Pet industry association (PIAA) tactics to ‘gain respectability’…

We know that the Pet Industry Association is desperate to increase their membership dollars from pet shops (note: only a relatively small proportion of pet shops across the country are members, and yet the government of NSW still takes “advice” from PIAA).

 We know that they have engaged the services of one of Australia’s top PR agencies to advance their cause and ‘fight” the publicity gained by Clover Moore’s proposed Animal regulation of Sale Bill.

 We know that PIAA have joined in a collaborative program with the well known magazine “Dogs Life” (does anyone know of a similar initiative with cats?).

 Dogs Life Magazine and PIAA have embarked upon an annual publicity competition to recognise and reward winners in a number of categories. There are a number of pet shop specific categories, but it also includes:

 “The Dogs Life Pet People’s Award for Best Local Pet Rescue Service/Animal Shelter” 

 We were staggered to see “animal rescue” as one of the categories of this competition!!! PIAA (who stimulate and support the marketing and push of huge numbers of puppies and kittens into the market via pet shops) recognising animal rescue groups (who have to sweat 24/7 to rescue from deathrows across the country).

 Is this for real?

 Sadly it is. And sadly, many uninformed readers of Dogs Life Magazine will unwittingly associate PIAA with animal rescue efforts.

We expect that all animal rescue groups would  be disgusted.

One well known Victorian Rescue group who were asked if they could be nominated replied publically:

“Rescued With Love nominated for award but says “no thanks”

Rescued With Love has been nominated for an award which is always an honor.  This time it is for The Dogs Life Pet People’s Award for Best Local Pet Rescue Service/Animal Shelter. 

While Rescued With Love is happy with the recognition we are receiving, the Award is with Dogs Life Magazine in conjunction with the Pet Industry Association of Australia (PIAA). 

The PIAA represents Petshops throughout Australia and  they have been extremely vocal in their stance of protecting  the practice of selling puppies in petshops (they were the main opposition to Clover Moore’s Bill to cease the sale of animals in Petshops last year). 

These puppies are of course provided by puppy millers who keeps scores of dogs in cages to breed for their babies.  Rescued With Love is against all forms of puppy milling, backyard or indiscriminate breeding while hundreds of thousands of dogs die every year in our pounds and shelters. 

It would be hypocritical to accept this nomination on ethical grounds from the PIAA, and so we will not be taking up the offer. 

While we are not the biggest nor the most financial animal welfare group we certainly will stand up for what we believe Rescue should be about and that is the plight of companion animals at every level in society.” 

DRP Comment:

 We will take a guess at which Rescue organisation will win this year’s prize – we anticipate the same as last year, (….. the only Rescue group that is actively a PIAA member…….)

Actions you can take:

 Write to the Publishers of Dogs Life Magazine, expressing your dissatisfaction with the arrangement of Dogs Life supporting the puppy and kitten trade in this way.

Janice Williams, Associate Publisher, Universal Magazines

 Janice’s email address is, or you can post any letters to Locked Bag 154 North Ryde NSW 1670.


Slowing the flow – STOP irresponsible breeding!


 “The NSW Government have not developed any policies that deal directly with the issue of irresponsible animal breeding. Put simply, anyone can breed and sell animals.

 There are no rules and little regulations. You don’t need a licence or a permit to breed animals. You don’t need any training or any certification. Who protects the puppies?

 Scenario: The owner of a Kelpie x dog purposely mates her with his friends crossbreed dog.

 Result—10 puppies. When asked what he is going to do with them he replies: “Oh, I’ll make sure they find good homes– no worries!” When asked why he let his female dog have a litter, he thinks for a moment and then says “Dunno, thought it’d be a good idea.” When asked if he is going to desex her, now she has had a litter, he replies aggressively “Mind your own business, I’m not breaking the law, buzz off! ”

 Six weeks down the track: The pups are little bundles of energy and sweetness. The owner is seen with a few in a bag going down sell them to the local shopping centre pet shop. The pet shop won’t buy them because of the breed. They only want fluffies….So he starts pulling up people on the street “Do you want a FREE puppy?” Most people keep walking but a few, especially those with kids, stop to look. He comes back with an empty bag. A couple of days later he is seen doing the same thing. One person is heard to reply “I live in unit—how big will dog get?” He eventually takes a pup….. There are now 4 puppies left.

