument now, since we are obviously never going to agree. I'm trying to do a good thing here, and I'm just being attacked about things that I don't even see happening. Sheesh.”

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164. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 07:41AM

“As a law student I feel the need to intercede here. The accusers in this case have the burden of proof here. "Not Howard" has stated that she has witnessed no evidence of the allegations of animal abuse/neglect OR mistreatment of employees at the new adoption center and has been corroborated by other posters in this thread. Furthermore, the accusers have shown little compassion by calling NH a "spineless" "idiot," someone who you have admitted to being a complete stranger to you. This also leads outside readers to have little sympathy for your case being that NH is innocently trying to volunteer to help defenseless animals, and was unaware of the allegations that the accusers declare to be fact. I say all this not to anger anyone, but to simply prove that it would be hard to change someone's mind to see your point of view if you lower yourself to name-calling to prove your point. It only fuels the notion that you are instead holding a grudge toward the owners of this company.”

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165. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 08:42AM

“NH is not a complete stranger to many of us posting on here. We have definitely had close negative experiences with him and his character in the past.”

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166. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 08:50AM

“Um... not likely since you just called NH a "him," and it is a female who posted as "Not Howard." See post #142”

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167. MsKitty said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 10:42AM

“Rittenhouse Pet Supply is one of the best anti-corporate pet stores in the city. Along with Chic Petique and others, there is no need to step foot in a chain. Support small business and those who save PHILLY pets, instead of bringing more animals into an already overwhelmed city.”

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168. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 10:53AM

“Wow - I am shocked at amount of vitriol comments being slung. Judging people who volunteer their time? Harsh... I'd hate to be their dog and not live up to expectations...

Regarding the article: WHAT IS THE FACTUAL PROBLEM with Doggie Style and Operation AVA? I failed to be persuaded by the article that there was nefarious activities being done here... So it been journalized and made know PUBLICLY that Operation Ava, part of Doggie Style2, brings in rescued dogs from down south. Oh, and that they charge $350 per dog to the public. So What? If you really have a problem - do something positive. Write the company and tell them you would prefer to do business with a company that can rescues dogs locally - fixes them up and then makes them available for sale to the public. Jeeze, I'm sure it wouldn't take much to convince a savvy business couple, in the pet world, how with public favor - profits would be coming in hand over fist! be nicer”

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169. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 11:03AM

“I can haz good grammer.

C'mon folks, proof read. It'll make your comments more effective and taken a little more seriously. Unless you already do, then we have another issue here in Philly that needs addressed...”

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170. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 11:06AM

“@164, really, burden of proof? This is an article, not a courtroom, and even if it were, your argument is flawed. If it were a courtroom, presumably, it would be the Operation Ava folks claiming something like defamation/false statements in a civil suit against the writer/commenters. In that case, OpAva would have the burden of proof to prove that the statements against them were false by a preponderance of the evidence (i.e., 51%). I don't think that would happen given the evidence posted.”

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171. MsKitty said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 11:12AM

“The anger over Operation Ava bringing in pets from outside the city is valid. Howard Nelson is aware of the pet population problem in Philadelphia, and yet, made the decision to obtain outside animals, and even reportedly BUY dogs from breeders. These are people who should know better! This is not a case of ignorance driving a poor decision. And Howard has a long history of making poor decisions regarding animal control. This is just another hidden agenda from a morally bankrupt group.

Howard was quick to pull his name from websites linking him to Ava recently. One of the architects of the sub-prime mortgage (the only person whose name is on the patent not indicted) then went on to interfere with animal control in Washington as a cover for his former activities with Fannie Mae. As we all know, he set back animal control in Philadelphia ten years by seeking a contract the organization he worked for could not handle, all the while spending down the PSPCA's endowment. SHAME!”

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172. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 11:17AM

“#170. Evidence? More like rumors and heresay. No one has shown any evidence of wrongdoing, otherwise the company/agency would be in trouble with the law, yet the article even states that nothing has been proven. Even the spokesperson of SPCA had no comment and had not conducted a formal investigation. Don't you think the Society for Prevention of the Cruelty to Animals would want to stop abuse and neglect if they knew it was happening?

#169, Grammar? REALLY, that's your well thought-out reply to this discussion? Wow.”

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173. Law Student said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 11:20AM

“By "burden of proof" I was referring to the allegations of neglect and abuse. Yes I know this is an article and not a courtroom, I was merely using logic to prove a point.”

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174. #169 said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 11:55AM

“I didn't think too much about it.”

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175. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 06:15PM

“I can't comment on doggie style's history but I volunteer at ACCT and often see signs on cages that the dogs are going to Operation Ava. That's enough for me to support thier efforts. Every dog's life is precious, no matter where it came from.As long as they are saving dogs (especially ACCT dogs) then I think they are doing a great thing. Why is the animal rescue community so judgemental of one another? We are all here for the same reason, to save homeless animals!”

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176. 4CNKP said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 07:54PM

“Citizens for a No-Kill Philadelphia”

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177. Anonymous said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 08:01PM

“united k9's (owned by ira goldfarb) is now wholesaling antlers under the name prairie dog antlers. they have also been retailing them in their doggiestyle stores. we took the liberty of contacting the authorities in the state of pennsylvannia. we contacted the department of agriculture, the department of environmental protection and the pennsylvannia game commission. there are strict regulations and a host of fees involving possesion, sourcing, licensing, transfer, point fees, and sale of animal parts. the antlers were bought in iowa not in pennsylvannia. these antlers are being processed (sanded, cut, packaged, shipped) at their american supply warehouse at 2411 n american st. they are being sold as edible animal chews. we are certain many if not all the regulations are being broken. this may well be the next issue you people read about.”

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178. happycat said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 10:17PM

“Madras? where are you ?”

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179. Trixie Talks said... on Apr 14, 2011 at 10:33PM

“How can "Operation Ava" open an adoption facility only a year after being started? And they say non-profit? Doubtful all their adoptions paid for the lawyers that snuck in and chased Doggie Daycare World out of their lease, construction and all that went along with the opening of this facility. ALL IS VERY SHADY!!!!

And for a rescue facility, why is there only one window (totally enclosed and no ventilation) for a puppy to be displayed? You walk in off the street and it looks exactly like a Doggie Style (same supplies and color scheme), except they call it "Pet Shop". If they wanted to project the rescue, how come you have to walk in and inquire about the dogs for adoption, why are they not prominently on display?

I love how no matter what Doggie Style location you visit, you ask the employees about the new location on 3rd Street and you get a different take on what exactly is going on there - none of them know for sure. Kinda humorous.”

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180. Anonymous said... on Apr 15, 2011 at 07:05AM

“Operation Ava was funded through Ira/DS. That's how it opened so fast. As for chasing out Doggie World, it was closed before they took over the lease, no one got chased out. The community didn't like Doggie World being there because the condition of the building and the noise it was making in the neighborhood. That's why OpAva did so much construction, it helped cut the noise down and made it a much nicer place for the dogs. The dogs are right upstairs in a huge space. Now you're nit-picking on the layout of the place? Unbelieveable. Of COURSE it looks like a Doggiestyle, why would they change their suppliers or color scheme when they are already established and everyone knows they are affiliated? The money from the Pet Shop all goes back to help fund the adoption center, which cost a lot to build and came out of Ira's pocket to begin with.”

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181. Anonymous said... on Apr 15, 2011 at 12:31PM

“I heard Doggie World closed because of the rent going up too high. Either way no one chased anyone out. People just want to make up as many lies as they can about this company.”

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182. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 01:03AM

“To the man that found Sugar...you know what # you are. You're a good man and the sooner you get away from them, the better.”

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183. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 07:20AM

“#182: I second that.”

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184. Kelly said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 08:22AM

“#182 I third that

RUN FAST AND DON'T LOOK BACK.”

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185. Kelly said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 08:39AM

“Last week the Director of programming at Operation Ava ran.
This week Howard was listed as president and now he's not. I guess he ran
and that's typical of Howard Nelson.
Who is in charge?
Uh uh uh Can I be president next week?”

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186. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 09:24AM

“@Kelly #185 -- you can be President as long as you take it off your resume/website as soon as negative press hits and you "suddenly" decide you don't want to do it.”

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187. Arc said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:03PM

“RE: 182,183,184 That same man quit Doggie style then a few months ago went back to work for them??? So how good is that MAN?”

