NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Humane Society Of The United States is sounding the alarm on what it said is a highly disturbing investigation involving dogs.

The organization found that dog fur is being used in products ordered online, although it’s illegal, and is worried that the cruelty behind the products may be more widespread than anyone knows.

Patrick Kwan of The Humane Society Of The United States led a two-year investigation into the sale of dog fur. Acting on a tip, the society ordered items online from a Queens company.

Lab analysis confirmed that the fur came from a dog, even though dog-fur use has been outlawed since 2000.

“Unfortunately, 12 years later now, we’re seeing dog fur being openly sold and advertised here in the United States,” Kwan told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.

Kwan said that the fur is imported from China, and that previous investigations uncovered the horrific conditions that these dogs were subjected to.

These animals are put into tiny cages,” Kwan explained. “They are beaten, and unfortunately we have found over and over again that these animals are actually skinned alive.”

Schneider showed the products to people on the street, and they did not go over well.

“Animals are pets, not clothes!” one woman said.

“It’s just crazy to think that they’re killing dogs,” another woman added. “They’re such lovely animals.”

Kwan said that clothing which uses dog fur is usually not labeled as such, so its hard for consumers to know — especially because dog fur’s low prices rival the cost of fake fur.

“Many times consumers assume that just because a product is cheap, it must be faux fur,” Kwan said. “But unfortunately, we found over and over again that that’s not always the case.”

The Humane Society Of The United States said that U.S. Customs shut down this one operation, but they are concerned that more are out there, and they’re urging the feds to step in.

“The United States Attorneys’ Office needs to enforce the law and send a thorough and strong message that this cruelty will not be tolerated,” Kwan said.

The United States Attorneys’ Office had no comment, but U.S. Customs confirmed that it did shut down the website in May.

How disturbed are you about this revelation? Will it be in the back of your mind the next time you order a fur product online? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below…