View the world through the eyes of Hudson. His objective of this blog is to educate the public by trying to teach them not to buy a dog through a puppy mill. Don't buy a dog before you see where his parents live and how they are treated. Better yet ADOPT through a rescue or shelter and know you've done a good deed by saving a dog's life !!!
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Pet Industry Peak Body in Turmoil After Consumers Misled About Puppy
When this $2300 puppy collapsed nine days after being bought from a pet store in Perth, his heartbroken family began asking questions.
The store owners said the dog came from a "reputable" breeder. Two scrawled words on a scrap of paper have since proven otherwise.
Prior to melting hearts in a shop window, "Torro" had an arduous 4000-kilometre journey from a NSW property where breeding dogs and cats are kept in stacked cages. Their sole purpose is to produce never ending litters of animals for profit.
Torro, the puppy that exposed a cover up. Torro was purchased from Mount Lawley Pets and Puppies store in Perth.
The RSPCA has confirmed that during two separate inspections this year, it removed 45 sick dogs from the site and served notices for breaches to the Animal Welfare Code of Practice. It is also currently investigating alleged offences associated with the sale of "sick or unwell puppies".
And Fairfax Media has also found that consumers are still being misled into buying pet shop puppies, at the same store Torro was bought from and coming from the same NSW breeding mill, on the back of a "guarantee" from Australia's peak pet industry body that they are "not the product of puppy farms".
Representing the "whole breadth" of the pet industry, the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA) provides the public with a "policy guarantee" that "all dogs" purchased from its member retail stores, including the Perth store where Torro was bought, are "sourced from responsible breeders".
Caged animals are the norm at a pet "breeding mill" at Uralla, NSW. Photo: Supplied
"This is completely misleading and deceptive conduct that should come before the Federal Court, through immediate intervention by the ACCC," said the Animal Justice Party's NSW MP, Mark Pearson.
Mr Pearson drew parallels to the Federal Court case in 2013 which saw chicken producers Baiada Poultry hit with a huge fine for misleading consumers into believing its chickens, under the Steggles brand, were free range.
He said the developments would also "rock" the NSW parliamentary inquiry, of which he is a member, currently investigating puppy factories and the wider companion animal industry.
Torro was bought from Mount Lawley Pets and Puppies.
The PIAA is one of more than 350 stakeholders which have provided submissions to the inquiry.
Mr Pearson said that in its statement, the organisation makes it clear it does "not associate" with any puppy farms or breeders that undertake "intensive breeding practices or poor animal welfare".
On December 30 last year, a Perth mother, whose name has been withheld, returned home with the English Staffordshire terrier puppy her children had yearned for. Torro was bought from Mount Lawley Pets and Puppies, in Inglewood, Western Australia, which promotes its PIAA "Pet Care Professionals" membership both at the store and on its online homepage. Its website states it trades in "very well adjusted little treasures" that have "oodles of space to run and play". But that picture is a far cry from the scenes of confinement at Uralla, NSW.
The woman said that the week after arriving at his new home, Torro "stopped breathing before our very eyes".
He was rushed to vet hospital in a critical condition where he was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia, secondary to kennel cough. "After extensive vet treatment and a grim prognosis from a senior vet, we were forced to say our goodbyes," she said.
When the family confronted the pet shop about Torro and his origins, they were advised that he "came from a reputable breeder in NSW, who they knew really well and had been dealing with for five years".
But Fairfax Media can reveal that when someone scrawled the words "Bannaweera Trust" on top of Torro's yellow vaccination slip, it provided a crucial link to a "stud" farm, near Uralla, in northern NSW, that has long been on the RSPCA's radar.
RSPCA chief inspector David OShannessy said on February 4 this year, inspectors arrived at the breeding facility and found approximately 200 dogs including mini and toy poodles, foxies, jugs, pugs, chihuahuas, shih tzus, labradors, kelpies, border collies and staffies. He confirms papers were served over "a number of areas" of non-compliance with Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs and Cats.
The RSPCA seized 30 sick dogs that day. While Mr OShannessy vented "concerns" about the ability of "any person" to provide adequate care and socialisation to the 170 animals left behind, he said there is "presently no limit" on the number of dogs breeders can keep. On April 23, the RSPCA removed a further 15 dogs which – along with those previously surrendered – were saved by rescue groups.
Last week, the founder of animal welfare group Oscar's Law, Debra Tranter,accessed the same farm. "There are easily a hundred dogs living outside in fenced-off dirt runs. Their sleeping areas consist of little corrugated kennels that contain planks of wood to sleep on. It was minus 3 degrees when we got there. These tin huts were covered in ice. There is no way some of those older dogs will make it through winter."
Ms Tranter also accessed the factory "breeding shed" where, to her horror, she was confronted by cowering dogs and cats housed in veterinary cages piled on top of each other.
"The code states very clearly that dogs and cats must always be housed separately – so yet another violation," said Ms Tranter who added that elsewhere, there were four or five different breeds of caged puppies, all ready to head to pet shops. She pointed to one pregnant dog that was living in a car tyre containing shredded paper as a bed.
"That's where it will give birth and live for the next six weeks until its puppies are stripped from it. It's freezing in there, too. There are no heat lamps. The place is rat infested."
Acting PIAA chief executive Bob Croucher said: "This is obviously not what we are about. We have codes of practice which we ask all members to adhere to. But we are not an enforcement body. We can't take people to jail."
When it was pointed out that the PIAA "guarantees" peace of mind to concerned consumers, he said: "Within the constraints of our ability, yes."
He added: "While this situation is very disappointing, the association still believes that the sale of animals through pet shops is important to maintain."
Mount Lawley Pets and Puppies co-owner Rose Wilson said she had taken many litters from the breeding facility over "quite some time", describing the operator, Ann Press, as an "incredibly ethical, gentle, salt of the earth person."
She confirmed that while Torro originated from the Uralla site, the pup had left her shop as "fit as a bull".
"I want to make it clear that every single one of Ann's puppies comes to us with a signed vet's certificate."
The Sun-Herald briefed Mrs Wilson about the number of dogs at the puppy factory, those surrendered, the investigation into sold, sick puppies and compliance issues onsite. She said: "What do you define as a puppy factory? Because I think the RSPCA definition needs updating."
The owner of the Uralla puppy facility could not be reached for comment.
October 19, 2014: Born in the Uralla puppy factory, under RSPCA watch
Mid-December: After two gruelling flights, appears in Perth pet shop 4000km away
December 30: Taken home by new owners
January 9, 2015: Euthanased by vet after having collapsed from bronchopneumonia, secondary to kennel cough
RSPCA action at Uralla puppy factory
February 4, 2015: compliance inspection: 200 dogs located – 29 sick breeding dogs and one puppy surrendered. A number of non-compliance breaches to Animal Welfare Code of Practice Breeding Dogs and Cats
February 18: RSPCA issues operators with "written directions of non-compliance."
April 23: Inspectors return. A further 15 dogs surrendered. Investigation launched into sale of sick puppies.