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188. Arc said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:06PM

“Re: #'s 182,183,184 That man who found Sugar dead in his own vomit and feces, months later and for other reasons did quit DS. He has since returned to work for DS, so how good is this man?”

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189. About Antlers? said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 12:09PM

“Does anyone have more info on the antlers Ira is putting out? I wouldn't want to buy his for my animal mistakly!”

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190. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 01:43PM

“To #189: see #177 - Prairie Dog Antlers”

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191. Lol said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 06:13PM

“I would rather buy antlers getting cut in a warehouse in the US than buying dog chews from China being made by children. lol Some people just dont like the owner for some personal reason. If you don't like capitalism then move out of America because that's what this country's economy is based on.

What's really funny to me is how everyone is saying that Ira and Claudia don't take care of their dog so the dogs in the shelter aren't being taken care of and are abused. GUESSE WHAT, it not Ira and Claudia taking care of the puppies and dogs that have health problems, need training, and lots of love every single day. It the hard work of employee and volunteers that see to the best care for these animals. It's a disgrace and disservice to the people working hard to find these dogs home. I could care less about what people have to say about owners, it's irrelevant when people are busting their butts trying to do a good thing.”

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192. Can't stop laughing said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 08:42PM

“Responding to #191
You say "I would rather buy antlers getting cut in the US than buying dog chews from China being made by children". I would too if the company was reputable. Are you trying to be funny or just stupid? Almost the entire line of UK9'S (owned by Ira Goldfarb) which is sold at Doggie Style and Operation Ava is made in China. What you meant to say is Ira is enabling and supporting the overworked and abused children of China. You then proceed to say "move out of America". I think Ira should move to China, and take stupid (you) with him.”

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193. still laughing said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 09:05PM

“Ira and Claudia have not taken good care of their own animals. Yet they seem to find people who truly care about animals. These employees and volunteers are hard working and caring people who are to be commended. What worries us is they may wind up like all the animals and people who have had previous dealings with them. These wonderful volunteers should run to the nearest legitimate shelter/rescue and volunteer. Get away while you can.”

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194. BGGsMom said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 09:30PM

“To #193: Wow, that's a new low, telling people to run from helpless animals in a shelter. Like #191 said, it's the hard work of the employees and volunteers that keep the day-to-day business going. So if there are good people working and volunteering there, then the animals are in good hands and will hopefully be placed in good homes. Sounds like you'd rather people jump ship because of the stories being tossed around on these blogs and leave the animals without any hope.

You people are disgustingly ridiculous. The lies and rumors are really starting to get out of control. I've had some bad bosses and coworkers in the past too, but I don't spend my entire life blogging about them. Get a life!”

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195. You sstill just bdon't GET it! said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 11:06PM

“Re: #194 Again a lot of you are still not GETTING it! Yes they keep their own animals in terrible condition and conditions, yes they don’t care, yes when animals are in need they ignore employees who try to get them needed help. That is the crux of the matter. We who worked for them went through these issues repeatedly! They would ignore the animals in their care in favor of say lunch! Did/do employees care about the animals...that would be a resounding YES, not one of did not care. All of these post are about what has happened and why we believe it will still happen. Are you all just to stubborn to see reason? Leopards DO NOT change their spots!”

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196. HMMM??? said... on Apr 16, 2011 at 11:18PM

“Yes, I worked for DS, would I wish that on anyone else NO! All of these posts are about that, I wouldn’t want other to deal with the #*$& I did. Did I meet great customers, YES. Did I meet get fellow employees, YES. But would I say to someone go work there NO a hundred times! Sheesh! That is the point, I worked there it was awful, and I wouldn’t want to see others go through what I did! I love animals, I have three rescues of my own! But do I think anyone should work for them NO! Needless to say giving them your labor for free is totally out of the question as far as I am concerned! I am waiting to see the next issue because with DS there is always some new scam”

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197. LOL said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 09:02AM

“In reference to work. I agree with #194. To all previous doggiestyle employees who hated their job. GUESSE WHAT, all retail jobs SUCK. Most retail business have bad management, crappy bosses and an even crappier pay. If anything all retail is slave labor, it's a sin. You work hard for the company and get paid nothing to make them rich, thats capitalism for ya. If you think DS was dreadful I'm sure it could be worst. I know plenty of people who work retail and their stories sound no different than your main complaints about DS, (excluding all the rumors about animals). It's like that everywhere. Besides I think working at a pet shop that sells dogs is worst, now they totally don't care about the animals.

And yes, I was trying to be funny/sarcastic #192. The problem with manufacturing in the US goes way further than Ira Goldfarb. Imperialism FTL.”

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198. Could not agree more said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 09:03AM

“To #196 - I could not agree more as I also worked for Doggie Style! I loved my customers, they were great but at the same time I wished they didn’t shop at the store I worked in because of who the money went to. Everyone should run screaming from them as fast as they can. Ira, Claudia, and Howard are in it for the money only. I did not know their history when I got the job, but once I did I started looking for a new job! This was a common theme with my fellow employees. I did not know one person who knew when they started that Doggie Style was so awful yet once we did know you left as soon as you could. I think one former employee even took the store cat from her location so make sure that the cat would not be harmed. Enough Said!”

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199. disgusted said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 11:39AM

“As a former employee, I started off being really enthusiastic about Op Ava's goals to help animals. I even adopted a dog through them!! Of course the dog came fully equipped with a heaping case of kennel cough which every single animal that comes into their retail stores has. I understand that the majority of animals coming from shelters or kennels has this common "animal cold" but it should be taken care of before exposing customers.

In reference to their adoption practices though it is sickening and appaling. They charge anywhere from $250-$350 for a dog depending on its age!!! Then, as an employee, when a customer balks at the outrageous pricing for a shelter pup we are supposed to convince them it is more than fair pricing because of the care we provide. The care we provide is not worth that much. They have an awful vet employed by the company who diagnosis the dogs and cats with all the same sicknesses all the time and barely knows how to give a proper vaccination.”

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200. Still here? said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 11:40AM

“I can't believe you are all still talking about this.

Just wanted to say, to those saying we should volunteer somewhere else:
1) why would I volunteer somewhere else when I like the people I work with (I see Claudia's kids far more than I see Ira and they are sweethearts),
2) SPCA/ACCT are extremely far from my house and Op Ava is right down the street
3) I never see any animals getting abused/neglected, I only see them happy to be out of a sad, depressing place where their days are numbered,
4) and I see sick/old animals getting care and love and blossoming back into happy and healthy animals

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201. disgusted said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 11:48AM

“Continued..... I bet the vet didnt even graduate veterinary school. As far as the car that the animals receive while inside of the retail stores, it all depends on what employee is working. I have witnessed employees who are pseudo animal lovers aka only animal lovers at the time of their interview, leave the pups and kitties go for days without clean bedding, fresh water, food, or any attention. This company makes me sick and should be shut down immediately, not only for the poor treatment of their animals but for the awful treatment of employees who work 11-13 hour days without even a moment to use the restroom....oh and if you try to use the restroom or take a bite of a sandwhich, expect a nasty phone call from the tyrant Howard Nelson asking you "just what do you think you are doing". Ira Goldfard is definitely no prize either and his overpaid call girl shouldnt even be allowed to own pets let alone be a CEO of a pet store”

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202. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 12:28PM

“Now you are attacking the vet's credentials!? You are all truly nasty people. I assure you she went to Penn's Veterinary school. Check their page, they funded one of her projects in 2005:
http://www.vet.upenn.edu/Research/ResearchTrainingOpportunities/NIHMerialVeterinaryScholarsProgram/FundedProjects/tabid/599/Default.aspx

In case you don't feel like trying to find her on there, here is the excerpt:

Student: LeAndra Thompson
Title of Project: The Effects of Cytoplasmic Dynein Disruption on the De-Stabilization of the Mammalian Neuromuscular Junction
Mentor: Erika Holzbaur
Department: Physiology, Medicine

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203. Stop the lies said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 01:00PM

“#203. You WITNESSED employees neglecting animals for days??? what did you do, camp out in the store? SOmehow I don't believe you.”

