Information current as of December 3, 2012.
In one year, 250,000 healthy cats and dogs are killed in Australian pounds and shelters.
1) The rise of Puppy and Kitten Mills – mass production breeders who make serious money from selling kittens and puppies to pet shops and via the internet.
2) Very poor public awareness – the government’s only just done something about it 3 years ago – via campaigns.
3) Pet Stores manipulating the public to purchase pets they are incapable of caring for – resulting in the buyer, giving the animal to the pound. General poor understanding that pet ownership is for life!
4) Far too many “Back Yard Breeders” – non-professional breeders who pump out 2 or 3 litters a year and sell them for a few hundred dollars each to pet shops or local buyers.
5) Trends to “get a pet” by high profile personalities like Paris Hilton who have and treat their Chihuahua like a handbag!
6) The move from low to high density housing has made it difficult for pet owners – most apartment body corporate do not allow pets, and so many people who have moved from a house to an apartment often surrender their animals to the pound.
What is changing now?
2) Increased media awareness – e.g. Pet shops selling puppies and kittens are now becoming recognized as a big art of the problem. (Google: Companion Animal News for more!)
3) The rise of the “No Kill” (of healthy and treatable animals) movement from the US, has shown that killing healthy and treatable animals in pounds is totally avoidable. This has been adopted in Australia by the Animal Welfare League of QLD who has created the “Getting 2 Zero” community model of increasing rescued animal re-homing, as well as many other wonderful shelters Australia wide.
4) An increased number of people are getting their pets from pounds and shelters instead of pet shops.
5) The RSPCA has been driven to make the issue of puppy farms more public (Google: RSPCA “Stop Puppy Farms” Campaign)
5) More and More Rescue groups are approaching their Councils and demanding change and offering to help – Councils are responding.
e.g.; Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in Sydney have taken up the Getting2Zero method. Pet's Haven in Victoria are no kill, as are Lort Smith Animal Hospital.
6) State governments starting to make improvements to regulations for micro chipping and breeding. E.g. QLD about to introduce licensing laws for breeders to regulate breeding.
How you can help!
1) Never ever get a pet unless you are fully prepared to accept the responsibility to look after it for its entire natural life!
• A dog will cost you up to $2000 a year in food, vet bills, kenneling costs, clothing, toys etc.
2) Always de-sex your pet and NEVER breed it! Leave it to the professional breeders. There are so many gorgeous, healthy, friendly, happy animals needlessly put down every year because there are not enough homes! Why would you want to contribute to this problem?
3) Never buy from a pet store selling puppies and kittens unless you are sure the animals are from a rescue facility or rescue group.
4) Work on stopping puppy and kitten farms and indiscriminate breeding.
6) Join an information and advocacy Group like Deathrowpets & Oscar's Law
7) Go and volunteer to help at your local pound or rescue group – see for yourself what the problem is and how you can help
8) Tell lots of family and friends about this issue and what they can do, even stick up posters around your neighborhood! Spread the word!
9) Only donate money to Shelters and pounds that you are confident are working hard towards No Kill.
10) Download this flyer, print it out and distribute it around your local area
11) Email the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition and Minister of Agriculture in your State, you can also email Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott. Add your name and email address, and don't forget to add your name to the bottom of each letter and send! Oscar's Law have a really easy state break down here with the ministers to get in contact with.
Statistics / Facts:
• Individual Pet Shops can take more than 20 puppies a week.
• Puppy Mills are legal in Australia, as long as the proprietors meet the minimum standard of care.
- That the dog can stand up, turn around and lie down – and that the pen has a partial roof.
- no requirement for socialization, grooming or bathing, human contact, exercise and certainly no requirement for love.
• Australia – Puppy farms have anything from 20-1000 breeding females who are consistently pregnant or lactating.
Puppy Mill Puppies miss out on the two things that are known to help shape a good, stable temperament for later life; good breeding and many and varied positive life experiences before the age of seven weeks. As long as they’re cute and fluffy the puppy mills gets his money.