Ex-PSPCA CEO Now VP at Doggie Style

By Tara Murtha
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 109 | Posted Apr. 16, 2010

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Howard Nelson, controversial ex-CEO of PSPCA has risen from obscurity and is back working in the local animal scene.

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.

Nelson became one of the most controversial figures on the Philadelphia animal control scene (and that’s saying something) last year when in early 2009, he suddenly resigned from CEO of PSPCA six weeks into the contract he fought very hard to win over from PACCA, the now-disbanded organization created by the Health Department to administer animal control when PSPCA had left the contract years earlier.  

After Nelson abruptly left, citing “health reasons” and “an environment no longer conducive to [his] success or the success of the organization,” the headless PSPCA fumbled animal control for months while being controlled by a volunteer board with little hands-on animal shelter experience.

Soon, due to vaccination delays and other poor conditions, animals coming out of the shelter were so sick that many rescues stopped working with them altogether, as PW first reported last June. PW also reported that PSPCA potentially fudged euthanasia statistics, which the Board later admitted.

Just this week, the PSPCA has had a tough week dealing with another outbreak of strep zoo, which is the same strain that caused fatalities last June.

Everyone who has worked directly with Howard Nelson—who in an earlier life was a Fannie Mae exec—has a strong opinion on him. His detractors are rabid; his supporters devout.

“I can absolutely tell you that I’ve been thoroughly impressed with not only [Nelson’s] intelligence and knowledge about animal rescue but also his absolute compassion,” says Claudia Gutierrez, COO of Doggie Style. “So whatever controversy people feel about him, I can tell you that I have absolutely nothing but the most wonderful things to say about him. I feel very lucky that he’s part of our organization and I’m excited about what the future holds as him as part of our organization.”

Oporation AvA has been in the works since last June and just received its 501© (3) a couple of months ago.

The nonprofit aspires to offer emergency grants of medical funds to pet owners and rescue homeless dogs and cats.

“Anybody out there that has a sick dog or cat that has two choices, to put it to sleep or give them away because they can’t afford it,” says Gutierrez. “Now they can hop on our website and send them an email and we’ll do our best to help them the best way that we can.”

So far Oporation AvA—named for Gutierrez’s 9-year-old daughter, who thought up the idea after seeing all the sick animals pet owners dumped at the PSPCA shelter—has granted between $2500-$2800, according to Gutierrez.

The grant program is not limited to Philadelphia residents.

Oporation AvA also intends to operate as a rescue. Doggie Style used to pull cats from PSPCA and showcase them for adoption in their stores; Gutierrez says they stopped rescuing from PSPCA two months ago. Instead, Oporation AvA has begun to rescue homeless cats from the Philadelphia Community Cats Council (PCCC). They plan to rescue dogs, too. Gutierrez says the dogs will come from “all sorts of rescue organizations.”

Guiterrez says she and her daughter Ava have big plans for the nonprofit, and she’s confident that Nelson’s the right man for the job.

“We had worked pretty extensively with Howard at the PSPCA and really liked the work he was doing there,” she says. “We felt that he was a benefit to the pet community as a whole so when he left the PSPCA we stayed in contact, and when we had an opening we asked him to fill it. Luckily for us he graciously accepted.”

Oporation AvA is on Facebook here:

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 109 of 109
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1. Blueszz said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 02:20PM

“I think he got a VERY bum rap. I was a regional rescue who worked with him, not having known him beforehand. I'm very happy for him. I don't think those running things at the PSPCA now are doing any better whatsoever. ACCT is their only saving grace and the PSPCA could learn LOTS from them. Good luck in your new venture Howard.”

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2. Dogged said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 02:38PM

“Congratulations to Howard and Doggie Style. This seems like a great fit for his background and passions.”

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3. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 02:54PM

“Huh, how much is he paying his friends to make comments on here about him? Or is it his mom???”

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4. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 04:20PM

“FYI Blueszz: The PSPCA manages ACCT and they are deserving of any and all compliments. As for Howard Nelson, I wish him luck. He did many good things while CEO of the PSPCA. Unfortunately, this City's "expert" animal welfare community thrives on the negative.

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5. Dogged said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 06:16PM

“I am not a friend or his "mom." I find it very annoying that any time that someone ever says something vaguely positive about Howard, people jump into that same old tired accusation. Everyone has positive and negatives, especially in a work environment. I am sure that you are not always great at your job either. Having worked with him, I know that he is a compassionate intelligent man with a lot of capacity for hard work. He does having failings, of course, but so do I. And I would assume that you do too. Animal people need to take a deep breath and let this one go.”

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6. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 07:54PM

“Isn't Howard the one who stopped adopting cats out of Doggie Style because they started selling puppies in other stores???”

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7. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 08:52PM

“In Howard Nelson's efforts to make the PSPCA a better place he made it a laughing stock. PSPCA lost so many valuable allies because of Howard Nelson's actions. Sure he did some cosmetic work and made the shelter look more modern but the people that still work at the PSPCA know the real damage he did. It won't be long before we will be reading about his resignation or termination from Doggie Style.”

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8. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 09:19PM

“This is the same Howard Nelson who had animals transferred out of Animal Control just so they could count in numbers as a "live" exit and boost adoption numbers and merely sent them to Erie to be euthanized. He damaged the reputation of the PSPCA and now they are slowly trying to rebuild.”

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9. Anonymous said... on Apr 16, 2010 at 09:36PM

“And the same Howard Nelson that expanded the cruelty investigations department & brought in animal planet while telling the investigators to break the law by sending them to work in counties where they did not have jurisdiction. He jeopardized the legitimacy of any investigations that the PSPCA officers conducted.”

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10. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 06:15AM

“Guiterrez is the wife of Doggie Style owner, Goldfarb and they will not disclose where they get the puppies they are SELLING in their stores. Advocates have attempted on mutiple occasions to find the origin of the puppies with no success and that leads most to believe they come from puppy mills.”

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11. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:00AM

“One of the problems with the animal welfare community in Philadelphia is that everyone is always attacking everyone else. I think that we should applaud Howard for continuing to work for rescues like Oporation Ava-- a group filling a vital need of helping people afford vet care for their animals when the economy is in such disarray and people are faced with life and death choices for their animals. The animals need everyone to work together for the benefit of the community. I hope that this new venture leads to many happy families and many happy dogs. How is it that Philadelphians can welcome Michael Vick into our teams after he has abused so many animals, but we attack the people who are out there trying to help the animals every day? The animal welfare community needs to take a good look at itself. Congratulations Mr. Nelson. Good luck in your new venture. I hope the animals benefit from your talents and hard work.”

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12. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 10:01AM

“Howard STOPPED working with Doggie Style when he was CEO of PSPCA because he said that the fact that they sold puppy mill dogs was against the PSPCA's mission and what he believed in................lie # what? Maybe 1,978?”

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13. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 12:46PM

“PS #11: The animals do NOT benefit under Howard Nelson - he ends up promoting his own public image which costs the lives of animals. Did you know he ordered his workers to KEEP ALIVE a suffering pregnant horse on the side of the road until the Animal Planet crews arrived just so it could be filmed? Despite many pleas from the workers to put the animal out of his misery. Howard Nelson is not for Animal Welfare...........Howard Nelson is for Howard Nelson.”

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14. Anonymous said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 02:07PM

“Is Doggie Style the place that sells puppy mill dogs?? That would make for a more interesting article than drudging up howard nelson. This is newsworthy because ...???”