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204. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 02:09PM

“@205...No we have all witnessed coming into work the morning after peoples shifts to unclean cages, unscooped litter boxes, and bone dry water bowls. Also the camera system says it all when yoyu see an employee leave for the night without having ever gone into the dog or cat room to feed, water, or clean the adoption area.

@204...Fine she went to veterinary school. however you can go to schoool and still be an awful vet...the bottom line is the animals are always sick and arent getting proper vaccinations or care. it takes days and sometimes weeks to get responses to emails about the sick store cat or animals up for adoption.”

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205. abused before said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 02:27PM

“Leave the poor vet alone. Not only is she caring for the animals, she has to contend with Nelson & Goldfarb. I'm sure she's underpaid, overworked, and unappreciated. Just another employee they will take advantage of. She will probably get paid by the "charity", but her duties will include taking care of Doggie Styles animals too. As soon as something better comes along she'll be gone. She will then have her stories to tell.”

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206. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 02:32PM

“@201 - 203: I completely believe you about Howard monitoring the camera's and being a tyrant if an employee so much as breathed wrong. Anything he is involved with definitely has to do with profit and if he is spending loads of $$ (like he did at the PSPCA and put them back at least 10 years), he is certainly doing it for his own pocket and not for the animals.”

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207. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 02:35PM

“Thank you to CNKP for alerting us to this article on their FB page and through email - I never would have learned about this situation and am so glad I am as I live in Northern Liberties. I will continue to shop at Chic Petique that is for sure.”

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208. Disgusted said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 03:02PM

“Howard is definitely a tyrant. And I'm not the type of person to judge someone solely based on their personality. I had never had one pleasant exchange with the man. He is absolutely unbearable. His business practices are disguting and he is an all around awful human being. Some of us need to band together and contact all of the proper resources and get this place either closed down or working properly. There are much better rescues out there that homeless pups and kitties could go to. This place is just as bad as a kill shelter.”

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209. So many lies and accusations said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 03:25PM

“How long ago did you guys work here? I work here now and have for almost a year, and I haven't seen any of the stuff you're talking about. Howard is always pleasant, the dogs and cats are taken care of in the store and NEVER neglected or abused. I am actually extremely offended that you would say we don't care about these animals.

The vet on staff not only calls you back within the same day, she has followed up with me about my own personal pet a few times when I asked her about my dog vomiting, AND she has a whole Adoption center worth of animals to take care of. She truly cares about the pets they save.

So many lies and accusations! I don't understand where they are coming from!

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210. Don't believe the lies said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 03:58PM

“The fact that you are attacking the vet that you don't even know is despicable. Leandra is a sweet and loving person that doesn't deserve all these horrible comments being made about her. She is prompt to help the animals and never leaves a dog or cat sick and unhelped. Don't believe the lies these former workers are saying.”

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211. To #211 said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 05:34PM

“Great! you are the exception, goodie for you! Here is a question have you ever met Chloe and Bella? I work for DS for almost a year and those dogs ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS stunk! They would make me want to vomit before bathing and after a bathing they were only mildly improved. To have an animal smeel this bad they are simply NOT cared for that is it! the smell is from thier own shit and piss that became imbedded in thier skin and fur it takes months for a smell like this to go away. I only left a couple months ago so you obviously do NOT know what you are saying! You would have smelled theses dogs across a crowded store!”

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212. To Ava and Lexi said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 05:42PM

“Why don't you take better care of your own animals? You supposedly wanted this charity - Op Ava, their is talk of a program for kids about teaching them how to care for their own animals properly, so why aren't you both? If you both are so devoted why are your own animals in crates for hours on end? Why do they smell so very badly?”

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213. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 08:16PM

“@Disgusted/210: Sounds like you witnessed the same Howard as the entire SPCA staff back when he was CEO. Hissy fits, manipulating data, illegally sending officers into area's where he had no jurisdiction and then lying about it, the list goes on and on. Even if Howard is not the President of Op Ava (who knows as it was on his linkedIn profile until 6 days ago the suddenly disappeared) then just being affiliated with Operation Ava or Doggie Style is bad. He is dishonest and a liar and anyone who hires him is either in the dark about his past or practices exactly the same practices as he does. From the posts on here, it sounds as if the latter is true.”

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214. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 08:25PM

“To those of you saying "Howard has always been nice and polite to me". Well, of course he has, you and volunteering or working for his organization which makes money for him to put in his pocket. He would have to be a fool not to be nice and phoney to you. Just don't piss him off or go against anything he says or there will be a price to pay. Just sayin'”

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215. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2011 at 10:16PM

“Attacking the kids now, are we? Classy.

Chloe has a skin disorder she is being treated for, but I guess it's easier to blame a child.

Nice one.”

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216. re #219 said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 05:45AM

“Yes, Chloe does haveskin issues, I'm sure this is helped by being in a crate 20 hours a day. And the charity is theirs so they should be anwserable.
Tough coookies, their own animals should be care for perfectly if they are the creators of a charity!”

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217. Former DS employee said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 06:37AM

“I worked at the walnut street store. When the store cat was sick, Doggie Style paid for it's vet care. I am still in touch with great long term employees there, and the vet and store staff take good care of the dogs and cats in the store.

This is 2011 - Sadly, Sugar died in 2009 from a disease he/she contracted from other cats.

Just adding some facts to the discussion”

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218. To #221 said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 06:47AM

“I remeber that store cat getting care as well, however what you are not adding is that the care he got had to be priced out for the lowest cost. He also had to wait for that care a couple extra days because there was debate about shutting the store down so someone could take him. Sugar didn't have to die from a totally curable disease! Ray Little knows this as well as everyone else. I also remeber people paying out of pocket for worming meds for Lily at Spruce. Never said that "most" employees didn't care about animals, also never said all! Considering that Ira and Claudia hire only on your looks and ablity to "sell" that is what you get! BTW Sugar was a he and he was loved by those who met him!”

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219. Former DS employee again said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 07:18AM

“Sheesh!!! Move on. The store cats are getting the care they need and deserve by the vet on staff paid for by DS. They are loved by the store staff and cared for by DS. I know the staff at Spruce and they call the DS vet for Lilly.







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220. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 07:31AM

“Hey while moving on don't forget to step on the bodies of the dead animals left in DS's wake! As another poster said "leopard don't change thier spots"
It is only a matter of time before the next scandal!”

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221. albert said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 07:41AM

“Enough with all the jeering...”

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222. albert said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 07:49AM

“The angry counterproductive comments have driven me to one absolute conclusion...i will not support PSPCA, AVA, Main Line Rescue, PAWS...nothing..!”

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223. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 08:16AM

“To all of you old employees, I am one of them and I Have contacted Tara Murtha about all of these responses. She wants to do another story on all of the horrific things that go on in and behind the scenes at Doggie Style and Operation Ava. This is not only an animal cruelty issue but the way that Ira Goldfarb, Claudia Guttierrez and Howard Nelson treat the people that work for them should not be tolerated any longer. Yes-all retail jobs suck but this goes so much further then that. Ira needs to be stopped ASAP. He is dispicable and this has gone on long enough. I urge all of you old employees with any information you have regarding your own experiences and the disgusting ways animal have been treated in their care to email Tara Murtha so she can get another story out ASAP. Her email is tmurtha@philadelphiaweekly.com she wants to do another story!!! Send her yours please!!!!!”

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224. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 11:45AM

“I don't know what that article will say that this thread hasn't already covered... just a buncha "he said/she said" with no evidence or basis of fact. I think more than anything you all are just giving more publicity to this company/organization.”

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225. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 12:02PM

“There is plenty of evidence as well as facts; proven, documented facts.

When the people speak, there is a reason, not just arbitrary rubbish.”

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226. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 12:19PM

“Okay then, I'll look forward to reading it, because so far I haven't seen any proof or documentation that will lead me to believe any of the accusations. It seems most people have just been saying "I heard..." or "When I worked there I saw...," which could be true or could just be rumors.”

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227. Woody Guthrie said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 12:35PM

“I ain't the world's best writer
Ain't the world's best speller
But when I believe in something
I'm the loudest yeller”

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228. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 01:20PM

“This is same 6 bloggers here....just continuous rearranging of the words....trying to incite anger towards a group that does not fit their perfect image of what a non-profit should be....I wonder how much money this angry group actually gives to their choice animal rescue. ....hmmmm....?”

