Companion animals are a big part of Australian culture with around 5 million of the 7.5 million households in Australia being homes to dogs, cats and other animals. The companion animal industry is big business and estimates suggest it generates a profit of $8 billion annually.
Breeders treat animals as a commodity. This means producing as many litters as possible, forcing females to endure an unnatural number of pregnancies. The desire for purebred and “designer” companions has created an overpopulation of animals and, as people eagerly place their deposits on caboodles, they are condemning other animals to death. Tens of thousands of unwanted animals are surrendered to shelters each year. It is impossible to rehome them all so thousands of them are euthanased. Then there is the issue of abandoned animals that become strays, continually reproduce, kill wildlife and die due to illness, starvation or accidents.
Pet shops exist to make money. Period. And they do so irresponsibly. Animals sold are not desexed, their origins are questionable as is their health and there is not enough scrutiny of potential buyers. The animals’ best interest is clearly not their priority. Pet shops successfully dupe the public into thinking the fluffy puppies, cute kittens, baby rats, and other animals, come from “local breeders” or “reputable breeding facilities”. Though nothing could be further from the truth. It’s in their interest to meet demand with constant supply therefore most animals will come from intensive breeding facilities like puppy farms.
Large-scale factory farming of dogs is happening in Australia. Dogs are hidden away from the public, in large sheds with stalls or cages with improper bedding, no veterinary care and are totally deprived of their basic needs. Dogs on puppy farms suffer psychological torment as they are kept in a continual state of pregnancy, are not socialised or free to exhibit natural behaviours and have their puppies forcibly removed. They languish in filthy conditions and suffer chronic illnesses due to complete disregard for their wellbeing.
When the dogs are no longer producing puppies, they are killed. This is the true cost of ‘that doggy in the window’. “Man’s best friend” reduced to a commodity.
What can you do?
• Never buy an animal from a pet shop
• Always adopt a rescue from a shelter and ensure they are desexed
• Ensure that your companion for life receives regular health checks
• If you see animals for sale in pet shops, politely discuss your concerns with staff or write to the manager. You should also write to your MP
For more information
Visit Oscar's Law for information about puppy farming