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15. worried cat said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 04:28PM

“If allegations I have heard against this company are HARD fact someone needs to warn the Phila Community Cat Council to stay far away. Dead cat, caused by no food or water for three days while shut in a storeroom because he was sick. Selling aka" adopting" out purchased animals as rescues..... I may not be an HN fan but I never thought he was stupid, just pr and his ego came first. I am shocked. Did he stop the pspca from adopting to this chain and now he works for them?...Phila animal welfare beware who you adopt from and give money to. PCCC Beware please! This is a story TM check these facts out, if you want real news.”

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16. Hn is history Animal welfare is the concern said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 04:54PM

“I agree, I think the above comments seem to be your story. What is up with this company? Are they a front using non profit for profit. They have the king of animal public relations working for them now. I would for once like to see true journalism at work, here is your chance. Or do they advertise in your paper, is that why this was news worthy? It is my understanding local shelters will not work with this company. Why? Here is your big shot to be a reporter.Please do some real fact finding for the animals in this companies care........... If they are legit, great, if not help shut them down.”

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17. Doggie Style Watcher said... on Apr 17, 2010 at 07:15PM

“We monitor Doggie Style stores to report animal issues. This has been performed by a small team of animal rescue experts since last year.

No dogs are for sale at any Doggie Style store; the cats for adoption are cared for by staff and are in open play spaces; the cats are monitored by PCCC and the store staff; we could not get numbers, but several cats have been adopted; store staff gave us the adoption application;
a vet was recently in two stores treating the store cats(reported by staff); the store next to the montgomeryville mall reported that they are working on rescuing dogs from high kill shelters in the south.

Rest assured we will keep monitoring the activities given the allegations, but we have found no truth in the recent posts against Doggie Style.



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18. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 06:33AM

“#17: If you are legitimate, what is the name of your group? Are you monitoring other small pet stores masquerading as rescues for violations or are you, too, in the pockets of certain self-aggrandizing animal welfare groups in Philadelphia?”

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19. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 06:40AM

“Please dig deeper. It's hard to believe the dogs are coming from the south when Lancaster - the breeding ground of America is right in their back yard. Does anyone know where Doggie Style gets their cats and what the "adoption fees" are? I haven't shopped there since Ira's first wife divorced him. She spent a lot of her time promoting adoption and regularly raised significant proceeds for rescues and shelters.”

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20. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 09:11AM

“Good Luck, Best Wishes Howard!!!!!
I am now shopping @ Doggie Style....!

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21. Daytimer in Philly said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 09:15AM

“Welcome Howard!...
I no longer volunteer at the PSPCA...(too many problems with the current management/place is a total mess)...How can I help with Operation Ava?”

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22. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 09:30AM

“oh, Doggie Style will definitely skyrocket with PR with Howard on their team, just like PSPCA did. Unfortunately, I doubt many of the things he will do to get this PR will be the truth. He lies to reporters about animal adoption numbers etc, etc: gives reporters exactly what they want to hear. He's certainly no dummy. Then when someone catches him (like the board finally did at the PSPCA) he cites "medical issues" and runs out the door.”

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23. ionatrailer said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 04:09PM

“The Animal Welfare "groups" in the phiadelphia area are truly amazing and have earned a nationwide repuation for infighting& truly disfunctional organizations. Wecome back Mr Nelson! Can we use these blogs in our upcoming Comedy Central TV programming....This stuff is great!!!!..our writers could not come up with this...

(The crew in LA, CA.)”

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24. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 06:46PM

“Howard has and continues to get a bum rap. Every dealing I've ever had with him has been nothing but honorable. He worked very hard at the PSPCA to help the dogs and fight the good fight. He helped launch the Cube to spay and neuter thousands of stray cats at the PSPCA and shut down some of the most horrible places like Tiger ranch. Give the guy a break. Doggie Style has just launched the non-profit Oporation Ava to do rescue work and they are NOT selling any dogs (as far as I know or have seen-- where are these so called puppies for sale? I have been to most of the stores and only seen some cats for adoption. Can someone please tell me where these puppies for sale are? I would like to know, really.) Why are people so bent on trying to ruin this man's reputation? I don't get it. As far as I have seen and experienced, he is a wonderful person.”

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25. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 07:12PM

“Yes, the animal welfare groups in this city are definitely dysfunctional and the individual members care more about themselves than the animals. Can you imagine getting them together in one room. Talk about a reality TV show -- me, myself and I.”

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26. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 08:02PM

“I was there when they got together in one room. It wasn't pretty. Poor Howard, caught in the cross-fire.”

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27. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 09:18PM

“As far as reputations go Howie did a fine job at destroying his all by himself, not just throughout the state of PA but also at his former job at Washington Humane. It's true us animal peeps don't always agree on everything but when it comes to the welfare of animals and non-profits it's pretty clear there's no argument that this guy is bad newz.”

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28. Anonymous said... on Apr 18, 2010 at 09:18PM

“As far as reputations go Howie did a fine job at destroying his all by himself, not just throughout the state of PA but also at his former job at Washington Humane. It's true us animal peeps don't always agree on everything but when it comes to the welfare of animals and non-profits it's pretty clear there's no argument that this guy is bad newz.”

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29. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 04:56AM

“Yes, when put into a room with the Board members of the PSPCA and asked hard questions about his lying and making decisions that he was not authorized to make, his solution was to run out and "resign" (before they fired him). Before that, he destroyed the reputation of Washington Humane Society. It is true, that not every single action that he did was wrong or bad, certainly The Cube is a positive but unfortunately the negatives and damage that he caused over ride these these positives. Just look what he did financially to the PSPCA - ask anyone - he spent loads of money on cosmetic changes only for the result having to be laying of people who took care of the workers when the PSPCA realized their bank balance. Nice!!”

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30. Alan Greasepan said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 06:02AM

“I hope they have a good accountant.”

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31. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 06:27AM

“I am a former employee and there was NO such board meeting or tough questions. The current management is responsible for the financial strengths or weaknesses and for the current staffing decisions. Howard resigned over a year ago and only says nice things about the PSPCA.

Congratulations Howard. We should thank anyone who wants to help animals.

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32. Ionatrailer said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 07:30AM

“How can all you people continue to verbal vomit....without all the facts.....(the "Anonymous's" of Bloggers...)....Who are you and where do you come from...?....

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33. furinphilly said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 07:35AM

“Good Luck Howard!!!!! The stores are amazing...you have a new customer...!”

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34. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:27AM

“Howard had nothing to do with the PSPCA backing away from Doggie Style due to the selling of puppy mill dogs in the Montgomeryville store. Howard was long gone from the PSPCA when this developed. It should be noted, however, that the PSPCA knew for months that Doggie Style was selling dogs and, despite this being against the organization's mission, they still maintained a relationship with the stores.

It will be interesting how this relationship plays out--with Howard hungry for publicity and Ira Goldfarb just money hungry (hence the reason why he sells dogs).”

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35. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:11PM

“Ira Goldfarb should burn in hell, he is selling dogs out of his house for money. Walk into one of his stores, ask the girls "where can I find a dog" the girls at doggie style will send you to Ira "master of breeders"”

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36. Anonymous said... on Apr 19, 2010 at 10:14PM

“Scam ALERT Doggie Style, watch out for Ira Goldfarb puppy mill dogs

I used to work for Doggie Style, however, I QUIT because of the owner(Ira Goldfarb) and the upper management (Claudia Gutierrez) and their complete and utter lack of concern for the well being of their store cat(s), among other things.