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229. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 01:45PM

“Sugar isn't the only store cat they failed to care for how about Nigel and Monty the Passyunk store cats. I witnessed Ira's own son throw Monty down the store steps by his hair, he also locked the cat in the closet all weekend no food water or litter. I freaked out about it. All he said was they cant be ruining the store merchandise! One of the employees had to steel the cat to stop him from being mistreated! And when Nigel had ear mites we never got a response at all when we asked for vet care, so the groomers had to get medication and apply it. When Nigel's tail got caught in the door and brook once again one of the employees took him to their personal vet to be cared for. I never witnesses little Ava rescuing any of their own animals. and i don't believe their was a sudden change!”

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230. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 03:43PM

“@228 umm I think there are a lot more then just 6 people posting, there are over 200 posts most negative about the organization. The posts are from the pet community that are educated about this matter! People who really care about animals. I am a volunteer for ACCT and ASPCA and I have NEVER seen any of the dogs go to op/ava . And I do donate ALL THE TIME. I work for a company that gives you the option to donate money out of your checks straight to Homeless Animals. No need for your input you obviously know nothing of this matter.”

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231. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 04:44PM

“I have definitely had negative experiences with certain people associated with Doggie Style but I will say that I know that Op. Ava pulls from Acct. There was a PB Pit Bull (adult) pulled just yesterday from Op. Ava and possibly other animals. Other people associated with this organization (particularly Doggie Style) are not necessarily good people and my experience has been that they are in it for the money but Ray Little certainly is trying to do a good thing.”

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232. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 05:50PM

“@230. I would say there are equal amounts of negative and positive, it's been pretty back and forth.”

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233. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2011 at 07:34PM

“Great, I'll be looking forward to another biased, opinion piece by Tara Murtha.

I hope she doesn't seriously consider herself a journalist with that nonsense she wrote in the first article about this subject. The whole thing was basically just rumors pieced together that you can find all over this blog. And how many times did she write an opinion she tried to pose as a fact, then just contradict herself in the next paragraph once she actually got to a fact? Hahahaha

She must be on the same payroll all the negative bloggers are on. Ooh, wait, how much can I get if I say "Shop Chic Petique, and donate to PAWs!"?”

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234. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 06:23AM

“#233 too funny.

The blog states something bad about Doggie Style. Two seconds later there is a "shop at Chic Petique" message posted. I shop at both, but will stop paying more at Chic Petique due to the negativity here.

To the editors of Philadelphia Weekly. Please fact check these articles which should be written with facts not rumors and quoted blogs. Of all the blogs only one or two actually uses a name that exists. The rest are anonymous blogs = false statements and no facts. If what you are saying is true, then use your "real name".

Please Philadelphia Weekly Editors. Do the right thing.

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235. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:12AM

“Give me a break! for facts why doesn't Ira respond with where Sugar was cremated? Can't because he was thrown away in a dumpster! This is a FACT! Of course this is only one of the many FACTS but again why does this matter now that he has a money making rescue!”

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236. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 09:01AM

“Tara can check any single fact to do with Howard and Ira and will find out it is the truth. Many of us have, unfortunately, witnessed the actions and behaviors and then there are many more people who can back it up who haven't even posted - believe me.”

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237. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 09:23AM

“I will go on the record and tell who ever wants to know what i witnessed working for that horrible man!”

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238. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 11:56AM

“#234 - Chic wasn't mentioned until hours later, and when it was, it was grouped with other independent shops, “Bon Jour, Chic Petique, and Spots Spot."
This article is about Doggie Style/Op Ava and you (those involved). Other shops were not mentioned anywhere in the accompanying paragraphs. Attempting to pull others into the line of fire is quite pathetic. Let's stay focused.”

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239. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 02:52PM

“Broken record.

not involved in Doggie Style/Op Ava #238, just want a factual current story about animals. I have read blogs about Sugar since 2009. Personal attacks are ridiculous and make the poster look bad. Let's talk about the animals and current situation in Philadelphia.

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240. tell everyone i know to never shop at ds! said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 03:30PM

“I was once a customer of DS every time I went into a location they were always rude or know it alls they follow you all around the store and try to push a product on you to buy. I can deal with that because that was the only store I know of that sold the food I would feed to my Dogs, Until the last time I had my dog groomed there and the groomer sliced my dogs eyelid. I understand things happen but I wasn't even told about they just sent my dog home. I am still waiting to be reimbursed for my vet bills and groom. Maybe they should pay more attention to the 10 stores they have and the horrible groomers they hire are they even certified? I WILL NEVER SHOP IN ANY DS STORES OR their fake shelters.”

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241. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 04:47PM

“#232, what company..?....and yes..only 6 bloggers here...not 240..get real...! "This paper" is simply not that popular...are you kidding....?”

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242. albert said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 04:48PM

“Lets try for 2000 blogs here....I think we can do it...!”

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243. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 04:50PM

“I have shopped @ Chic Boutique.......nothing special...”

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244. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 05:25PM

“#241 alot of people read this paper! Are you crazy!!!! I am not saying shop at Chic Boutique I am saying shop anywhere other then one of this monsters stores!!! I mean are you for real ?????”

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245. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 05:31PM

“If this is not a popular paper that must mean the only people defending this horrible horrible company are the monsters themselves!!!!!!”

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246. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 06:37PM

“How many people read this, (this is a BLOG...right?).....I WANT ACTUAL NUMBERS!!!!!, This is of the most importance......”

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247. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:08PM

“@240...no, none of the groomers are certified. they are all "trained" in house

Look...end all be all is this place is absolutely awful. It is very very possible that all these blogs aren't from the same few people. There are lots of people who have witnessed the absolutely awful things that go on at Doggie Style. Don't defend this place, its truly a bad place not fit for animals or human beings. They aren't helping animals, trust me.”

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248. Monster in law said... on Apr 19, 2011 at 07:25PM

“We need facts..., not heresay.... # 240, all you are doing is stating your opinion, however wrong it may be, however, it is all yours, no facts, simply an az to grind........amazing... :(.....”

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249. to do list said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 05:47AM

“List for today

* Shop at Chic Petique or other independent retailer
* Donate to Paws
* Volunteer at ACCT, PSPCA, PAWS and NOT Op Ava
* Blog about Doggie Style from 2009
* make up something else

A recommendation: instead of blogging today. Go help all the dogs and cats at the PSPCA that need care. If you do not wish to support Operation Ava or Doggie Style then don't. But stop fabricating stories and go help the animals in need

Now you are blogging about Doggie Styler groomer certification which you would have absolutely no idea what training or certification their groomers have. I don't but will ask. Anonymous poster with no real name - you would have no idea or facts.”

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250. monster in law said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:19AM

“TODAY....lets make up more stories...fabricate lies...and generally spread the negative vermin...We have just about alienated just about all the phila. area corporations that might have donated any money to these organizations....Good Work...”

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251. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:06AM

“Wow, now the groomers are being attacked??? The vets, the volunteers, the salespeople... Who else is left to talk crap about... how about the kids... oh wait, you did that already. Let's all make up some lies about the light fixtures now since we've exhausted every way to put this company down. I have hated previous businesses based on my experiences working there but you all take it to a whole new level. For people who claim to love animals, you sure have no compassion towards other human beings.”

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252. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:47AM

“the human beings in which the article is about have no compassion towards animals”

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253. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:47AM

“"A happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy customer tells the world””

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254. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:51AM

“@ #253. By compassion towards human beings, I am talking about the groomers, the employees who work in the stores, the volunteers, and the vets. I assure you most of these people are trying to do a good thing. I can't speak about Ira because I don't know him, but I can speak on the people I've met who work for the company. There are rescuers who volunteer and work there who contribute their time, money, and efforts to many shelters in the area and do not deserve the hurtful lies that are being made up about them.”

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255. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:56AM

“look, why would all these people be so upset if they were really doing a good thing?? You don't see anyone saying horrible things like this about other adoption organizations.”

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256. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:00AM

“I believe that the volunteers and workers are good people they are the ones that look after the animals thrown into all the stores. However as soon as they catch on to the horrible corrupt things that go on they will run as far away from that company as they can. I am sure they already went through a number of volunteers/workers since op/ava has opened.”

