CHICAGO (CBS) — A local pet store chain has been hit with a lawsuit accusing it of dealing with puppy mills, and a former employee of that store has been telling her story to WBBM Newsradio’s Steve Miller.

Tracy Ross said she got physically sick when she realized the dogs at Furry Babies pet shops came from a puppy mill.

She said she worked at Furry Babies on-and-off for about a year, then quit.

“It became fairly obvious that there was something suspicious going on,” she said.

Ross said she decided to look into some of the places where the pet shop got its puppies, and “a lot of the names that were on these disclosures were puppy mills.”

“I felt as if I was steered in the direction of lying to the consumer every time someone came in there and asked questions, and I didn’t want to do that,” she said. “We lied to the consumer every day. Every customer that comes in here, we lied to. I was completely freaking out.”

Ross said she was encouraged to not be up-front about the fact that the dogs came from puppy mills.

“I didn’t want to lie to the consumer any more. I didn’t want to lie to people,” she said.

Several Illinois plaintiffs have sued Furry Babies, Inc., including a Cook County family who said their $1,500 pug puppy had to be hospitalized for months with infections.

Newsradio has asked Furry Babies, Inc. for a response.

Watch & Listen LIVE