Omaha’s Pets R Us Owner: Dogs are from unlicensed breeder

By on February 12, 2018

Recently, social media feeds for many area pet lovers were filled with angry tirades, questions about the law, and concerns over the well being of animals at Pets R Us, one of only two pet stores in Omaha that sells dogs. The latest maelstrom developed as an area woman posted photos and videos of sickly-looking boxer pups and the apparent store mascot, a bird with half of its feathers plucked out. Animal control was made aware of the situation and paid the store a visit.

For details about the initial uproar, click here. 

And after the Nebraska Humane Society visited the store and an investigation was completed, animal advocates were unhappy that no citations were issued. In short, there were no citations because nothing illegal was happening. Something that is important to remember and understand here: puppy mills are not illegal. Neither are poopy cages and outrageous prices. Citations can’t be written for things, however disheartening, that aren’t illegal.

More explained about the Humane Society’s visit and Pets R Us’ response can be found here. 

Here’s something else that’s necessary to understand: though the boxer puppies pictured in the initial social media posts looked sick, a sign on the window of one pup’s display called the dog a “rescue” dog, and the store responded to the social outcry saying (as always) their dogs come from reputable, family breeders, there’s typically no way to prove them liars.

Luckily, Bailing Out Benji, an animal advocacy group from Ames, IA, is around to confirm what all animals lovers believe: that Pets R Us is not being truthful about any of these things. The group issues record requests under the Freedom of Information Act in order to gain information not readily available to consumers.

From Bailing Out Benji:

“While it’s not as easy to track down the truth these days, our researchers did get to the bottom of the 4 sibling boxers at Pets R Us and the lies being told to unsuspecting consumers. Found in the inspection documents regarding the complaints made about the malnourished boxer puppy, and the apparently ‘rescued’ boxer, is this conversation noted by the Nebraska Dept of Ag:

‘I visited with store owner, Dave Sipherd, (and asked) if he had ever advertised pups as rescue pups. Mr. Sipherd, indicated that he has advertised pups as rescue. I asked why, his reply was that he did wrong, that the four boxer pups, including the underweight boxer, that has created a public concern, came from a unlicensed dog breeder, and that he did not want the dogs to be traced back to a unlicensed dog breeder.

When asked if the boxer pups, purchased on 1-4-18 were the only pups purchased from the breeder, Mr. Sipherd, indicated no.’

Pets R Us Omaha isn’t unique with their sales plan to sell their dogs, regardless of the condition of their ‘inventory’. Bailing Out Benji and Puppy Mill Free Nebraska don’t buy their lies, and you shouldn’t either. Their 4 sibling Boxers came straight from an unlicensed breeder into the store ILL on 1.04.18.

According to Rockbrook Animal Clinic: ‘On January 4th 2018, four boxer puppies we examined at Pets R Us for initial vet check. All four puppies had signs of an upper respiratory infection with ocular and nasal discharge, and all four were thin (BCS 1.5-2 out of 5). Of the four puppies a female was significantly smaller than the other three, and was considered the runt of the litter.’

It wasn’t until a full 10 days later on January 18th, that Pets R Us started monitoring and documenting the female runt’s lack of weight gain. At that time she was also diagnosed with roundworm and dewormed again.

Again, a full 10 days later on January 29th the smaller female boxer was re-examined again. While she had been gaining weight, her BCS (Body Condition Score) was still 2/5. And yet, she and her siblings were on the sales floor during these 3+ weeks, for sale to unsuspecting customers. When customers commented on this little girls condition, employees laughed it off as ‘she’s the runt’.

Again, from Bailing Out Benji and documents attained through the Freedom of Information Act:

The TRUTH actually was that the dogs:

1. Were purchased from an unlicensed breeder

2. Had upper respiratory infections with ocular and nasal discharge

3. Had BCS scores of 1.5-2 (good is 3)

4. Had Worms

5. Lacked weight gain on the runt and there was a 2nd round of worms

6. Had no health disclosure for customers

And the remaining, larger sibling was advertised as a ‘rescue’ dog.”


A rescue from an unlicensed breeder in a pet store. Ok then…

So, while Pets R Us tells the consumer that dogs are from family breeders, have been vet checked, and are sometimes “rescues”, we now know with certainty that all this is false. The truth, as stated above, is what’s been kept from customers- until now. If you’d like more of the facts and less of what the store assures you, check out…/nebraska-pet-store-puppy-mil…/

Finally, as it has done before, Bailing Out Benji (and friends) is peacefully protesting Pets R Us to increase education among the citizenry. If you’d like to join in on the latest demonstration and education effort this Saturday, Feb. 17,  click here:


Image credit: Bailing Out Benji

About Eric Forrest

Eric is a pet lover, bookworm and dad. He's had 5 family dogs, 4 cats, a cottontail rabbit he nursed back to health, and two ducks. Cats are his preference, but Eric loves all little critters.

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