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257. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:02AM

“Actually I do. There are bad people in most organizations. But to make sweeping generalizations about all the people involved with those organizations is wrong, just as it is in this case. I prefer to keep the rumors and negative thoughts I've heard about other organizations to myself since they have not been proven to be true and are definitely not true of all the people involved. The same should be said for Operation Ava. A majority of the people involved are really trying to help animals. The people who are upset worked for Doggie Style before Operation Ava existed as a rescue. So how exactly are they experts on the current goings-on of the agency or the company? I am more inclined to believe the people I personally know who work at Op Ava want to save as many animals as they can.”

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258. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:13AM

“My opinion is that Ira,and his mistress just want it to look like they are saving animals to make money off the ones that truly care about animals. sorry but my head don't screw off at night. I am not buying that the creature I once worked for all the sudden is a caring man”

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259. monster in law said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:19AM

“Mud-slinging has gone to a new level....”

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260. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:27AM

“@259 Maybe, maybe not... in the end homeless animals who would otherwise be facing a death sentence are finding loving homes. I don't know how caring Ira is, but he sure put a lot of money into the Adoption center, which is helping to rescue hundreds of animals.”

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261. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:40AM

“"...he sure put a lot of money into the Adoption center."

Moot point. What else is Ira going to put into anything? Nothing.

Money, that's all he has and what makes him who he is.”

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262. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:46AM

“So let us talk facts:
1. Sugar did die! He was sick and instead of getting him care Ava placed him in a crate in the back room of doggie Style Market. This is where he died. He was found by the warehouse manager who then informed Ira and Cesar came and threw Sugar’s body in a dumpster. So there are no vet records to prove where he was cremated. Dumping of his body is illegal.
2. Nigel did get is tail caught in the door of Passynuk store cause an injury this door had been a problem and was of at least a year after the accident. This did not need to happen.
3. A doggie day care attendant did get bitten by a cat at Passynuk and did go to the hospital. Ira did ask him not to file workman’s comp and that he would pay. Ira did then refuse to pay and had to be sued for the medical costs.
4. Lilly from Spruce did get worms. An employee did pay out of pocket for treatment for Lilly because DS refused to pay.
5. Ira did buy puppies. He did have to go to court about their care and living condition in the Montgomery area.


This was all in the time I worked for DS which was not that long but far longer than it should have been! I was not fired, I quit! This isn’t even close to everything this is just the really big stuff, there was so much more.”

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263. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:04AM

“@262 my point was about Ira, it was about the animals being saved. I am only defending against the allegations against the workers/volunteers of this org. which I feel are unwarranted and hurtful.

Furthermore, being the good businessman Ira is, I assume he knows it is bad business to leave animals untreated for illnesses (as you guys seem to reiterate over and over again about past incidents). This is probably why he went to great measures to build a nice facility and hire vets, etc. And as I said before, the people I know personally who work there would not continue to work there if they felt animals were in any way being mistreated, and none of these accusations seem to be present at the adoption center or at the stores they work in. Maybe in the past when there was no vet on staff it was difficult to manage all the animals in the stores but as of now they all receive care from the on-call vet.”

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264. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:38AM

“Ira put money into it to make more money out of it he looks at it as an investment. I don't believe all the animals are homeless animals waiting to die I heard they don't even use gas chambers anymore. I think the puppy's for adoption are from mills.”

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265. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:41AM

“@265. All of the animals at the adoption center have their transfer paperwork from the rescue they came from and is readily available for anyone who asks, and is usually posted on the window of the room the dog is staying in.”

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266. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:42AM

“I don't know how the people that work there still do I know most of them and they have been mistreated by Ira, and seen other people and animals be mistreated by him. I guess the economy is that bad.”

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267. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:48AM

“they can make that themselves”

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268. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 11:56AM

“@270, Having volunteered at many organizations, I know what paperwork looks like from the various agencies, and have friends who have seen them pull from SPCA/ACCT. There are also cat rescue organizations who work closely with Doggie Style and I have personally witnessed them drop off cats and their paperwork.”

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269. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 01:17PM

“He built the adoption center to make money, duh! Everything he does is to make money!”

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270. @265 said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 03:13PM

“@265 why do you continue do defend Ira and this sham organization? You clearly work for him or know him to defend this monster. You are disgusting and get a life”

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271. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 03:25PM

“To the naysayers - Has anyone checked out all the articles in the Pocono Record about Howard Nelson. Just saying if you think Philly Weekly is biased then maybe this will help you out of the dark ages!

Directions:
1. Google Poconos Record
2. On there site search Howard Nelson
3. Read and learn!”

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272. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 03:28PM

“I second that #270. This "anonymous" person has been in a posting frenzy lately. I think he's even having conversations with himself - see posts 246 to 251, 254, 255 to 260, 265, 267, 268, and counting. And I wonder why some posts have been deleted...

BTW, this is an article and these are posts/comments, NOT blogging. Blogging is entirely different, old timer. Confounded bloggers on the interweb! Get off my lawn! Ow, my back.”

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273. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 03:43PM

“howard nelson and ira are the scum of the earth lets not forget that whore claudia.”

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274. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 06:42PM

“Hmmm... So I just found these posts, and I couldn't agree more! I was a Doggie Style customer for about a year until staffing changes forced me to go else where! I could never get my special order food so I always ended up hunting down my dog's food. After I started going to another store I would pop in Doggie Style every once in a while each time a new employee! Then the Op Ava collection cans I asked the women waiting on me and she could reallyt tell me anything about it. She seems uncomfortable with any question about the organiztion. A guess these posts explain why! Find anywhere else to shop! Buy online anything!”

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275. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:38PM

“visit toybreedrescue . org”

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276. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:53PM

“#273 says it all. That's the type of individual posting on here.

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277. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:56PM

“Ok posters - why don't you get out an adopt, foster, rescue, volunteer and donate.

Doesn't matter which organization.

If you want the facts. Stop by Operation Ava or any Doggie Style and see for yourself. They will be very open about the dogs and the care the animals they receive. No secret plots or schemes as discussed here”

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278. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 07:58PM

“still old news from 2007 and 2008 and 2009.

Philadelphia Weekly - thanks for covering the story but PLEASE check the facts and use current information. The hash and rehash here of very old news (several years old) is tiring and a waste of time.”

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279. A GREAT IDEA said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 09:00PM

“So since everyone is saying all the posts are old news, I have an idea. Op Ava should put Tara Murtha on their board of directors so they can be totally transparent. This way those who are concerned about DS/Op Ava practices can know their would be an unbiased board member! If they have nothing to hide then they should be contacting her any minute!”

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280. Wow said... on Apr 20, 2011 at 10:05PM

“Re #279 This is the best idea I have heard lately! I hope they do it! Thank You for the great suggestion and let me be the first to vote a big YES!”

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281. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 06:42AM

“Clearly, these posts are getting spicy and very nasty.
...indicative of the "animal rights community"...here in philadelphia..

.and the laughing-stock of NYC..., They are also reading these posts....!.,..

You should be very proud of yourselves..”

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282. Is that a joke? said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 07:58AM

“You guys are funny. Yeah, they'll randomly put someone on their board who has written several articles that clearly are against them (hence being put in the "opinion" section and not the regular "local news" section). As impartial as she tries to be, it really does come off that way to the reader, which is why a lot of people have been speaking out to defend Op Ava.

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283. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 08:46AM

“#281 - You're trying every trick in the book, huh? Nice attempt at humiliation.”

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284. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 08:48AM

“FAIL!”

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285. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 09:04AM

“#276 why do you continue to defend these people? you clearly are on the DS payroll or are sleeping with Ira. DISGUSTING> you have NO idea how bad these people are and what they really do to these animals!!!”

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286. monster in law said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:32AM

“How many Cats and Dogs did Sue @ PSPCA KILL today, and all of last week...???”

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287. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:37AM

“Howard has a knack for making his own staff (his PR and Directors) write rebuttals to stories against anything to do with him. I should know, I was one of them a few years ago.....”

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288. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:40AM

“Hey now, we can't really blame the PSPCA for killing animals, they have to take all animals that come in and they are overcrowded. I am a supporter of Operation Ava but I think both sides need to simmer down a bit and try to keep it rational, the mudslinging and lies on both sides are not helping either of sides' case.”

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289. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:40AM

“#285, Continued: and had the unfortunate job of having to spend my time writing several of them every time an article or news story came out.”

