PETBARN AND RSPCA PARTNER TO REHOME MORE ANIMALS

RSPCA NSW /PET BARN  Media Release 5th March 2012

PETBARN AND RSPCA PARTNER TO REHOME MORE ANIMALS
Petbarn and RSPCA NSW are pleased to announce the launch of their long-awaited partnership program.
Beginning this month, select Petbarn stores throughout NSW will house RSPCA shelter animals awaiting
adoption.
The aim of the partnership is to build RSPCA Adoption Centre ‘capsules’ in Petbarn stores. RSPCA shelter
animals will be transported to these locations and cared for in-house until they are rehomed.
Petbarn National Services Manager Mark O’Brien said the partnership comes about after three years of
planning.
“We are thrilled to be working so closely with the RSPCA on this new initiative in the hope that by
providing an additional outlet for adoptions, more animals’ lives are saved.”
At present, the agreement is for the rehoming of kittens, cats, puppies and dogs. However, future
rehoming efforts might also include pocket pets such as guinea pigs and rabbits.
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said that while these animals will be adopted out of Petbarn stores,
Petbarn staff will follow the same adoption procedures that operate in RSPCA NSW shelters.
“The animals’ wellbeing is crucial to the success of this program,” said Mr Coleman. “They’ll be cared for
by RSPCA-accredited staff members who will follow the same strict care, enrichment and adoption
guidelines as the RSPCA.
“This partnership offers a non-traditional method for rehoming more shelter animals, which is in line
with RSPCA’s long-term strategic plan.”
Petbarn will not retain any animal adoption costs; they will be returned to the RSPCA.
Pilot programs will commence this month. Cat adoptions will take place in Petbarn stores located in
Bathurst, Brookvale, Caringbah, Chatswood and Wetherill Park. The first facility purpose-built to house
both cats and dogs will be in Dubbo and will launch in April this year.
____________________________________________________________________________________
Media Contacts
Gail McWhinnie, Petbarn – 02 9932 2143
Annika Pattrick, RSPCA NSW – 0488 905 353

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11 Comments

Filed under NSW, RSPCA NSW

11 responses to “PETBARN AND RSPCA PARTNER TO REHOME MORE ANIMALS

  1. Jan Baker

    Well what a great idea……Pet Barn & RSPCA coming together will help more animals get adopted……I think it should be made quite clear that Pet Barn is NOT like Pets Paradise where animals are not desexed or vaccinated before they leave the store…..we don’t want to give the public the idea that this is your little puppy in the window coming from puppy farmers…..I hope it will be a big success….

    • Anne Greenaway

      As far as I am concerned Petbarn are no better than Pets Paradise. Last weekend in Dubbo a rabbit breeder who sells rabbits entire had around 10 rabbits in and out of cages in the Dubbo store and was giving out her business cards. When I complained to the manager about this, I was told rabbit breeder was giving grooming lessons.

      Petbarn would NEVER try such a stunt in Bondi Junction or the Newcastle Hunter area where there are lots of rescue groups. They thought they could get away with it due to a number of back yard breeders, uneducated and unsophisticated people living in Dubbo who would not blink an eye. Nice try Petbarn.

      I have found in my dealings with Petbarn (Head office) over the last week to be evasive and unwilling to provide direct contact details of those to whom I could direct my concerns. It appeared to me that Petbarn wanted to “fob off” concerns myself and others had about rabbit breeder in the Dubbo store to customer service staff, even though myself and others have requested Petbarn provide a clear and unambiguous statement on what appears to be their new policy of allowing breeders in their store (with their “stock” in small cages) giving out business cards.

      What a shame rabbits don’t have to be microchipped with all breeder details recorded. That way we could determine how many of rabbit breeders rabbits end up at the RSPCA as strays, surrenders and are killed. Of course even if this did occur it would not take into account other rabbits which escape and are dumped and breed with the local wild rabbits which could wreak havoc on the local environment. For this very reason, it is now illegal to own a rabbit as a pet in Qld.


      • bec

        The lady in question was not handing out business cards and when i was in the store the rabbits had sufficient water and food.

      • Harlzs

        The rabbit breeder is a well respected member of the pet community here in Dubbo and a lot of people will actually back up the lady in question.

  2. Lisa J Ryan

    I fully support RSPCA and anyone establishing good “outlets” for pound/shelter animals to increase adoptions, free up space and save lives. I do not however support animals being “housed” in boxes anywhere – Petbarn stores or other.

    What is the difference between this and a “pet shop”.

    If RSPCA are so intent on realising their long term strategic goal why don’t they work with rescue groups and build their foster carer network. One on one foster care is what these animals need not a pet shop start to life (critical period of socialisation).