Here is a simple list of why I advocate for boycotting Doggie Style:

1. The store cat at the head store on Market Street got violently sick (caught something from the PSPCA kittens), and was quarantined by the owner in the back room without food or water for THREE DAYS. He was then found by an employee who unknowingly found him dead, in a pile of his own vomit and feces. [RIP Sugar Daddy ]

2. The owner only hires staff that are great at selling things, or cute as a button.

3. United K9 is the owner's company that copies off of other companies (ie. Buddy Belts, Zack and Zoey, Grrrggles, Premier, to name a few) and cheaply mass produces the copied toys in China for really cheap labor. Business savvy, yes. Morally right, NO!

4. The owner and his 'wife' (Secretary until the exwife was out of the picture) do NOT even take care of their own dogs. Funny how their bulldog and chihuahua mix are both suffering from a horrible horrible skin condition that they refuse to treat (probably because it is due to them being locked up in crates all day and night, soaking and festering in their own urine and feces), and yet their BEGGING for a licensed vet for their stores. Come ON!

5. The owner is only concerned about business, and not about the welfare of the animals he pretends to help.

6. Adult cats from the PSPCA are sent back to the shelter because they are 'sick', but really they do not attract enough attention for the store. Kittens are cuter, of course.

7. Doggie Styles and renditions thereof are popping up all over the country, with puppies and kittens from who-knows-where galore. They appear to be cute, trendy, friendly.. but if you truly and sincerely care about the well being of these animals and the affect of supporting this store, then BOYCOTT DOGGIE STYLE!

Oh, I almost forgot-

8. Oporation Ava is NOT a nonprofit organization, and is getting puppies from cheap breeders in PA to make a profit for Doggie Style and to attract more customers. They're convincing, yes, but please do not be fooled. Look at their website- http://oporationava.or..., they cannot even spell SHEPHERD for goodness sakes. The owner specifically told his employees to market these dogs as 'rescue' dogs, even though he clearly said himself that they were NOT rescued, and instead BOUGHT and will be sold for a large profit. DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. ADOPT FROM A REAL RESCUE!!!

Thanks, and please support local business that truly care about animals (I'm positive there is a local pet store a block or two away from a Doggie Style that are trying desperately to compete with the scandals and lies fronted with doggie strollers and pom pom dresses.)

Don't buy puppy mill dogs, go to your local SPCA.

Make no mistake--puppy mill dogs are not beloved companions for their owners. They're money makers, and when they can no longer make money, they're of no use. Some states in the Midwest, as well as areas of Pennsylvania and other states, are notorious for puppy mills, but they exist throughout the United States and in other countries as well.

Puppies from puppy mills are often damaged before they're even born. Poor nutrition for a pregnant or nursing bitch can cause permanent physical and mental problems in her unborn puppies. The puppies are often ill, infested with parasites, and improperly socialized. It's not a very good beginning for a dog chosen to fulfill your wishes for a healthy, happy companion.

Puppies from puppy mills are usually sold to pet wholesalers or brokers, who buy puppies in large numbers from puppy mills in the United States and abroad, and then sell or trade them to other wholesalers or to pet stores. When operating across state lines, brokers have to be licensed by the USDA, and they have to follow the shipping regulations provided for in the Animal Welfare Act. Those requirements, however, are minimal and not always strictly enforced. To a broker, puppies are strictly a commodity, like furniture and clothes.

A puppy mill produces lots and lots of puppies with only one motive: to make money. Puppy mills are usually overcrowded with dogs, and the dogs are usually neglected and may be abused because there are just too many of them to be given proper attention and care. Puppy millers don't care where the puppies end up once they're paid for, and don't socialize the pups for proper mental and social development. Pet wholesalers (brokers) buy puppies in quantity from puppy mills and resell them, usually to pet stores.”

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37. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2010 at 07:29AM

“I worked with Howard the entire time and can tell you that those closest to him at the PSPCA were the first ones to say "whew" and badmouth him when he left. Walk in there one day and ask any one of the employees who worked under him their opinion - guaranteed you won't get one positive response, this includes from any board member. I can't imagine if you were a good employee and you left not one, but two, jobs in less that two years and not one person just a few years later had anything positive to say about you from those organizations. Doesn't that say something about Howard's overall character?”

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38. Anonymous said... on Apr 20, 2010 at 07:17PM

“Interesting comments from #35 & #36 but unfortunately it sounds just the right fit for a dishonest person such as Howard Nelson.”

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39. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2010 at 06:55AM

“I know lots of employees that love what howard did, loved working for him and wish him the best. I know some employees who did not like Howard. That is how organizations work.

Good luck Howard and I will now shop at Doggie Style.

To the negative posters: you should be thankful that someone wants to provide medical care for animals. Please work hard to make the PSPCA, PAWS, Oporation AVA, ACCT and all rescues successful.

What do you think you are accomplishing for the animals by all the verbal insults and incorrect facts.

If what you are stating is true...you should utilize your full name and contact information.”

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40. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2010 at 08:31AM

“#36 is right, Ira Goldfarb sells dogs at his stores. I have the papers to prove it. I got my dog from him, and mimi passed away two weeks later. I will never shop at any of his stores.”

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41. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2010 at 12:44PM

“Howard is a cover-up for Doggie Style.”

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42. Tara Murtha said... on Apr 21, 2010 at 02:33PM

“Please note that I would review any proof of any allegations tossed around here or on other websites. All information is reviewed carefully. My email address is tmurtha@philadelphiaweekly.com. The address on the site. Thank you.”

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43. Anonymous said... on Apr 21, 2010 at 09:02PM

“Read about Ira Goldfarb:

http://www.northjersey.com/news/crime_courts/Man_apprehended_after_foot_chase_.html

Still want to BUY dogs from him? I think not!”

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44. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2010 at 09:50AM

“#45 that's old news, Ira did his time behind bars already. It wont be long till Ira is back behind the same bars for selling these dogs.”

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45. Anonymous said... on Apr 22, 2010 at 04:43PM

“Does he have complaints on the business bureau? Does Doggie Style or Oporation Ava?”

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46. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 07:52AM

“Doggie Style and Oporation Ava both have complaints with the BBB.”

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47. Anonymous said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 08:27PM

“I heard that they are making dog food in the kitchen...cooking/canning and selling...mmgood...”

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48. Ashamed Former Employee said... on Apr 23, 2010 at 08:41PM

“Unfortunately, I too am a former employee of the store. i witnessed firsthand the lies and deceit Ira would engage in, in order to cover up his affair with Claudia. it is for this reason that I do not recommend anyone shop at his stores. If a man can sleep with the "part-time accountant" the position she was originally hired for, and disgustingly flirt with her all directly under the nose of both his employees and most importantly his wife, how can you expect him to be honest about any of his business practices? Sadly, I was fooled into thinking Claudia was an upstanding woman and worked both with and for her for quite some time. Until, of course, it was very evident that her and Ira's "car rides to the warehouse" definitely including riding, but no where near a warehouse. True, I am biased, actually pissed at the situation and therefore my view may be skewed. But simply ask any of the stores' employees, you'll get all the answers you need to form your own conclusions.”

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49. Anonymous said... on Apr 24, 2010 at 06:45AM

“"Ashamed Former Employee" you're right. I use to work at Doggie Style too, and witnessed everything you said above. Ira would try to get his employees in bed with him. The store manager left because of this reason, Ira would take her out for "lunch" a few days a week till Claudia found out. Once Claudia found out, my manager lost her job. Ira is a scumbag.”

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50. Anonymous said... on Apr 24, 2010 at 04:02PM

“Ira Howard = The Perfect Team”

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51. Anonymous said... on Apr 24, 2010 at 09:23PM

“I was at the Doggie Style store on Passyunk ave. today to find puppy's for sale. I was told Ira is breeding them in his own back yard.”