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290. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:52AM

“Unfortunately, I don't think there could be a dispute that there are far too many unwanted homeless animals and not enough homes for them :-( in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. That is the public's despicable need for money (not spaying/neutering, breeding, puppy mills) that fuels that. As well as a lack of a life-long responsibility once they get a pet. It is the unfortunate animals that suffer. So why attack Animal Control/PSPCA who have the horrible job of dealing with this horrible overpopulation? The PSPCA has done a great job considering their "leader" in 2008 (Yes, Howard Nelson himself) fought tooth and nail to get the Animal Control Contract away from PACCA and then ran out with no notice and resigned via. email, after 6 weeks, when he realized he couldn't handle the job.”

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291. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 10:54AM

“Hi All....After reading all this...I have personally decided to not support any Philadelphia Based Animal association. you continue to fight with each other..what a mess and embarrasment!!!!

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292. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:07AM

“Sadly enough, I think more and more people will take this position after reading the more radical comments from both sides, which negates the inherently good thing that a lot of volunteers at ALL organizations in Philadelphia are trying to accomplish... OP AVA included. I hope readers know that there are rational and good-meaning people that trying to save animals and not bicker and fight. It is an emotional struggle, no doubt, but some of us are letting our feelings and opinions get in the way of the mission of saving the animals that desperately need us.”

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293. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:30AM

“^ Having conversations with yourself again?”

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294. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:52AM

“Whoever keeps saying that, please stop. If you don't agree with me make a valid point. If you have nothing to contribute to the dialogue then why post? I was just responding to SOMEONE ELSE'S POST. Trying to invalidate my post by saying it's the same person talking is just lame!”

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295. kelly said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 11:52AM

“I think it's a great idea to have Tara join their board. Other animal welfare advocates should also be welcomed. If Operation Ava was really interested in animal welfare and had nothing to hide others would be welcomed with opened arms. A few people with good reputations would really help this organization. This will not happen cause the people presently in charge will not be able to pay themselves ridiculous amounts in salaries or divert monies in the future.”

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296. monster in law said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 12:42PM

“Kelly....you do not have a clue what you are talking about...do you really think that a dog adoption agency actually makes money...? if that were the case....PSPCA should be rolling in cash...they are not, neither is PAWS, Main Line Rescue...etc...maybe you should run some reseach and learn about the world of animal non-profit, instead of makeing these baseless, moronic statements. NON of these organizations turn a profit.”

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297. Clueless Kelly? said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 01:08PM

“You decided to ignore the main purpose of my comment. That being that this org. with all the bad PR could use some reputable, and animal welfare concerned people on their board. Why would any respectable non profit not accept this? All these organizations should welcome any added help, right?”

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298. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 02:59PM

“you don't know what your talking about monsterinlaw. That slimy no good man is finding a way to make money off animal adoptions. HeloOo people what don't you get????”

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299. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:01PM

“Clueless kelly you are.....All these blogs are the same words, simply re-arranged on the paper....wrtten by the same 4 bloggers...you have written most of this defamitory prose...”

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300. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:02PM

“Claudia stated this herself hey get the food donated shots and fixed by the shelters they come from, they pay 60 to 90 for each pet then they sell them for $350. People volunteer their time to take care of the animals.”

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301. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:06PM

“Call it what it is A PET STORE not a shelter.”

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302. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:06PM

“Call it what it is A PET STORE not a shelter.”

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303. Kelly said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:39PM

“#299
You can't fool anyone. You can't answer my questions? Instead you try deflection. Why would Operation Ava not accept reputable animal welfare people on their board? Are you not permitted to by your employer?”

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304. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:45PM

“@monster in law who are you protecting? you should stop writing because you clearly have no idea what a sham this organization is. have you ever met Claudia the whore? THEY ARE SELLING DOGS THIS IS A PET STORE NOT AN ORGANIZATION!!! they cant hide for long the truth will come out these MONSTERS WILL BE DISGRACED!”

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305. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 03:47PM

“@monster in law who are you protecting? you should stop writing because you clearly have no idea what a sham this organization is. THEY ARE SELLING DOGS THIS IS A PET STORE NOT AN ORGANIZATION!!! they cant hide for long the truth will come out these MONSTERS WILL BE DISGRACED!”

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306. monster in law said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 05:02PM

“I am turning off my computer....dis is getting crazy...”

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307. Kelly again said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 06:09PM

“To #306
How did I know you would run off rather than answer a simple question?
Simple, you are either Howard (typically runs under fire) or Howard did not give you permission to answer.
LOSER”

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308. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2011 at 07:43PM

“to Kelly#307: HOWARD NELSON RUNS UNDER FIRE - perfect example is when he ran out of PSPCA after the board caught him lying several times. Any difficult question asked to him about Op. Ava or Doggie Style in which he has lied in the past,and he will be out of there. I'm also sure it is him who is advising his current employees to defend any negative comments. As witnessed in the past, he seems to be very good at that.”

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309. To Kelly and #308 said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 07:37AM

“You seem to be on the same side??? I am confused by you both!”

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310. Re #279 - A Great Idea said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 07:53AM

“That was one of the smartest ideas I have seen on here! Have someone who truly cares about animals and is not on DS payroll added to the board is a GREAT idea. I think if they are truly changed as half this board claims, then DS should be jumping at the chance to prove themselves by putting a true advocate on the board! If Not Tara Murtha then how about the owner of Chic Petique or Bonejour Pet Supplies someone/anyone who is a true animal advocate!

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311. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 07:57AM

“Re: to #309 about #308 & Kelly: We definitely are on the same side, I was just making a point.”

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312. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:08AM

“hahaha your idea is to put the Doggie Style competitors' owners on the board of OpAva? That would be the dumbest business move ever! (YES, DS IS A BUSINESS) If that is what is needed to quell all of your name-calling and mudslinging, then I can see why most people give up trying to talk rationally to you. This will most likely be my last post because you guys are just repeating the same things over and over and calling anyone who disagrees with you a Loser or Idiot. It's not about running away, it's about realizing that fighting is sometimes just pointless.”

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313. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:16AM

“To #312, that was kinda the point.... you are to simple to realize this or get it! However if DS/Op Ava is truly the rescue they claim to be then they would welcome ANYONE to look at thier books! OH stupid me that is the point they ARE NOT a real "rescue" and would NOT want anyone checking on them TOO MUCH!”

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314. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:28AM

“#312 - you summed it all up for yourself in your most recent post ("blog"). Helping homeless animals is not a business, it's a conjoined effort to help everyone and anyone involved. Competition should never even be a thought - unless you're in it for solely profit, which clearly DS/Op Ava is. Great job!”

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315. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:29AM

“#312
Nobody suggested putting anyone on the DS board. It was suggested someone well respected with integrity join Operation Ava's "non-profit" board. If Operation Ava is really an independent entity, and is an animal welfare shelter they would love the help. The members currently on the board are obviously not well liked or respected. Without someone with integrity on the board this org. is doomed. Maybe Howard Nelson can suggest someone? ha ha ha ha”

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316. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:34AM

“I AM SAYING THAT DS IS A BUSINESS. It is affiliated with a non-profit RESCUE, Op Ava. It would be a bad business move to allow people from a company that competes with the business that it is affiliated with. In their meetings I'm sure they discuss stuff about the business arm too. Come on, this is common logic, people. I realize that this is an emotional subject but lets be reasonable. Oops, forgot who I was talking to.

Ugh how do you keep draggin me in to this lame conversation!?!???!?”

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317. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:43AM

“I would like to know how Claudia claims him at night.Eww.. all the money in the world wouldn't make me desire him yuck!”

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318. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 08:47AM

“@316 take a hike no one needs your input in this oh so lame conversation.”

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319. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 09:00AM

“ok sorry, i'll leave, I guess there was never any room for someone to disagree with you... go ahead, commence talking amongst yourselves and patting each others' backs now, I thought we could have an intelligent conversation, but I suppose all the rational people have left the building.”

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320. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 09:07AM

“@317 I couldnt agree more!!! But she (Claudia) or as I like to call her the black widow knew exactly what she was doing when she swooped right in and whored Ira away from his wife. these people make me sick.”