 Meanwhile the mother of the pups is out running the streets again. So what happened to the last 4 pups? The day he was leaving ( or doing a flit ) he takes the 4 pups to a neighbours place and in pity, they take them. He has now placed all his pups. What did the neighbour do with the 4 pups? He took them to the RSPCA and left them there. He doesn’t know if they survived.

 The last straw: This breeder intends, in a few months, to mate his dog again with another friends dog…

 Why? “She loves being a mother”, he says and the pups were real cute! Next time he might be able to make a buck. And so the story will be repeated again and again.

 After all it is not illegal to be a backyard breeder. You don’t need any brains and although it is illegal to give away pups without micro chipping he has to be caught first. And the 10 puppies– sadly, most probably eventually ended up in a pound……

 What needs to be done- A Parliamentary inquiry will develop the necessary information that will allow a measured approach. Clearly the industry needs regulation and management. Clearly the current situation can’t continue. Though we cannot pre-empt the outcomes of such an inquiry and review, clearly the best form of legislation would come in the form of complete regulation of the industry.

 How YOU can help! Get active, right now and help this campaign to fix NSW Animal Policy and start to heal the damage caused by years of indiscriminate breeding!


DRP Comment:

Well said Doggie Rescue! We love your work!

New initiative: “Give pets a chance”

Press release by Give Pets a Chance.

“Give Pets A Chance are an incorporated charity whose aim is to educate the general public about their responsibility in regard to the way companion animals are bred, sold and discarded due to the overbreeding of dogs and cats for the pet industry.

There is much information about how companion animals are being bred and supplied, but it is not reaching the people who need to see it – the consumer. As a pet free pet shop owner I can vouch for the fact that the average pet buyer is totally unaware of the hidden cruelty involved in the pet trade. It is our aim to make the public aware of this information and appeal to them to take action, as only they have the power to change market practice. We will be appealing for donations which will be used for the purpose of running this campaign.

We also aim to promote the establishment of in-store adoption sites for the rehoming of orphaned animals. This will not only make adoption of dogs more appealing to the public who shy away from the sadness of the pound set up, and assist in rehoming the many available orphaned pets, but also appease the worries of the shop owner concerned about the loss of add on sales from a new pet purchase.

People have the real power to change the way companion animals are bred and sold. It is time for the consumer to take responsibility and put an end to the cruel cycle of puppy mill, pet shop and pound, by carefully choosing where they purchase their pets and pet products.”

DRP Comment:

Give pets a Chance is a campaign designed by Lisa Wolfenden (owner of a pet-free pet shop and her brother Will Wolfenden – film-maker who published “The Puppy Mill”).

We suport their proposition that in the main most of us activist groups amd welfare groups “preach to the already converted”. The messages need to get out to a far wider community – the public who today have no idea about the problem and what they can do about it.

We support this initiative whole-heartedly. Please give generously to fund advertising /educational and promotional campaigns that will get information to the public who need to see it so they can make better quality decisions about their pets.

Tell us what you think!


No Kill News – can we do this here in Australia? Affordable, low cost desexing program funded by New York City

We received this exciting release of news from Companion Animal Network TV in New York

“Dear Friends of Animals,
This Saturday July 25 at NY City Animal Care and Control (“NYCACC”) in Manhattan,  New York City’s animals and their guardians are finally getting what has long been needed, a super low cost mobile veterinary hospital with full surgical capabilities for limited income pet parents, rescue groups, and rescue adoptions. Whereas the ASPCA has taken the lead in operating five low cost and free Spay Neuter vans for limited income pet parents, the new Vet Mobile will only be providing full veterinary services to those qualified pet parents, not spay neuters. The launch of the Vet Mobile is being celebrated in conjunction with the Mayor’s Alliance for NY City Animals, North Shore Animal League, and NYCACC. North Shore Animal League will be featuring the NYCACC foster animals in their 40 ft. Mobile Adoption Van. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC Animals will be providing $10 microchips, including registration.

