Monday, May 04, 2009


In the UK, pet shops are not allowed to sell dogs.

In Australia they are allowed, which really upsets me.

Gorgeously cute puppies in shop windows attract the eye of passers by. They went to Bondi Westfield for a new pair of trousers and suddenly find themselves mulling over the addition of an animal to their home. An animal that they hadn't even considered that morning, but who will live - and need constant care and considerable investment - for 16 or so years.

The dog is sitting in the gaze of thousands of shoppers all day, and stays stuck in their plastic prison cell all night too. They are just waiting for someone to rescue them, but the tragedy is their rescuer has not been checked in any way to see whether they will provide a suitable home.

Animal cruelty figures over here are startling. The RSPCA rescued 70,514 dogs in 2007/8, over 33% of which had to be put down. This number has risen every year for the last 5 years. The most common reason for the euthenasia of dogs is behavioural problems; e.g a perfectly healthy animal whose owners have not trained it properly, or abused it so that it can no longer be considered safe to live with humans.

While the figures for cats follow similar patterns, the noticeable difference is that for cats the most common reason for euthenasia by the RSPCA is medical problems.

60% of all cruelty prosecutions brought by the RSPCA in Australia in 2007/8 were for cases involving dogs.

What is it going to take to outlaw the selling of dogs (and cats for that matter) in pet shops? Taking advantage of the whim of shoppers and neglecting to carry out appropriate checks on the families wishing to home the animals is, in my book, aiding and abetting the neglegent owners.

It is a simple change to make and (to go all political and hard hearted) surely the animal lover vote is worth something?


pollyemj said...

I'm an absolute dog lover! I get sucked in to looking at those poor sad puppies in the pet store almost every weekend in Bondi Junction. But I never buy one and I dont own a dog because the lifestyle I have just isnt suited to one. The poor dog would be home alone for long days, walked late a night or early in the morning and potentially spend entire weekends by itself. I would love love love a dog but know that I would have to completely overhaul my life to give it the life it truly deserves. I will have one one day (hopefully soon) but it will coincide with the acquisition of a backyard, and a partner in dog-caring duty crime!

Em's mum said...

I found this blog really hard to read. Having had (and loved) a dog for nearly 16 years, I can acknowledge what hard work they are. I suppose we owned one at the herdest time of life, when we had small children. (Well they were small at first, but very grown up when Holly eventually had to go!)
Holly was the best addititon we could have made to our family; she was the secret keeper, she constantly reminded you all that she had needs that had to be satisfied every day - being fed, walked, cleared up after and given attention. I wouldn't have not had her for the world, I still have to say, "Oh look, a beagle!" every time I see one, and when we saw one that looked exactly like Holly in 'Frisco last year I couldn't take my eyes off it.
But- and this is very big but - I don't want to own a dog again. I know that I would find a dog a huge tie now. I don't want to have to walk it every day. And as for pooper-scooping! Yuck! The vets bills can be enormous when you are contemplating retirement.
I agree that these people should be screened before they are allowed to buy a dog. They should have to have dog-owning lessons just as they have driving lessons.
start a campaign to get those poor mutts out of shop windows Em! Don't they have an RSPCA equivalent out there?

Kitty said...

So, so true, Em. Having just come back from Japan, I can tell you it's even worse over there. They have these macabre puppy shops, where rows and rows of glass cases - each containing a tiny pup - are stacked one on top of the other. There's one on virtually every corner, and people can go in and pet the dogs... then put them back and go on with their lives. Absolutely disgusting.

Melissa said...

I was singing "how much is that doggy in the window" to the wee man yesterday, thinking how weird it would be to have a doggy in a window. I am sad that there are still doggies in windows. poor things. :-(

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