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Corona del Mar Today: New pet shop opens in CdM

July 02, 2011
  • I Heart Puppies just opened in Corona del Mar.
I Heart Puppies just opened in Corona del Mar. (AMY SENK, Daily…)

Puppies playing in a furry pile under contemporary baubled chandeliers, oversized pillows in trendy grays and blues, scented products for not-so-pleasant pet situations, faux punk rock outfits for the canine members of your family — the newest shop to open in Corona del Mar is not like any pet store you've seen before.

"We tried to make it not like the average pet store," said Brooke Bradford, one of three owners of I Heart Puppies at 2801 E. Coast Hwy. "When you come in, we wanted it to be a chic, nice space."

Bradford and her mother, Suzanne Bradford, and their friend Summer Gorjian moved to Newport Beach in December from St. George, Utah, with a brief stop in Laguna Beach.

At first they looked to open a shop in Laguna Beach, but when city rules on selling animals became too difficult a problem to overcome, they settled on Corona del Mar.

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"You sit outside, and in an hour you will see 50 dogs pass by," Brooke Bradford said. "This is the perfect place for us."

The women say that Corona del Mar has not had a pet store in at least a decade, largely because retail pet stores are often linked with puppy mills.

I Heart Puppies only sells puppies from USDA-licensed government regulated breeders, and their mission statement is clear, they said.

"We do not support illegal kennels or those with a history of problems meeting USDA requirements," their store brochures states. "We give our puppies the best care possible to ensure you are getting a happy and healthy puppy."

Puppies are examined by four different veterinarians before arriving at the store, they said. And all new owners must agree to participate in puppy-training programs.

"It's important to us to sell really healthy dogs, and we want them and their owners to be together forever," Brooke Bradford said.

Puppies cost from $1,200 to $1,500 and mostly are hybrids, often with a poodle in the mix, Suzanne Bradford said. The shop will never have more than 20 puppies at a time. The dogs are in a clear, raised pen in the middle of the shop, where they play together and can be petted and held.

The shop also sells puppy basics from pee pads and dog collars to treats, carriers, pillows and more.

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