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321. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 09:12AM

“Howard Nelson on the Board of Anything? What a joke. When he worked for Washington Humane Society, I was there. Telling the press he had a "Good Home Guarantee Program" to place animals while calling the shelter a "no-kill". Meanwhile, it came out that he was euthanizing 70% of the animals. Good job, Howard - you really deserve to be on the board of anything to do with animals. What a joke that man is. Ira sounds like he is a perfect match for Howard in the business world. How ironic that the business is animal related given his track record.”

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322. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 11:14AM

“Hey, # 321...Where are you getting this incorrect info..and your verbal vomit..?”

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323. Innocent By-Stander said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:39PM

“322 posts and only ONE real name. I read these blog and decided I did not believe them due to the anonymous and outlandish claims made here by posters with another agenda. If you want to say something bad and it's factual. Put your REAL name to it.

I have never been to the Operation Ava center so I went this morning. Dogs were in rooms with water and the little rooms were clean. There were people looking to adopt.

Dogs were clearly marked with type of dog. Many dogs (not all) were from ACCT or the PSPCA.

A person dressed in medical clothing was attending to some of the dogs.

I saw many pit bull type dogs.

I agree with the poster who said this is all old news and why talk about 2006. It is 2011 and the animals should be the focus.

So after 320 anonymous blogs - these posts are false. Period and end of store. I am signing off.

You all should be ashamed. If you read this, go visit the Center and ask questions.”

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324. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 12:54PM

“Dear Innocent,
I LOVE YOU for posting that.

Let's see how long before someone says you are:
A. on the DS payroll
B. Howard
C. an idiot, spineless, or a loser
D. a liar
E. Me talking to myself.

...because anyone supporting things we've actually SEEN WITH OUR EYES are probably one of those...

I don't understand why people are so rude and hateful.

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325. Kelly said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 01:19PM

“To #323 & 324
And your name is? Oh, anonymous I figured. I would venutre to say the anonymous defenders are operation Ava/Doggie Style employees. The IP adresses will probably come back to Howard, Claudia, and Doggie Style. You sound like a broken recording. If this all was truly slander it would wind up in court, but it won't due to all the ghosts that may appear. TRUST ME”

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326. Jenny said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 01:24PM

“Only 25 minutes. Good job. Really glad you proved me right by picking choices A, B, and E.

I think we all sound like broken records.
Both sides have made their points.”

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327. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 07:43PM

“Go Operation Ava! Did they obtain the proper permits before construction? Do they have the proper licensing to house animals?
Do they have the proper permits and licensing for grooming at this location and all the other locations? Do they have permits for all the signage surrounding the building? Can they operate a clinic without the proper licensing and zoning? Isn’t all of this suppose to be done PRIOR
to opening? It seems these people think they don’t have to comply with
the LAW.
Get ready everyone….. I’m sure we are going to hear THIS POST isn’t true, and they are wonderful people. That’s why they have had countless violations, and ALWAYS get the proper licensing and
permits.

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328. 4CNKP said... on Apr 22, 2011 at 07:59PM

“#324, #325: Love your posts and I appreciate Howard's input in the others (or maybe he just told someone else to defend his "verbal attacks" like he did at every other organization - I know two people who actually admit to being told by him to do it). Nothing here could be slander because all past history listed is true - ask any shelter or board member of those shelter's that he has worked for. Those who he called his "inner circle" were the first ones to turn on him the minute he walked out the door. They told of someone who laughed at people he fired because he ruined their careers, lying and sending agents into jurisdictions that were illegal and then changing his story when he was caught, getting other people to write rebuttals to negative news stories that told the truth about him, I could go on and on and so could many other people.”

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329. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 06:02AM

“My read of the posts. There are no personal attacks here in defense of Doggie Style and Operation Ava. You can read for yourself and see where the personal attacks are coming from. #328 - just another personal attack for example. These attacks are sidetracking the real discussion. The care of animals in 2011 at the Operation Ava place or Doggie Style. Just suggesting that you go visit the Operation Ava center and Doggie Style to see the cats and dogs for adoption. See for yourself and judge for yourself. The personal attacks without REAL names (now one name in 328 post) suggest they might be false and hiding. But what is the point of the personal attacks. Do you like being mean spirited and hateful. Are you proud of that? Those making personal attacks should use their real names if stating their position. That's all I'm suggesting.

If there is no slander and false statements then put your real name to it. Suggestion not personal attack.”

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330. Questions still remain said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 08:53AM

“re: #329
My read on the posts is a little different. Yes I see many personal attacks, but these people are hurt and angry about people and animals being abused previously by them. This is understandable.
What I read in the posts are too many unanswered questions that the responding defenders of Opertion Ava/Doggie Style have not answered.
I'll list some of them without personal attacks, and await an answer.
Is offering older dogs for $100 and younger ones for $350 ethical?
Do employees at Operation Ava receive sick, holiday.and vacation days, and proper overtime wages? Has anyone on the board of this non-profit
agreed to forgo compensation? Why did the program director abrubtly quit?
How many dogs have been pulled fron ACCT the past two weeks? Is the vet clinic even licensed to operate? Were the necessary permits obtained prior to construction at Operation Ava? Why did Howard Nelson list and then remove himself as president of this organization on his web site?

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331. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 09:00AM

“Re:#330 Additional question - Where was Sugar cremated?”

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332. more questions remain said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 09:04AM

“What does Doggie Style pay the vet at Operation Ava for treating their dogs? Are there vet records for Sugar the cat that many have wrote about? Does Operation Ava even have a kennel and boarding license? Will the board of Operation Ava welcome as has been suggested non paid, reputable, and respected animal welfare advocates on thier board to assist them?
To the board whoever you are this week
THERE NEEDS TO BE SOME ANSWERS. NOT HE SAID SHE SAID”

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333. T. Arbor said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:04AM

“Additional: Did Sugar really die in the store? and, if he did, then why wasn't he at a vet hospital if he was sick? The owners seem to have had enough money or they could have even taken him to a low-cost clinic. Has Ira ever returned his own dog to a shelter in the past and, if so, why? Is it a reason that Claudia/Ava/Ray would find acceptable if someone wanted to return a dog, after adopting it, from Oper. Ava? How can Howard defend accusations made in these posts of euthanizing healthy animals under the reason "no room" and then calling his shelter's "no kill". There are at many, many people that know, for a fact, this happened. What is Howard's defense to this?”

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334. Past Actions Leads to Questions Now said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 10:10AM

“As someone else commented, it is the past actions of these individuals with animals (excluding Ray Little apparently) that raise questions as to how animals are being treated at a newly formed rescue. Former behavior by these individuals does not seem positive in terms of animals and it makes you question what has changed and if the animals in the rescue really are treated well and/or how these animals (especially from the South) are purchased and transported.”

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335. Kelly said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 11:08AM

“#'s 330-334
Please don't hold your breath for answers. Forget about their past wrongdoings you won't even get answers involving their present activities, such as, permits, licenses, board changes, construction, and employee and board members compensation.”

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336. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 03:12PM

“I agree we would like some answers!”

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337. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 03:29PM

“There is a zoning meeting on Monday at the Northern Liberties Community Center for Operation Ava at 7pm. This meeting will determine if they are approved for the zoning for their retail pet supply store, for profit vet hospital, etc. More info can be found at www.nlna.org click on the calendar of events. If you attend, please be sure to remember that this is a zoning meeting, ethical issues (unfortunately) don't matter”

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338. Positive Press for Howard - what a joke said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 06:54PM

“#322 - as well as being there while this happened. Here is a quote from the press: "A controversial figure in this drama is Howard Nelson, who joined the PSPCA as CEO in May 2007. In his previous post as executive director of Washington, D.C.'s Humane Society, Nelson introduced a "Good Home Guarantee" program that was touted as a no-kill initiative guaranteeing that no adoptable animals would be unnecessarily put down.

The truth is that about 70 percent of all intake animals were being euthanized under the program. The Washington Humane Society managed to claim a no-kill philosophy while euthanizing 70 percent of the animals by employing a very narrow definition of "adoptable."

For example, the Society's previous definition of "adoptable" excluded all pit bulls and pit-bull mixes (also not considered adoptable: cats with ear mites and animals with a host of minor conditions easily remedied with medicine

Read more: http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/dog_day_afternoon-38473294.html#ixzz1KORxOryT

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339. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2011 at 06:58PM

“Howard is on the Board of Operation Ava (I guess not the President as he took it off his profile just a week ago), so he will probably have the same criteria for animals entering the Operation Ava Rescue. He will call them a no-kill but.............see several comments including #338. He did exactly the same thing at PSPCA and lied about being a no-kill. I can't imagine he won't do exactly the same thing with Operation Ava - but ssshhh don't tell anyone or Howard or Ira will fire you.”