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52. Anonymous said... on Apr 25, 2010 at 02:00AM

“Tara, can you look further into where the puppies that are being sold are coming from? If former employees do indeed think Puppy Mills then maybe a local organization would be willing to help investigate.”

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53. Anonymous said... on Apr 25, 2010 at 07:54AM

“Go to Doggie Style Passyunk ave today. They will have boxer mixes for sale for $800.”

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54. Anonymous said... on Apr 25, 2010 at 11:59AM

“$800 ???? and they are not a pet shop? Does that come with a lifetime of shots, spay, neuter, lifetime of food, personal cleanup service after the dog, personal walking and grooming service and a leash and collar with diamonds?? The could have purchased the same dog at a local shelter for a lot less and probably gotten alot more.

How do you prove the difference between a Pet Shop that is selling dogs from puppy mills and a store that claims their animals are rescue??? Please answer if you know, I am curious.”

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55. Anonymous said... on Apr 25, 2010 at 12:04PM

“When you buy a dog from them, I am assuming they tell you it came from "rescue", do they provide you with the name and/or address of the rescue organization. If they have nothing to hide and are not doing this, then why not?

Does anyone know? Just curious. $800 seems awful high for a rescue boxer mix. You could get one at the shelters for much less. Does the dog come with shots, spay/neuter etc.?”

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56. Anonymous said... on Apr 25, 2010 at 04:22PM

“The shepherd/boxer mix puppies at the Doggie Style Passyunk location are from a rescue in Rhode Island who had flooding and need other rescues to help step in so the dogs were safe. They are an ‘unwanted’ litter the mother dog’s owner dropped off at Animal Care Services in Greeneville, NC South Carolina, which is a hill rate kill shelter and were scheduled to be euthanized before the Rhode Island rescue stepped in. They are up to date on shots, neutered/spayed, and mirochipped. The adoption donation is $300 which covers rescue, transport, food, foster, veterinary care, including spaying and neutering, and microchipping. Any funds left will be used to help rescue more dogs and cats and help pay for life saving surgeries for sick dogs and cats.

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57. Anonymous said... on Apr 25, 2010 at 04:28PM

“Hey #45 you have the wrong person...might want to check that before adding links”

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58. Anonymous said... on Apr 26, 2010 at 09:23AM

“Ira Howard = SCUM”

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59. Doggie Style Shopper said... on Apr 27, 2010 at 09:53AM

“I have always enjoyed going to Doggie Style in Montgomeryville, the employees are friendly, the store is clean, they always have my food (EVO) in stock, and always remember my dogs names, as well that my dog has allergies, so they always can recommend new products that he can try, and give me samples! I will only shop here!

# 48: Did you actually look on the BBB website? Cause I can't find anything about Doggie Style or Oporation Ava on the PA Better Business Bureau website. Also,
#45: that article about "Ira Goldfrab", that's not the Ira Goldfarb of Doggie Style, maybe some of the people posting on here should get their facts straight before posting.
#36: If there was a sick cat where I worked, I would take it to the vet if it seemed that no one else was, but I guess I care more about animals then if I might have to put some money out. Most places hire staff that can sell things, to hire employees that don't sell would not make much sense”

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60. doggie style employee said... on Apr 27, 2010 at 08:18PM

“I work at Doggie Style and have been helping care for the puppies. They are rescued from the high kill shelter in Greenville NC and would be dead now if Oporation Ava had not rescued them.

The lies and false statements on this blog make it ridiculous to even read. The truth is these puppies were scheduled to be euthanized and now are alive and doing well.

Please adopt and rescue and stop picking on people who are trying to help.

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61. Anonymous said... on Apr 29, 2010 at 01:17PM

“R.I.P. Sugar. I will never forgive or forget the situation that caused your death. I miss you and you didn't deserve what happened. No animal does.”

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62. Anonymous said... on May 10, 2010 at 08:35PM

“i once worked for doggiestyle also and i can say that is true all they care about is makeng money off animals. They could care less about suger being sick they just left him to die where was operation ava then ?? None of them truely care about animals and any of the employes that do quit. Cloudia the wife of Ira dumped her mix dog off at a kill shelter simply because it got to big for her. the 2 dogs they have now they dnt take care of they leave them in a cage all day and night. They are soo big on adoption and helping animals they went out and bought there bulldog they could of saved a life at the local animal shelter. They do have puppys from a rescue right now but its only to make them look good and they still make money off it. the adoption fee is 300. They dnt do any background check anyone that has 300 can go to there passyunk location and buy a puppy”

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63. Anonymous said... on May 10, 2010 at 08:37PM

“i once worked for doggiestyle also and i can say that is true all they care about is makeng money off animals. They could care less about suger being sick they just left him to die where was operation ava then ?? None of them truely care about animals and any of the employes that do quit. Cloudia the wife of Ira dumped her mix dog off at a kill shelter simply because it got to big for her. the 2 dogs they have now they dnt take care of they leave them in a cage all day and night. They are soo big on adoption and helping animals they went out and bought there bulldog they could of saved a life at the local animal shelter. They do have puppys from a rescue right now but its only to make them look good and they still make money off it. the adoption fee is 300. They dnt do any background check anyone that has 300 can go to there passyunk location and buy a puppy”

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64. Anonymous said... on May 10, 2010 at 10:17PM

“Tara, could you please see if some of these claims are true? Letting a cat die right there on premises? Buying a purebred bulldog? No background checks? Claudia surrendering her dog because it got too big? This sure sounds like a profit pet shop to me.”

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65. Anonymous said... on May 14, 2010 at 04:29PM

“You are wrong Anonymous. My mom and Ira are not scum bags. You worked for us? I don't think so. We are very serious for taking care of sick dogs and cats. Who are you to tell us we get our dogs from puupy mills? And we have told people where we did get our dogs, NOT PUPPY MILLS. That's ridiculus. We worked for the PSPCA not long ago, but stopped connections due to the fact that they believe in euthenization. My mom did not leave our dog at a kill shelter, he was actually adopted by a family that we met. We made sure to keep in touch with where he went. The reason we decided he wasn not right for us is because we specifically told the PSPCA that we needed a very small dog in our condo and cannot have a big dog since we did not have a backyard. It turns out that instead of being a fifteen pound dog, he was a golden retriever. So we had to give him to a good home with a large backyard to enjoy his life. As for our dogs now, they are frequently at our stores and taken to walks in parks.”

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66. Anonymous said... on May 14, 2010 at 04:43PM

“Also, I would appreciate it if you stopped your false accusations. And one of the links you gave for people to see "Ira Goldfarb", is not the real Ira. I'm afraid you have mixed up with people you know. First of all, Ira does not even look like that and all the information the article gives is not even near accurate, he is not fourty-two.
The most shocking thing that has been said is that my sister's organization that she worked very hard on, is a scam. I do not know where you get this information or how your mind came up with this twisted, absolutely corrupt thought, but you are surely wrong. I am upset with how many hate comments you have made and want you to stop these absurd lies. If you continue, then that's fine. You do not know us, and if we ever did know you, I regret meeting such a disloyal, hateful person. Please stop, because these lies are not doing anything to affect us. We know what's the truth, the people who actually matter and are good friends know the truth as well.”