    RSPCA look good doing this and still collect the adoption fee. Petbarn will milk the positive PR and also prosper as a result.

    Meanwhile RSPCA NSW (Rutherford) killed Max above and RSPCA SA (Lonsdale Street) killed a family pet cat they deemed “feral” (all very recent) and Petbarn (Dubbo) allow a rabbit breeder (who sells undesexed rabbits) to “market” her “stock” in their store.

    Please someone remind me – who is scratching who’s back ? What is this all in aid of ?

  3. Anne Greenaway

    PART 1

    On 26 August I observed a rabbit breeder promoting her breeding stud and rabbits in the Dubbo PetBarn Store. She had approximately 10 rabbits in small cages on and under a table and was giving out business cards. It is my view that the size of the cages contravened the Animal Welfare Code of Practice (Animals in Pet Shops). Also, several of the cages did not have food or water in them as required by the Code of Practice.
    The rabbit breeder was giving out her business cards and promoting the Orana Rabbit Fanciers club. I am aware that the breeder sells rabbits undesexed, which is not promoting responsible pet ownership. As a long-time supporter of PETBARN, I was dismayed to witness it making its premises available to a rabbit breeder using the store to promote her rabbits, her stud, as well as a Club (in Dubbo) for rabbit breeders. According to rabbit breeder’s Facebook page, she has thirty-two breeding rabbits. Her webpage also indicates that she breeds dogs and birds. At no time did rabbit breeder give out any care or fact sheets to assist people in the care of rabbits. Rabbit breeder admitted this via her posts on Petbarn’s Facebook page which I took screen shots of.
    I have since been informed by other concerned Dubbo residents that rabbit breeder was displaying and selling her rabbits at the 2012 Dubbo show several weeks ago. I have also been informed that she sells rabbits at the Dubbo Craft Markets and that she had around 10 rabbits in small cages at both these events. As explained to me, the methods used to sell rabbits at these other venues including the number of rabbits in cages (of varying different breeds), having rabbits out of cages for people to touch were similar to what I observed happening in Dubbo Petbarn on 26 May 2012.
    While at Petbarn I also noticed an unsupervised rabbit on a leash, with two dogs on leashes very close to it. The rabbit appeared frozen and scared. Rabbit breeder had her back turned to the rabbit, which was left by itself while she appeared to be was drumming up business. I could hear her discussing the different breeds of rabbits she had available as well as costs. At no time did I hear her discussing grooming.
    I also observed a number of Dubbo RSPCA NSW people out the front of Petbarn at the sausage sizzle. I specifically observed Shelter Manager) and RSPCA branch manager (who is involved in events/fundraising) for RSPCA Dubbo Branch. I spoke with Petbarns Marketing Manager Drew Frame on Monday who told me that the RSPCA were consulted on the issue of the rabbit breeder coming into the store and approved of this arrangement. The RSPCA of all organisations should know better than to allow breeders to promote their businesses, especially those with large numbers of breeding stock and who sell their baby rabbits undesexed. What next? Puppy farmers giving grooming lessons?

  4. Anne Greenaway

    PART 2

    Petbarn promotes itself as an ethical company and attempts to distinguish itself from companies that sell pups, kittens, rabbits etc. Petbarn’s association with a breeder who has over 30 breeding rabbits (showing on Facebook page) and who sells her rabbits undesexed, is a betrayal of the goodwill of responsible pet owners and of those involved in animal rescue.
    Large numbers of domestic rabbits bred in a rural area raises concerns that some may escape and mate with the local wild population, which could wreak havoc on the local environment. For this very reason, it is now illegal to own a rabbit as a pet in Qld.

    I note Steve Coleman’s comments
    “that while these animals will be adopted out of Petbarn stores,
 Petbarn staff will follow the same adoption procedures that operate in RSPCA NSW shelters.
“The animals’ wellbeing is crucial to the success of this program,” said Mr Coleman. “They’ll be cared for
by RSPCA-accredited staff members who will follow the same strict care, enrichment and adoption
guidelines as the RSPCA.”
    It is quite extraordinary with all the RSPCA staff and branch members as well as “RSPCA-accredited staff members” there on the day no one (except me) blinked an eye or thought there was anything wrong with a rabbit breeder plying her trade in the Dubbo Petbarn store.
    There is money to be made in selling cats, dogs and rabbits. There is money to be made killing cats, dogs and rabbits. RSPCA has the contract for animal management services with Dubbo City Council. I am told it is worth $241,025 pa. The RSPCA has 12 council contracts as I understand in NSW worth around 7.5 million dollars. No companion animal over-population problem, no lucrative council contracts.
    Many people are also not aware of the high kill rates (of cats and dogs) of many RSPCA shelters. For example according to RSPCA NSW’s annual report 2010/2011 RSPCA NSW killed over 51% of dogs and cats that were admitted into its “care”. By way of comparison with the high kill rate for the RSPCA NSW, council pounds that have been working and co-operating with community rescue groups have reported dramatic falls in the kill rates for cats and dogs. For example, as I understand it, Muswellbrook pound, Singletown council pound and Wyong pounds have experienced kill rates of 8.5%, 17.5%. and 12% respectively.

