Stonnington Leader; 7 JUL 10 @ 07:00AM BY AINSLEIGH SHERIDAN
A PRAHRAN pet shop is biting back at reports it says mislead the public on puppy purchases.
Pets Wonderland managing director Mikaela Lewis said recent articles in a Melbourne daily newspaper had “basically said to boycott puppies from pet stores as we all buy from puppy farms”.
“Puppy farms are a disgrace and an end should be put to that (but) I think there’s a division between the hobbyists – who have one or two dogs – and registered breeders, and puppy farmers,” Ms Lewis said.
“I view (puppy farms) as a huge-scale operation, whereas breeders will have a couple of litters a year.”
She said her business, family-run since 1972, took pups from mostly local private breeders and had Toorak’s Village Vet Rod Graham check their health and socialisation in a two-week quarantine before sale.
General manager John Leptos said the pups were also microchipped, vaccinated and wormed before sale. The shop allowed the return of pups within three days should a problem, such as an allergy, arise.
“We’re reputable; we exceed the rules and regulations,” Mr Leptos said. “We have strict guidelines before we let an animal out of our shop. We do not want to be lumped into what may be happening out there.”
But RSPCA spokesman Tim Pilgrim said there was no guarantee a puppy bought from a pet shop came from a reputable breeder. “People should be meeting the parents and visiting the facility the dog is born in,” Mr Pilgrim said.
“There need to be regulatory codes of practice put in place and at the moment they aren’t stringent enough and aren’t enforced. Until that happens, there’s just no guarantee that if you buy a pet from a pet shop that it won’t be sourced from a breeder who is unethical.”
Pet shops needed to join the debate to find a solution to close down mass-breeding facilities, Mr Pilgrim said.