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67. Anonymous said... on May 15, 2010 at 08:54AM

“Isn't it amazing? Puppy mills were out of Howard's juristiction, yet he was determined to go after them. Now he might be part of the sale of puppies born in those same conditions?
Howard is simply looking for another organization to bilk. He can spend money like no other, so his new employer better watch his wallet.
Wonder if the cameras have been installed in all locations, so he can sit in his office and watch their every move?
And, yes, there was a board meeting where he was finally called on the carpet. He stormed out and then quit.
Guess selling real estate didn't work out either. One would have to WORK at selling real estate.
This man's ineptitude caused law suits that are still rocking the PSPCA. They must rue the day they ever met him. Just yesterday some of his previous employees lost in court. Sadly, the PSPCA will have to pay more. He is gone, but his lack of knowledge in running such an organization has cost the PSPCA dearly.”

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68. intheknowrePSPCA said... on May 15, 2010 at 09:50AM

“Hilarious! Sounds like the ideal situation for all scammers concerned. In no time at all, Howard the Horrible will be funneling funds. Anything he touches turns to sh--. So no fear, Goldfarb will be out of his puppy laundering business in no time.”

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69. Anonymous said... on May 15, 2010 at 01:36PM

“This peice of crap has a reputation that preceeds him. I really find it fascinating that anyone concerned with animals would hire him. There is no conceivable way he had a positive reference. The only conclusion is that they are, in fact, birds of a feather. That being the case, they deserve each other. Wouldn'y it be a hoot, if the PSPCA put them out of business? That is, of course, if Howard the Coward doesn't bankrupt them first. He certainly tried hard enough at his former job. I only wonder why pond scum always rises to the top?”

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70. Anonymous said... on May 16, 2010 at 03:41PM

“Doggie Style and Oporation Ava do not sell pets or condone the sale of any animal. Oporation Ava is an official 501(c)(3) non-profit rescue that partnerships up with other non-profit rescues or humane societies to help pull dogs from kill shelters locally and nationally. Why don't you stop talking sh** and come volunteer your time and see what goes into rescuing a dog. Oporation Ava has nothing to hide because we have never done anything wrong. It is crazy people that don't get their facts right and put up misleading and deceptive posts about random information and their opinions. Maybe you should get your facts right and then tell others.”

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71. Anonymous said... on May 16, 2010 at 07:47PM

“#72 is definately a person paid by Doggie Style or maybe its Claudia Guiterrez sitting in her mansion on her computer trying to justify the dirt that they do while her own poor dogs are probably on their back porch laying in their feces starved. They do sell puppies....I worked there as well I know this first hand. Oporation Ava "rescues" puppies yet charges $300 for one of these rescued pups. $300? Since when does it cost that much for a rescue dog??? You can go to the SPCA and get one for $75. There are puppies right now that you can see the signs in the store for $300 as proof to my statement. These people are the most horrible and corrupt people I have ever seen and they are the complete opposite of everything an animal lover is. They love money. Thats all they care about. Thats why they hired Howard Nelson....because thats all he cares about too. Howard Nelson is the perfect addition to their evil team.”

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72. anonymous said... on May 17, 2010 at 03:22PM

“I just wanted to point out that there are plenty of rescues that charge $300 to adopt a dog. They do this because they want to make sure theat only serious people want to adopt, as well to cover all medical and other expenses incurred by the rescue dogs. They also use that money to pull more dogs out of places like the SPCA, they don't just get to take the dogs for free! The SPCA can charge $75 because they need to make room for more dogs because people drop dogs off there regularly, they don't have to pay money to the owners who lose the dog, drop the dog off for some asinine reason, or had them confiscated because they couldn't handle taking care of the animal. So for you to claim that any rescue that charges $300 must be illegitimate, you must not actually be thinking of a rescue. The only "rescue" I see mentioned is other then Oporation Ava is the PSPCA, and that is a SHELTER, not a rescue.”

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73. Anonymous said... on May 18, 2010 at 10:09AM

“I think its hilarious how Ira Goldfarb has his mistress and her family and Howard Nelson on here defending his crooked company. As a former employee of Doggie Style, the only thing about the company I can defend is the employees that work in the stores. The girls that work for them are great and really know and care about animals. Its sad these crooks pay them $8 an hour and treat them like sh*t and like they are disposible. They don't make relationships with their employees unless they are Claudia who screwed her way to the top. And yes, they like to humiliate their employees as well and watch them on camera all day long to critisize them. Also...ever wonder why no black people work there? Because Goldfarb is a racist pig who thinks dogs don't like black people. It came out of his mouth....I've heard it. He doesn't like animals and he hates African Americans even more.....so boycott him. He's a scum and so is his whole team except the lovely store girls.”

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74. Mmmmmm said... on May 18, 2010 at 12:01PM

“Post 75 reads..."Because Goldfarb is a racist pig who thinks dogs don't like black people. It came out of his mouth....I've heard it. He doesn't like animals and he hates African Americans even more.....so boycott him. He's a scum and so is his whole team except the lovely store girls.”


What?????????? He Hates African Americans? IMO---Goldfard and Nelson are both scum sucking pigs.”

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75. Anonymous said... on May 19, 2010 at 08:08PM

“.I think it's funny that all the really negative posts are from people who USED to work there...I wonder if these people quit the job (doubtful) or got fired and are now just bashing the company because they are upset that they got let go.....”

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76. Anonymous said... on May 20, 2010 at 08:39PM

“How ironic that #77 is exactly the same comment that Howard used to use in all the other articles against him when the truth came out about him while he was at the PSPCA. I know for me, I quit on my own terms, AFTER Howard left, because I was moving. It was Howard who quit suddenly without warning before HE was FIRED. He is a dishonest liar down to his core.”

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77. Anonymous said... on May 22, 2010 at 07:12AM

“#69: Howard-the-Coward went after the Puppy Mills simply because it was a chance for "his" organization at the time (PSPCA) to get filmed on Animal Planet. Everything he does was about publicity - legal or not, he didn't care. They weren't in his jurisdiction. If Ira treats his employees like crap and humiliates them then Howard should fit right in unless you are (as Howard liked to call it) in the "Inner Circle" i.e. Claudia.”

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78. Anonymous said... on May 29, 2010 at 12:39PM

“#77....FYI I quit on my own terms because I was sick of making those filthy pigs money and watching them use it to buy puppies from puppy mills and allow a cat in the store to die without taking it to the vet. I don't think we're bashing the company...people need to know the truth and everything we are saying is true. Maybe you should learn how to treat your employees and run your business the correct way....maybe then soooo many of us wouldn't have so much negative sh*t to say about you scumbags. It's okay though because so many more people will know the truth REAL REAL soon and you'll see how many customers you lose once it really gets out. You're already losing customers because you hired Howard Nelson...who is a disgusting person in his own right....just wait animal lovers...stay tuned. Justice to these animals will be served!!!”

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79. Anonymous said... on Jun 3, 2010 at 11:22AM

“ATTENTION EVERYONE::::::: HAS ANYONE ACTUALLY SEEN OPORATION AVA HELP OUT ONE FAMILY IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE YET??? BECAUSE I HAVENT! THE LAST ANIMAL THEY SUPPOSEDLY HELPED WAS IN 2008. BEWARE CUSTOMERS...YOUR DONATIONS MAY BE GOING TO SOMEONE'S ALREADY FAT POCKETS THAN HELPING THOSE IN NEED”

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80. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2010 at 02:47AM

“check the website oporationava.org.....all you will see on there is information about their "rescued" puppies....you see nothing on there about them helping animals who need surgery. one cat who on the doggiestyle2.com website. the cat that supposedly was helped was helped in 2008 or 09.the organization is just a front people to cover up the fact that they are making a profit off of thses puppies. where are these success stories? oh and might i add...they have like 2 vets in their back pockets and are even trying now to open a vet clinic!!!! money, money, money...thats the only concern to them. they do not give a f*** about animals. someone needs to investigate them....it would make a great story and people need to know the truth. i know a ton of my fellow former employees that would jump at the opportunity to reveal what Doggie Style truly is about!!!”

