25 August 2010
With animal homelessness high in Australia, pet shops often come under fire if they sell animals. Read about a positive approach by a Brisbane pet shop for providing the public with the opportunity to buy a new pet…
Pet Stores have a really bad reputation but as a pet store owner I’d like to set the record straight. While it is true that a lot of pet stores treat animals as money makers there are some of us trying to do the right thing.
In our store, the animals come first. We keep them in nice, big open pens and feed them good quality food. We even start the toilet training process for the dogs, cats and rats. What’s more, we won’t sell animals to people if we don’t think they will be responsible pet owners. We record where every animal comes from and who adopts them, this applies to dogs, cats, rats, guinea pigs and birds. We even care about the fish so, while we don’t record details, we are very strict about what size tanks people have for certain fish.
In addition, we are very involved in rehoming dogs, cats, rats and guinea pigs ie finding new homes for stray or unwanted animals. Specifically, we are a Rehoming Centre for the Animal Welfare League Queensland so we exclusively rehome their dogs and cats, ie we don’t get them from backyard breeders or farms. Under the guidance of AWL we interview prospective new owners and have them fill out all sorts of paperwork (including microchip transfer and council registration) before they are able to leave with their new pet. This way we know where the animal is going and that they are microchipped and desexed.
It is very emotionally rewarding helping stray and unwanted dogs and cats find new homes but there is no financial gain for our business. All of the money from the sale of a dog or cat goes directly back to AWL so they can help other animals. In a little over 12 months we have raised over $25,000 for AWL Qld by being involved in rehoming and other fundraising ideas.
Unfortunately, we are often scrutinised because we may have an older animal in the dog or cat pen and people think we have had the animal that entire time (in actual fact, we only ever have an animal for 2 weeks, then it goes to another adoption centre). Worse still is that some people won’t even enter the shop because we have animals. Everyone deserves the right to experience the joy, love and support an animal can bring and at our store we make sure everyone gets the most suitable and up-to-date information so they can be responsible pet owners. We’re not perfect but all I ask is that people don’t tar all pet stores with the same brush. Some of us do the right thing by the animals.
Brisbane Pet Headquarters