    Reasons such as medical and behavioral problems are given to kill cats and dogs. I have been provided with the temperament test allegedly used by the RSPCA NSW. It is my view and the view of others who work with dogs that many family pets would fail this test, particularly in an unfamiliar pound environment.

    In my opinion the arrangement with the rabbit breeder is the opposite of having concern for animal welfare, having good ethics and promoting responsible pet ownership
    RSPCA called for a boycott of pet shop puppies around 18 months earlier here
    (http://www.smh.com.au/national/rspca-calls-for-boycott-of-pet-shop-puppies-20100710-104vy.html) but according to Petbarn RSPCA approved of the rabbit breeder being in the Dubbo Petbarn store. RSPCA needs to make up its mind.

  5. Well done RSPCA and PET BARN Just make sure the staff at the PET BARN stores have adequate training and time to take care of the animals

    We here in Canada do this with local rescues and the National chain PETSMART but we have volunteer cat cuddlers etc who go in for 1-2 hours twice a day to take animals out let them play get brushed and petted

    Please make sure PET BARN can cope with with this as it will take the staff away from their ” sales” efforts and other. regular duties The local Victoria BC Canada animal rescue groups organize their own ” call for volunteers” to do this and ask for a commitment of two hours a week for a minimum of three months

    You could put out a joint message from RSPCA and PETBARN for local animal loving citizens to volunteer via local media TV reports and a piece in local community newspapers. With greatest respect… you must ensure that proper care socialization ect is consistent right down the line for the animals

    This kind of win win partnership does work we know animals are 68% more likely to get adopted when the public get to see them in the store

    PET SMART has benefited tremendously from all the ” good press” This is why they have such brand loyalty here in Canada

    We also hold adoptathon weekend events and customers get an incentives by getting sales and coupon ect for the PET SMART stores .Check out PET SMART on the web,and see what they do? This will be of great help to you

    Well done and thank you on behalf of the pets in Australia for doing this for them

    • Anne Greenaway

      As far as I am concerned Petbarn are no better than Pets Paradise. Last weekend in Dubbo a rabbit breeder who sells rabbits entire had around 10 rabbits in and out of cages in the Dubbo store and was giving out her business cards. When I complained to the manager about this, I was told rabbit breeder was giving grooming lessons.

      I have dealt with Pets Paradise Nicole Chapman (Marketing Manager) over some issues I had with Pet’s Paradise Christmas Gift Tree appeal. Although I can’t stand Pets Paradise due to their sale of puppies, kittens etc, Nicole was professional at all times and provided me with her direct email, phone and mobile contacts to discuss all my concerns.

      PETBARN, on the other hand, I have found in my dealings with them (Head office) over the last week to be evasive and unwilling to provide direct contact details of those to whom I could direct my concerns It appeared to me that Petbarn wanted to “fob off” concerns myself and others had about rabbit breeder in the Dubbo store to customer service staff, even though myself and others have requested Petbarn provide a clear and unambiguous statement on what appears to be their new policy of allowing breeders in their store (with their “stock” in small cages) giving out business cards.

      What a shame rabbits don’t have to be microchipped with all breeder details recorded. That way we could determine how many of rabbit breeders rabbits end up at the RSPCA as strays, surrenders and are killed. Of course even if this did occur it would not take into account other rabbits which escape and are dumped and breed with the local wild rabbits which could wreak havoc on the local environment. For this very reason, it is now illegal to own a rabbit as a pet in Qld.


  6. sharon adams

    The goal for foster carers and rescue groups is to stop the inhumane practices of puppy farmers and the selling of puppies/kittens to pet shops. I have been a customer of Pet Barn at Rutherford for a long time now and if this practice comes in that small animals will be sold from their outlet this makes them no better than an actual pet shop and they have definately lost me as a customer. Bring in Oscars Law. The RSPCA have the highest kill rate of animals and do not work with rescue groups to help rehome. Its excuse after excuse. In the mean time they rake in the dollars.

  7. Pingback: RSPCA NSW /PET BARN PARTNER 2012 | rspcaanimalcruelty

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