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81. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2010 at 12:20PM

“ID LIKE TO BEGIN WITH i NEVER WORKED FOR DOGGIE STYLE OR ASSOCIATED WITH ANYONE THAT WORKED THEIR OR HAS EVEN BEEN THERE MY ENTIRE LIFE. lately I'VE TAKEN NOTICE TO THIS BOG IN WHIch FOR THE MOST PART SEEMS TO BE TRYING TO TAKE DOWN DOGGIE STYLE AND THAT CAN BE A GOOD AND BAD THING.SINCE I'M GETTING MY SELF INVOLVED I'VE DONE RESEARCH BEFORE I BOGGED ABOUT THE SITUATION I HAVE INVESTIGATED. AFTER SEEING AVA AND HER MOTHER ON TV FOR THE SECOND TIME TALKING ABOUT OPERATION AVA I STARTED TO WONDER FIRST DO THEY REALLY DONATE THE MONEY, DO THEY HELP ANIMALS, AND ARE THESE FOOD PRODUCTS BEING DONATED TO ANIMALS WEALTH. SO I CONTACTED OPERATION AVA IN REGARDS TO HELPING MY DOG THAT DOESN'T EVEN EXIST. IN THE END THEY GAVE ME A LIST OF REASONS THAT IF YOU FALL UNDER ONE OF THESE CATEGORIES YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO HAVE AVA TAKES CARE OF YOUR DOG. IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT THE LIST CONSIST OF EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM AND OUTCOME POSSIBLE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. IT WAS ALMOST LIKE A COMMERCIAL THAT SAYS DO YOU HAVE A NOSE, EYES, EAT LUNCH, BREATH AND YOU SIT THERE AND SAY YEA I HAVE THAT THAT MUST BE ME, EXCEPT THE COMMERCIAL IS TRYING TO HELP YOU, AVA IS TRYING TO TELL YOU WE CANT HELP YOU AND WE ARE GOING TO USE THE MONEY TO FILL OUR STORE WITH DOG TOYS, START A NEW DOGGIE CAMP, PURCHASE ANOTHER TWO STORES ONE NEAR THE AIR PORT AND ONE IN NJ HANDONFIELD, GO ON 4 TRIPS TO CHINA IN UNDER A HALF OF YEAR AND PURCHASE PARVO, MANGE, FIV, DEATHLY SICK ANIMALS FROM GAS KILL SHELTERS DOWN SOUTH ILLEGALLY WITH OUT A KENNEL LICENSE. I WALKED BY TODAY AND SAW CATS IN THE WINDOW PANTING AND SLEEPING AS THEY ARE EVERY DAy I WALK BY AND ALL NIGHT LONG. A COUPLE WEEKS AGO I SAW IRA MEETING SOME ONE IN THE MIDSTS OF THE NIGHT AROUND 3AM PURCHASING CATS SHOVING THEM INTO HIS STORE AND 3 CARS HE CAME IN AS FAST AS HE COULD. IT’S A SHAME BECAUSE I KNOW THE PERSON WHO ORIGINALLY STARTED DOGGIE STYLE HAD A HEART OF GOLD AND WANTED NOTHING MORE THEN TWO LOVE ANIMALS UNTIL IRA STOLE IT FROM UNDER HER FEET AFTER SLEEPING WITH THE BED BUG “SECRETARY” AND TURNING THE COMPANY INTO GREED AND GOLD. ITS ONLY A SHORT AMOUNT OF TIME UNTIL ANOTHER GROOMING SALON COMES ALONG THAT REALLY CARES FOR ANIMALS AND WANTS TO HELP THEM AND ACTUALLY HAS A GROOM THAT CAN GROOM AND MORE THEN 3 DOGS A DAY UNLIKE THE PASSYUNK GROOMER THEY CURRENTLY HAVE THAT STEELS ALL IRAS DOG SUPPLIES RIGHT FROM UNDER HIS NOSE AND SELLS IT OUT HIT HOUSE AND ON EBAY I PURCHASED A FEW THINGS FROM HIM, THANKS NEIL. TTYL ;)”

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82. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2010 at 12:24PM

“sorry blogged*”

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83. Anonymous said... on Jun 4, 2010 at 02:10PM

“ID LIKE TO BEGIN WITH i NEVER WORKED FOR DOGGIE STYLE OR ASSOCIATED WITH ANYONE THAT WORKED THEIR OR HAS EVEN BEEN THERE MY ENTIRE LIFE. lately I'VE TAKEN NOTICE TO THIS BOG IN WHIch FOR THE MOST PART SEEMS TO BE TRYING TO TAKE DOWN DOGGIE STYLE AND THAT CAN BE A GOOD AND BAD THING.SINCE I'M GETTING MY SELF INVOLVED I'VE DONE RESEARCH BEFORE I BOGGED ABOUT THE SITUATION I HAVE INVESTIGATED. AFTER SEEING AVA AND HER MOTHER ON TV FOR THE SECOND TIME TALKING ABOUT OPERATION AVA I STARTED TO WONDER FIRST DO THEY REALLY DONATE THE MONEY, DO THEY HELP ANIMALS, AND ARE THESE FOOD PRODUCTS BEING DONATED TO ANIMALS WEALTH. SO I CONTACTED OPERATION AVA IN REGARDS TO HELPING MY DOG THAT DOESN'T EVEN EXIST. IN THE END THEY GAVE ME A LIST OF REASONS THAT IF YOU FALL UNDER ONE OF THESE CATEGORIES YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE TO HAVE AVA TAKES CARE OF YOUR DOG. IT JUST SO HAPPENED THAT THE LIST CONSIST OF EVERY SINGLE SYMPTOM AND OUTCOME POSSIBLE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. IT WAS ALMOST LIKE A COMMERCIAL THAT SAYS DO YOU HAVE A NOSE, EYES, EAT LUNCH, BREATH AND YOU SIT THERE AND SAY YEA I HAVE THAT THAT MUST BE ME, EXCEPT THE COMMERCIAL IS TRYING TO HELP YOU, AVA IS TRYING TO TELL YOU WE CANT HELP YOU AND WE ARE GOING TO USE THE MONEY TO FILL OUR STORE WITH DOG TOYS, START A NEW DOGGIE CAMP, PURCHASE ANOTHER TWO STORES ONE NEAR THE AIR PORT AND ONE IN NJ HANDONFIELD, GO ON 4 TRIPS TO CHINA IN UNDER A HALF OF YEAR AND PURCHASE PARVO, MANGE, FIV, DEATHLY SICK ANIMALS FROM GAS KILL SHELTERS DOWN SOUTH ILLEGALLY WITH OUT A KENNEL LICENSE. I WALKED BY TODAY AND SAW CATS IN THE WINDOW PANTING AND SLEEPING AS THEY ARE EVERY DAy I WALK BY AND ALL NIGHT LONG. A COUPLE WEEKS AGO I SAW IRA MEETING SOME ONE IN THE MIDSTS OF THE NIGHT AROUND 3AM PURCHASING CATS SHOVING THEM INTO HIS STORE AND 3 CARS HE CAME IN AS FAST AS HE COULD. IT’S A SHAME BECAUSE I KNOW THE PERSON WHO ORIGINALLY STARTED DOGGIE STYLE HAD A HEART OF GOLD AND WANTED NOTHING MORE THEN TWO LOVE ANIMALS UNTIL IRA STOLE IT FROM UNDER HER FEET AFTER SLEEPING WITH THE BED BUG “SECRETARY” AND TURNING THE COMPANY INTO GREED AND GOLD.”

