Stop proposed ban on pet stores selling pups in WA

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If you love your puppy purchased from All About Pups and/or would like the chance to purchase another puppy in the future, please read on. The WA government is considering banning the sale of puppies from pet stores. They will only allow pet stores to sell rescue dogs from shelters. This will:

  • Force puppy sales and breeding underground and so lead to little or no policing of welfare standards.
  • Force prospective purchasers of "designer hybrids" to increasingly purchase puppies online, sight unseen, with little control over the seller's welfare standards.
  • Future pet owners will have a much diminished capacity to purchase the type of dog they require in WA, especially "designer hybrids" such as Labradoodles, Cavoodles, Spoodles etc, because local dog breeders generally adhere to breeding purebreeds and of a limited range and number.
  • Force up the price of puppies making it very attractive business proposition for uncontrolled, backyard breeders.

Pet stores are out in the open and must comply with any welfare or other legislation that is imposed, unlike backyard breeders who sell from car parks and online with no warranty, guarantee or vet cover for illness in the post purchase period.

There is an underlying suggestion that all pet stores source their pups from breeders that have poor welfare standards as in the so-called "puppy farms". All About Pups (www.allaboutpups.com.au and ww.facebook.com/allaboutpupsperth) source puppies from reputable breeders that are regularly inspected for registration with either the Australian Association of Pet Dog Breeders (www.aapdb.com.au) or the Pet Industry Association of Australia (https://piaa.net.au) which ensures these breeders meet high standards of welfare. The irony is that by stopping pet stores selling puppies it will likely promote poorly controlled breeders to proliferate as they meet the demand vacuum created by this ban.

To provide some background, All About Pups (formerly ACA Pups) has been providing high quality puppies to Perth since 1999. We, like the majority of puppy outlets in Perth, are committed to ensuring pups are sourced from reputable breeders and welfare and health-care standards in-store are a high priority.

There are major problems in the suggestion that pet stores could replace puppy sales with dogs from shelters:

  • There is unlikely to be a large enough source of puppies that would be available to pet stores to meet demand, especially if the planned laws to phase in controls on breeding by non-registered breeders is effective.
  • The majority of dog breeds making their way into shelters are working dog breeds and their crosses or Bull Terrier/Staffordshire Bull Terrier/Pit Bull Terrier crosses which may not always be a suitable or desirable choice for many people.
  • Prospective dog owners are increasingly attracted to smaller breeds or family orientated breeds or their crosses, precisely the breeds rarely found at a shelter but most likely to be sold by a pet store. Look at our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/allaboutpupsperth to confirm this. In comparison, looking at the dogs available at the Shenton Park Dog's Home at www.dogshome.org.au were there are few, if any, puppies for sale, a smattering of Terrier cross small dogs, and 95% Staffy, Pitbull, Mastiff, Kelpie, Heeler cross medium and large dogs. While these may make a fantastic pet for the right owner with the right circumstances, they are not always suitable for small units, young families or inexperienced owners.
  • Many owners desire to experience the process of rearing a dog from a puppy so that they can ensure their dog has been brought up in a loving, caring environment.
  • Pet stores are not equipped to handle adult dogs as they are larger, noisier and need far more space and exercise than can be achieved and so looking after them in a pet shop environment, as proposed by the Labor Government, could prove difficult. Essentially, this is a job already done well by animal shelters and pet shops are not ideally place to take over this role.

Therefore, the proposal for pet stores to replace puppy sales with shelter dog sales is misguided and is not a viable option. The suggestion that this would allow pet stores concentrating on pet sales rather than merchandise to continue operating is false.

In summary, maintaining the sale of puppies in pet stores enables proper controls over the welfare of puppy breeding rather than causes it. Stopping the sale of puppies from pet stores will see the industry go underground with the possibility that the welfare of the puppies will actually diminish.

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