The Edmonton Humane Society is warning people not to buy puppies from a local pet store due to allegations the animals may not have come from reputable breeders.
The group is concerned about dogs now being sold at the My Pet locations in Londonderry and West Edmonton Malls. They don't know who the breeders are but generally have a poor view of those who offer their animals for sale in pet stores.
"A responsible breeder is not one that will supply an animal to a pet store," said Edmonton Humane Society spokeswoman Shawna Randolph.
"A responsible breeder really cares about the continuous welfare of an animal and really in many cases they select and they choose who they're going to sell the animal to."
My Pet occupies what used to be PJ's Pets locations. The man identified by employees as the owner of My Pet did not return calls to CBC News by deadline.
Randolph said the Humane Society waged a successful campaign a couple of a years ago to convince Edmonton pet stores to stop selling animals from breeders.
Paradise Pet Centre in St. Albert is one outlet that stopped selling puppies and kittens two years ago. Instead, employees now only arrange adoptions from local animal rescue groups.
"It's part being responsible, being good shepherds for the community," said Lorne Terrault from Paradise Pet Centre. "Finding homes for these animals that are in need."
Randolph is concerned that people might be tempted to buy the animals they see at the mall.
"We want people to not act on a whim and fall under the trap of falling in love with the beautiful face in the window," she said.