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84. Anonymous said... on Jun 8, 2010 at 06:07PM

“GREED & GOLD = EXACTLY WHAT HOWARD IS ABOUT and he will get it through any means possibly - lying to the public etc. etc. He doesn't care about any animals except his own.”

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85. Anonymous said... on Jul 2, 2010 at 08:30AM

“I'd like to hear more about OPORATION AVA. I see so many LOST DOGS. Where are all the animals they have saved ???? You can walk into any DOGGIESTYLE AND SEE THE DONATION BOXES ARE FILLED TO THE TOP !!!! WHERE OH WHERE are all those animals they have saved ?????
I just wonder, do people apply.....how HELPFUL ARE THEY ????

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86. Anonymous said... on Jul 5, 2010 at 01:51PM

“Yes, I know another Doggie Style former employee, but the bad things said are true. I was with Doggie Style when Sugar Daddy died. The employee working that weekend repeated asked for help/something to be done for that wonderful animal. She was new and called the store she was trained in to ask for help. Claudia told her to not involve other stores in your own store’s business. She didn’t know what to do so she called Claudia again. Finally Ira, Claudia, Ava, and Lexi came into the store on Sunday while on their way to lunch. Claudia had Ava take Sugar into the back and put him in a crate, Monday morning he was dead! They then tried to cover up Sugar’s death but 2 days later they donated $50 in Sugar’s name to the SPCA and Mimi (the new Market St. Cat arrived.) So where is Mimi now? Some say a former employee saved her others think a customer stole her and others still think she may have died in a crawl space in the Market St. building.

So did I quit…yes! In my short time ( 7 months) I managed to get a raise, and a Christmas bonus. They (Ira and Claudia) were sorry to see me go. During that time they lost easily 20 -25 employees I lost count. It was a joke to see who quit and why or who got fired and why. Not one person was given adequate training. Then you would find out you were doing something wrong. Well 5 days of training on product info, register system, policies and procedures, ordering, cleaning, merchandising, opening /closing paperwork and then you were on your own with a set of keys. We lost groomers to bad equipment and sales people to Sugar dying. But other just got sick of the B.S. and the empty promises. The ones that got fired it was NOT there fault, it would be inadequate training or Ira, Cesar, or Claudia just not liking them. It depended on the day!

So let’s also talk pay…. I only ever knew of one person who got time and a half, she fought for it! The rest of the staff no matter weather they worked under or over 40 hrs only got paid straight time…. Isn’t that against the LAW? I would assume this is still the case.

You can say all the nice things about them you want I was also there the day the fax came thru about a pre-order for puppies for the Montgomery. The pre-order was for unborn puppies! No, I don’t have a copy but I wish everyday I did…twenty-twenty hind sight!

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87. Anonymous said... on Aug 24, 2010 at 02:47PM

“I'd like to point out that "Oporation" Ave (you can't spell operation right, really?) has vacillated between being "..an official 501(c)(3) non-profit rescue that partnerships up with other non-profit rescues or humane societies to help pull dogs from kill shelters locally and nationally," AND "...an official 501(c)(3) non-profit that helps provide medical care for low-income pet owners". So which is it? Or is it both? Which one is actually on the 501(c)(3) paperwork? And why does it seem to change whenever puppy mill accusations surface?

Also, someone mentioned that $300 was an acceptable figure and that no one else had mentioned a rescue with a lower adoption fee? PAWS adopts adult dogs out for $75 and puppies for $110 and they are a rescue, not a shelter. $300 is not unheard of, but it is pretty expensive.”

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88. Anonymous said... on Sep 14, 2010 at 10:59AM

“I find it amusing that Howard went on TV to promote "Camp Dogwood" which then closed a month later because they didn't have any of the licenses. Way to have your priorities in order.”

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89. Shitzu Owners said... on Sep 17, 2010 at 09:37AM

“It’s a shame that people who love and care for their animals, coming from a woman’s perspective deepened on the grooming salon and the employees to take care of their pet as the owner themselves would. Not to say that every so often a customer may come in that doesn’t tend to their pets needs as they would themselves but for the most part if your dog or cats getting groomed they care to some extent and expect the animal to be taken care of in return. I use to be an advent Doggie Style shopper and use them for my 2 dogs to get groomed, but for the last 4 months I’ve been going to a new grooming salon (The Dog House) on 21st and passyunk. The salon is amazing the staff takes care of my “children” as if they were their own. Not only is the staff and owner always on hand but the groomer is amazing. They also care for animals very much from the deepest section of their hearts and take in stray animals and shelter them until they are found new and safe homes. I think for anyone who is disappointed with Doggie Style should try out The Dog House or somewhere else better then queen village or pet smart, there are plenty of grooming salons around and some just shouldn’t be at all. www.thedoghouse1.com”

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90. Anonymous said... on Sep 22, 2010 at 03:51PM

“I just left The Dog House, I cant get over how great my Scotti looks. I'm so mad at my self for going to doggie style, I didn't know they treated animals so harsh, I even spoke with the current groomer and they said they get dogs from out of state sick and all and sell them for 300m dollars, such cold hearts.”

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91. Anonymous said... on Oct 3, 2010 at 07:09AM

“It's funny how at PSPCA every time a negative comment came out, Howard Nelson had his sidekick posse (who turned on him after he left) write positive comments to outweigh the negative, truthful ones. I'm sure that is what is going on here re: Oporation Ava & Doggie Style. He didn't even write his own "personal letter" in his newsletter - The Scoop(pspca) - had another member of staff write it and he would sign it. All Howard Nelson is good for is spending $$ and lying about it. Washington HS & Penn SPCA board members/staff etc know all about that.”

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92. DoggieStyle truth bringer said... on Dec 12, 2010 at 01:47PM

“Doggie style upper management/owner are all scumbags. ever since they lost the girl sarah from the warrington store the rescue has plummited. she mad op ava an actual rescue, not just another dog selling orginization. before dogs mostly came from bowling green ky, now occasionally 2 dogs or so come from a southern rescue, but the majority of them com from the pspca or the acct. oh and i also heard that employees can adopt the dogs for 50$ while general public has to pay 300. but only 50$, thats cause op ava only has to pay for the spay or nuetering of a dog to get them
this was all made possible to howard nelson and new rescue coordinator/local idiot Ray Little. since ray took over there been little to no dogs in foster care for the rescue, they are simply kept in the back of the stores in crates. so dont be fooled when an associate tells you that they go home to a family at night ,just simply ask to look in the back when the stores getting ready to close”

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93. DoggieStyle truth bringer said... on Dec 12, 2010 at 02:24PM

“not to mention the terrible way employees are treated. best example is ira couldnt even keep one guy there that was marrying his daughter. other people are fired when they speak their mind and go against what doggiestyle wants. they have taken advantage of the terrible job market and are able to get away with not offering full time employees benefits and keep them on a short leash with the thought that they get so many applicants. not to mention i heard one girl got her hours cut to zero instead of firing her forcing her to quit. this company is terrible. their food prices are good but that is it, if you want a dog from them simply go to the pspca and i gauruntee youll see a few dogs there that would end up at doggie style for a lot more thn you would pay there”

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94. Kellynellywelly said... on Jan 4, 2011 at 09:20PM

“It's hilarious how ridiculous people are. Do you all simply bash out at pet store owners because you automatically assume that they sell dogs? They still work with the SPCA and have rescued lover a hundred cats and over sixty dogs. You people are idiots. Do you have proof that Ira sells dogs in his backyard or whatever? You make up whatever you want and hope that others will buy into your lies. ANd just because someone is marrying his daughter, he should just let him keep on working if he's doing a bad job? I don't know much about his family, but he should fire bad employees no matter what. And Oporation Ava sounds wonderful! I looked on their website and I think that it is horrible that people would write such horrid things about the group. Doggie Style does not breed animals, and all negative things you say about the store or to whomever is only said because you are either a fired employee who "quit", or you just automatically jump to conclusions.”

