Every year in Australia, hundreds of thousands of companion animals are bought from Pet Shops, Puppy Farms and Backyard Breeders, whilst we continue to have extremely high kill rates in pounds and shelters. This episode of Insight on SBS, featuring Animal Liberations' Jacqueline Dalziell, opens the debate to animal rights activists, as well as Pet Industry representatives, to explore why we are killing so many of our beloved 'pets'.
Watch the episode or read the transcript here:
The Pet Shop Diaries
Ever wanted to know the reality behind that cute puppy in the window? These three informants worked in Pet Shops in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth: find out what they saw.
Click 'The Pet Shop Diaries' to read their stories.
Animal Liberation Campaigner works Undercover in a Sydney Pet Shop
For approximately three months, Puppy Farm Campaign Manager Jacqueline Dalziell worked undercover to expose the cruelty of Pet Shops, which culminated in a national Today Tonight expose, reaching over one million viewers.
Click here to read the transcript.
ABC Radio, Pet Industry Investigation, 2009
On Sunday, 29th Novemer 2009 ABC Radio National aired a Background Briefing program on the Australian Pet industry.
In Australia, 1 dog is killed every 4 minutes due to the completely unregulated industry composed of pet shops, puppy farms, backyard breeders, and our mega-pound system. Animal Liberation Project Co-ordinator Jacqueline Dalziell visits a puppy farm, and exposes the reality behind that cute puppy in the window in this shocking expose.
To listen to this program, go to:
"Today Tonight" segment, 2009
On November 20 2009, Today Tonight aired a segment on pet shops and puppy farms, with Animal Liberation Project Co-ordinator Jacqueline Dalziell speaking about the cruelty inherent in the Pet Industry.
Interview with a Pet Shop
Animal Liberation Project Co-ordinator Jacqueline Dalziell chats to Terry
We opened the Bowhouse store at Bondi Beach at the end of April 2007, so
we're just over 2 years old now. We opened it for a number of reasons.
Firstly, because there was no shop for dog owners in Bondi or Bondi Beach.
Also, because we felt that none of the local retailers or vets were very pet-friendly,
or really concerned about providing good service, advice, good value and convenience to their customers.
There are a number of reasons we are against retailers selling live
Initially we found business tough, but that was primarily because we opened at the
I think it is primarily because too many people buy puppies or dogs
I think this is very short-sighted of landlords, and I think it would make a huge difference if ways could be found to make more pet-friendly rented accommodation available in Australia. Many of our customers would happily pay extra rent to stay in a home where their pet was welcome, so that alone should be a good reason for more landlords to welcome pets.
We are vehemently against them. The mills are typically in locations well away from our base in the Eastern suburbs, so we don't have first-hand knowledge of their practices. However, we are acutely conscious that a lot of our customers' pets which have been purchased in shopping mall pet stores originate from mills or backyard breeders, and we wish that people would realise that by buying their pets in such stores they are feeding an unacceptable system.
I would say that at least 3 times a month we hear of a puppy purchased in a pet store that has had medical issues shortly after being bought, and often chronic lifetime conditions.
I think this is primarily because the pet store has not thoroughly checked the background of the puppies that they are selling.
But it's often also the case that they have not given the puppy appropriate care or nutrition while it has been in the store. A prime example is a great dane that was brought into our store after being in the local shopping mall pet store window for over a month before one of our customers took pity and bought it. It was seriously undersized and insufficiently exercised. We advised the owners on the right nutrition for the dog, and they exercised it well, but it was almost 6 months before it started to look like a good, robust healthy dog.
Impulse buying is without doubt the biggest issue in our area rather than abuse, though we often hear of heart-breaking cases of abuse and neglect from those at Monika’s Doggie Rescue. A prime example of this happened a few months ago.
A new customer came into the store, and when I asked about his dog, he confessed to me that he had bought it at a pet store in the local shopping mall when he was blind drunk after drinking in the pub watching a football match all afternoon. He was so drunk that when he woke up the next day, he could not remember where the dog had come from. It was only after his credit card bill came through some time later and he saw that he had spent several thousand dollars in the pet store that day that it came back to him.
Whoever is selling the dog should be obliged to disclose in writing all available information about the parentage of the dog, where it was born, and any likely potential health or behavioural issues, and purchasers should have the right to sue for reasonable damages if this information is untrue or incomplete. Purchasers should be obliged to wait at least one week between deciding to buy an animal and taking it home. Many responsible breeders interview prospective owners of their animals, and provide the prospective purchaser with an information pack about what owning the animal will entail, and I think this practice should be the norm.
In principle, we wholeheartedly support it.
Thankyou very much for your insights Terry, and for being a leading example to demonstrate that pet stores don’t need to rely on animal abuse for their sales. And where can our members find you?
Bowhouse is located at Shop 4, 2a Jacques Avenue, Bondi Beach
Our website is http://www.bowhouse.com.au/
Written by Jacqueline Dalziell