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340. Eliminate PA Puppy Mills said... on Apr 24, 2011 at 05:08AM

“Why would Operation Ava acquire dogs from down South when Pennsylvania is considered one of the puppy mill capitals of the U,S? They should work with Main Line Rescue and Penn. SPCA to take the animals that are seized from these operations.”

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341. Anonymous said... on Jun 12, 2011 at 01:58AM

“Look at what the "fringe" group has done to all the animals that they "care" about. Comment number 222 is a perfect example, due to all the hearsay and rumors spread by angry, fired employees, no one wants to support ANY shelter. Due to all of these lie, the adoption/saving rates throughout the world, including Philadelphia, is deteriorating. Come one everyone, the only thing you do is talk smack about all the charities who actually care, and support only one charity, the one YOU volunteer at/work for. Who's monopolizing what now? Also, people are saying that they never realized how bad Ira, Claudia, Ava, Lexie, and Howard are, so they will not volunteer at Operation Ava. So you will believe all these lies and rumors? RUMORS! What evidence and proof do they have? Oh, I forgot the incompetence of the regular dunce. Everyone should hate this charity because of what the fired ex-employees of Doggie Style have to say.”

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342. Anonymous said... on Sep 14, 2011 at 09:35AM

“@ 247: "no, none of the groomers are certified. they are all 'trained' in house"

i'm a certified groomer, not trained "in-house" by DS. i recently started here and though my interactions with the employees, including Howard Nelson, have been pleasant, i am becoming more wary of the things i am reading and the things i started hearing from other workers since my first day..

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343. CF said... on Sep 18, 2011 at 09:19PM

“I went unannounced into Operation Ava about a week ago. There were definitely some pit bulls there, as well as other breeds, both small and large. All intake info was posted on the animals' doors. There were a few cats there, too. With the exception of one dog that was tossing his water bowl around as a toy, all the others had food/water, a blanket, and a toy in most cases. The director was there, another staffmember who seemed very busy with the dogs, and a female vet (I assumed by her clothing) taking notes on a clipboard. I didn't see anything that raised a "red flag." I understand Operation Ava's affiliation with DS is questionable under the circumstances, but I am truly hoping these posts pertaining to OA are wrong.”

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344. Anonymous ex employee said... on Sep 23, 2011 at 08:10PM

“@342, Quit while you are ahead. Trust. Its only going to be a bad name for you once DS goes down. Which they will soon. DS Can't even afford to buy any more merchandise. Next time DS is "out of stock" on a product, its because they have 999999 million shitty products that are in stock and do not sell. Once a top selling product is gone from the store, there is no money to purchase it again. DS has no money because they spend it all on bullshit”

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345. Terry C - NJ said... on Nov 5, 2011 at 09:32PM

“Operation Ava's adoption fees are ridiculous.

Here in my neck of the woods, we have the Camden County Animal Shelter in Blackwood. For $125.00, you can get a dog that is neutered/spayed, with all its innoculations and microchipped.

Then there is PAWS in Philadelphia.”

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346. Anonymous said... on Jan 21, 2012 at 01:21AM

“Howard Nelson is an evil man. He DOES NOT know good, hard working employees when he sees one. And, yes, I was a former dog groomer's assistant. The groomer (Melissa, I think her name was), RAN to Howard to discuss my "performance". There was NO probatioanry period, nothing. they let me go for NO good reason. YES, I'm a disgruntled ex-employee, and Nelson's shady past DOES NOT surprise me in the least. He took a leave of absence from the PSPCA citing "health reasons?" Are you kidding me? It obviously got too hot in the kitchen for Nelson. He's about nothing but turning a profit at the expense of homeless animals in the city of Philadelphia.”

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347. Anonymous said... on Mar 16, 2012 at 01:51PM

“On top of all of this....They are frauds and thieves! They purchased products wholesale from our company 4 months ago on net 30 terms and we still have not received payment. After 30 to 40 calls in the past 4 months they actually had the nerve to tell us to stop harrassing them! We are now forced to take them to court. Losers and very very bad people.”

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348. Anonymous said... on Apr 4, 2012 at 02:45PM

“When I worked for this company, we had t-shirts brought in from storage that were covered in rodent feces and pee. Ira told us to pick through the boxes to find the ones that didn't have holes chewed into them by the rodents, wash them and then put the shirts in the store.

I was hired when the store was still being built and they had major construction going on in the store. Because they had not gotten a occupancy license, they covered all the store front windows with paper and had us working to set the store up, even while the major construction was still going on. Ira made a routine of coming into the store, yelling racial comments to the Hispanic construction team and making everyone on eggshells when he was around. The day the store was set to open, I asked about the lack of an occupancy license and was promptly fired the same day.

Non of this about their Operation Ava is surprising, he is a horrible man who deserves justice for all he's committed.”

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349. falonjoslyn said... on Jun 28, 2012 at 09:06AM

“There is a mom and POP pet place in Fishtown at the aramingo shopping center. The Owners are amazing sweet people and are extreamly honest. Several occasions they have talked me out of buying something and led me online to a much cheaper website.”

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350. Anonymous said... on Jul 27, 2012 at 04:12PM

“I worked there for about 3 days before they fired me. They wanted me to clean out the store's basement. The filthy, stinking, low ceiling basement. I told them that wasn't part of my job description. Oh, and I just adored working 10 hour shifts with no break. Fuckers.”

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351. Dan Conlon said... on Nov 7, 2012 at 11:15PM

“I'm a volunteer at Operation Ava and I can tell you the animals are treated really well there by the employees and the volunteers because they sincerely care about them. They also have a good amount of pit bulls and other dogs that aren't as desirable as certain dogs that have been there for months--one dog for over a year (Zena)--before they are adopted. And all of that time the less desirable dogs spend there, I can tell you they get a lot of love. And the ones that are adopted quickly because they're cute, I have to say after spending time with them, it makes me happy to know they've been adopted into a good home (Op Ava has a screening process to make sure they're only adopted by responsible animal lovers). I've been volunteering for over a year now and will continue to because I see a lot of good things happening there.”

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352. Anonymous said... on Jan 6, 2013 at 04:04PM

“Called to make a grooming appointment to be told the company is closing and that they are packing up the North Wales store tonight. Store is closed as of 1/6/13”

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353. Anonymous said... on Jan 6, 2013 at 04:05PM

“ALL Doggie Style stores are closing.”

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354. Dana Trivino said... on Jan 15, 2013 at 06:11PM

“I am thrilled to hear that this disgusting business is closing its doors!!! Ira Goldfarb, Claudia Gutierrez, and Howard Nelson are all terrible human beings and should never be allowed near animals or allowed to run or own a business again. The animals are lucky that they won't have to be in the company of terrible people who treat them badly. What a disgrace these people are. Good riddance Doggie Style!”

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355. ex said... on Jan 20, 2013 at 09:32PM

“The owners of the company do not care about animals, if they dont sell the dogs in a certain amount of time the put them down and say they ran out of room. they have a "dog trainer" that cant train anything, he is a nervous reck. they told me the store was closing four days before it closed. They are horrible people and howard does not know how to run the company which is why many stores closed. Doggie style is dishonest and their fraud has caught up with their evil, manipulative ways!!!!!”

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356. ex said... on Jan 20, 2013 at 09:35PM

“Hi Dan C
yes the volunteers care but the owners are upper management do not care about the animals. The also do not have a good screening process, They have pits and other strong breeds which require knowledge and experience thats why many of these dogs are returned or put to sleep any way because the necessary work was not done before the placement of the sheltered dog.”

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357. Former Employee Witness said... on Jan 8, 2014 at 11:47AM

“Simply put: Howard Nelson is a DICK! Ira your a DICK for hiring such a DICK!”

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358. Scumbag Proof said... on Jan 8, 2014 at 11:53AM

“http://www.philadelphiaweekly.com/news-and-opinion/Ex-PSPCA-CEO-Now-VP-at-Doggie-Style-91050159.html”

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