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95. MarissaGoldstein said... on Jan 4, 2011 at 09:36PM

“Comment#85- The "owner" before that, Leehe, she was such a scamp. Heart of Gold? Yeah right. The owner of DS is amazing. I met him and his wife Claudia in the store on Market Str and they were very intelligent. I told them that my dog, Bennie, was having trouble with his current food and they told me to go on Primal since it was good for puppies. Now Bennie is doing well and loves going there.
Comment #95- Yeah, the PSCPA does adopt out dogs a lot cheaper than Doggy Style, they sold dogs for a dollar. So that's how dog fighters are able to get dogs so cheap. And Oporation Ava does not euthanize their dogs and cats, that's kind of the whole point. While the PSPCA does.
There are so many rumors on here, people are all saying "i heard from someone that..."”

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96. Susan C. said... on Jan 4, 2011 at 09:45PM

“94-- The girl Sarah did not make Oporation Ava a real rescue. Ava did, it was her organization and Doggie Style let her place the rescue dogs into their stores until they were adopted because she did not have a station. But supposedly they are making an Oporation Ava dog day care with a huge backyard so that they can play. Ava created an amazing organization and for a nine-year old to come up with that, is amazing. I met her in person at one of the doggie style grand openings and i must say that i cannot wait until I have my own kids! So nasty fired employees and ex-wives should stop trying to get back at Doggie Style and stop lashing out on Oporation Ava.”

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97. Anonymous said... on Jan 5, 2011 at 08:36PM

“maybe DS should give all these dogs away for free to people who cant afford health care for them or give them a decent home so everyone will be happy!!!!!!! oh wait..... you'd probably trash talk them then too.

Think about it. These dogs are going to good homes with good people.

Let me ask everyone a question, what amount would you spend on YOUR animal? I'm betting 300 or even 1000 doesn't seem like too much now.

Congrats to Howard AND Ira for putting the rescue trend out there! thank you for advertisement that you CAN get a dog some where besides a "puppy store"”

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98. Anonymous said... on Jan 14, 2011 at 03:28AM

“operation ava is NOT non-profit. since when does "rescuing" dogs for and "adopting" (selling) them for $300-500 equal "non-profit"”

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99. 99-96 idiots said... on Jan 17, 2011 at 03:05PM

“These # idiots all have the same IP address meaning they are all the same person and when I tracked their email it was an email sent from Doggie Style Office on market st. Thats why every time I post something true about how Ira cheated on his wife and banged this whore that hes with now my messages keep getting deleted.”

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100. Anonymous said... on Feb 10, 2011 at 07:11PM

“i have heard about ds too, im not an employee but was close to one. not sure how he treats animals but he does treat his employees like shit. he had soo many good people work for him and now they r gone, he is use to being in control and he walks around like his shit don't stink and you are beneath him. i don't know how he sleeps at nite, remember karma does come back.”

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101. Anonymous said... on Feb 11, 2011 at 04:37PM

“Lets get this straight Oporation Ava (btw can you spell!?) was NEVER the brain child of this kid who has 0 personality. It's another scam courtesy of her Gold Digging Mom and Ira Goldfarb. They haven't "rescued" an animal in forever and those stupid donation boxes they keep in the store are piled to the sky and never go any further than their own pockets. they pimp out both of those kids to turn a profit but neither of them has a personality or any clue as to what they're "selling" and you can thank their mother for that.”

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102. Suomynona said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 09:19AM

“#67/68 - Gosh, you sure do write well for a 13 year-old. Big words, accurate punctuation, and proper grammar as well. Kudos! And to think our youth is becoming more illiterate during this digital age... like OMG!!1 O_o

That's sarcasm above, folks. Obviously, Ira or Claudia was behind the keyboard.

Exploiting children should be added to the list of things not to like about Ira Goldfarb and Claudio Gutierrez 'cause it sure seems they like to do so, openly and freely.”

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103. Anonymous said... on Apr 8, 2011 at 04:22PM

“OMG I can't stop laughing at #67/68!!!! I am sure your mommy told you little Ava that your Big golden Retriever is on the farm lol You care soo much about animals that built a 350,000 facility for animals so you say but yet you had to get rid of your own dog because it go to big for your condo. Righttt”

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104. Anonymous said... on Apr 11, 2011 at 02:28PM

“Who would hire a queen such as Howard Nelson ? His track record with animal welfare is beyond awful. Just ask Washington HS and Penn. SPCA. He ran out of both places like a sissy.”

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105. Anonymous said... on Jun 12, 2011 at 02:17AM

“So, the PSPCA is plagued with extremely, profanely high-paying,useless union-workers.All of PSPCA's money is being drained and everything is a mess.What should you do?Well, guess who stepped up to the plate? Oh, Howard? No. But isn't he the coward everyone continuously lashes out at? Yes,but do you know what he did? As soon as he cleared the crap with the Union Board-extremely difficult job,by the way-he fired every.single. union worker who spent their days lying on their butts collecting money.Aw, those poor, POOR union workers! How ever will they get a job now? What did they do?O yes-threw rocks at his windows, ruined his car, and what else?Oh,attempted to poison his dogs.Wow, what great dog lovers THOSE PSPCA employees were, it's a good thing they were fired! No,nevrmind. According to everyone here,that had been a TERRIBLE deed performd by Howard the Coward. What did Howard do? He quit his position at PSPCA. Evil person,how could u do such a thing?How dare you protect your animals!!”

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106. Anonymous said... on Jun 12, 2011 at 02:25AM

“What are fellings about ava an lexi? Besids being illiterate, brainwashed, exploted, poor, childs? Thanks.”

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107. anonymous ex employee said... on Sep 23, 2011 at 08:04PM

“i was a former employee for the company as well. almost everything i've read about doggie style in this article is true. ira is a lying, stealing, disgusting man who doesn't even like animals- he is only in the business to make money. from erasing and lying about expiration dates on foods and treats to mistreating store animals, this doggie dollar store brand has been sued numerous times for copyright issues on their products, as well as employment issues. each employee is required to work anywhere from 45 to 55 hours a week without overtime or compensation, averaging each paycheck to just below minimum wage. illegally firing employees by making up lies about ill performance, ira has been sued for wrongful termination several times.
this company is the most disgraceful pet business on the east coast. i feel horrible to know that its in my own hometown of philadelphia.”

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108. another ex said... on Jan 17, 2012 at 04:50PM

“Another ex employee here. This company is a joke. Look at the fact that 2 of their stores have closed in the last year. Howard Nelson is doing exactly what he is best at....running companies into the ground.. I wouldn't be surprised to see more stores close this year.”

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109. Anonymous said... on Jan 6, 2013 at 10:38PM

“Doggie Style closed the Montgomeryville location. FOUR stores left out of 13 before Howard Nelson came along. Howard Nelson isn't a good man. Look at all the Doggie Style stores closing.”

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