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Atlanta-based retailer Pup Socks under state investigation, again

Hundreds of complaints against a local business leads to an investigation and a closer look at their charitable donations.
Updated: Jan. 24, 2022 at 5:41 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Pup Socks, the Atlanta based online retailer that puts a picture of your pet on socks, is under investigation for the second time in two years, according to a spokesperson for Georgia’s Attorney General.

The spokesperson was unable to discuss the circumstances with the current investigation, but provided CBS46 background after a 2019 investigation alleging “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” The state fined Pup Socks CEO Zachary Zelner $65,000, which was settled for $15,000.

CBS46 learned about the latest investigation after a customer reached out to us directly, saying they hadn’t received their order after months of waiting.

Metro Atlanta’s Better Business Bureau also has more than 600 complaints online and has issued three alerts.

“I work hard for my money as do many other people. Their socks are not cheap and people expect what they pay for,” Christy Bradley explained.

Better Call Harry spoke with Pup Socks Co-founder Zack Zelner after discovering the company’s only listed address vacant. Zelner invited CBS46 for a tour of its new operation in Gwinnett.

Zelner says complaints are small in number when compared to the number of orders. “Our percentage of complaints compared to the number of orders is well under one-percent,” Zelner said in a phone interview, “Simply put, we don’t have a backlog of orders.”

Also in question is the company’s commitment “to help all animals in need.” Zelner claims one percent of Pup Socks profits goes to charitable organizations, while claiming they have sold “more than one million pairs” of socks.

CBS46 confirmed three donations since 2017 - $5,000 to the Atlanta Humane Society, $12,000 to the Humane Society of the United States and $5,500 to Ahimsa House, a nonprofit that works to keep victims of domestic violence and their pets together.

The director of Ahimsa House says complaint calls from angry pup socks customers are getting in the way.

After our reporting and continued questions to Zelner about his company’s charitable promise, he provided a list.

In addition to the Atlanta Humane Society, The Humane Society of the U.S. and Atlanta non-profit AHIMSA House, Zelner provided a list of charities with donations totaling $35,042. CBS46 previously confirmed $22,500 in contributions. Pup Socks claims that one percent of profits goes to charity and promises to “to help every animal in need.”

Additional recipients are: The American Kennel Club, Adopt a Classroom, American Breast Cancer Center, Lupus Foundation, Toys for Tots, Prison Fellowship in Virginia, St. Jude Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, The Giving Back Fund, Canine Companions and Atlanta Mission. The contributions totaling $12,542 have not been verified.

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