Next Wednesday, July 29th, the Vet Mobile will premiere at the Brooklyn NYCACC. Thereafter the Vet Mobile will be in front of the NYCACC in Manhattan every Saturday 12-6, and Brooklyn every Wednesday 12-6. As soon as the Vet Mobile is financially breaking even, it will expand to being assigned one day per week at the Staten Island and Bronx NYCACC also.

An exam is just $25, and vaccinations only $10. Free ID tags are provided for all patients, both dogs and cats. All services will be at the super low cost prices already established by the Safety Net Program, which has been preventing surrenders to NYCACC for the past four years. The Vet Mobile is an extension of the Safety Net Program, so that qualified pet parents have access to full veterinary  services at extremely low rates. Proof of limited income or rescue adoption or rescue rehoming is necessary for qualification. For more information see News Release below.


 NEW YORK, NY (July 20, 2009) – On Saturday, July 25, New Yorkers will get their first glimpse of the “Low Cost Vet Mobile” – a new mobile veterinary clinic created to help cash-strapped New Yorkers at risk of having to give up their companion animals because they can no longer afford their veterinary care. The program, developed by Garo Alexanian of Companion Animal Network and staffed by local veterinarians, will provide pet owners with affordable, preventive veterinary care and also a first step in developing relationships with veterinarians within their community.
To celebrate the launch, AC&C will host a special pet adoption promotion from noon until 7:00 pm, where dozens of wonderful dogs and cats will be available for adoption both inside the shelter and on a North Shore Animal League America adoption van parked curbside. Adoption fees for adult cats (over one year old) will be waived. In addition, vaccinations for dogs and cats will be available for $10 on the Vet Mobile, and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will offer extra-low-cost ($10 microchipping for cats and dogs between noon and 6:00 pm.
Traditionally, many low-income pet owners do not seek preventive veterinary care for their pets, and when their pets become ill, they surrender them to AC&C. In today’s particularly challenging economy, the number of these animals arriving at AC&C shelters has skyrocketed. “The mobile clinic will help so many pet owners that are having trouble making ends meet and caring for a sick pet at the same time,” says Richard Gentles, AC&C’s spokesperson. “We applaud Garo’s initiative, and the timing couldn’t be better.”
By providing another means of access to affordable veterinary care to low-income New York City pet owners, the Low Cost Vet Mobile is expected to substantially reduce the number of animals surrendered to city shelters, which already are at full capacity. “I expect the program will prevent approximately 5,000 surrenders over the course of a year,” says Alexanian. “This can translate to a 12-15 percent reduction in shelter intakes.”
Stemming the tide of preventable pet surrenders is crucial to the success of current efforts underway in New York City to reduce, and eventually end, the killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs at city shelters simple because they do not have homes, according to Jane Hoffman, President of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals – the organization that spearheads the city’s efforts to become a no-kill community under a multi-million-dollar grant from Maddie’s Fund®, the Pet Rescue Foundation. “The Low Cost Vet Mobile provides another important alternative for our city’s pet owners who don’t want to part with their companion animals.” Among other programs currently available to these pet owners are the Safety Net/Pets for Life NYC program, low-cost vet care at the Humane Society of New York Veterinary Hospital in Manhattan, and the Bensonhurst Low Cost Animal Clinic in Brooklyn.
Dr. Elizabette Cohen, DVM, host of the radio program “Happy and Healthy Pet,” and author of the book Most of My Patients Wear Fur, will be the veterinarian on duty for the Low Cost Vet Mobile’s Manhattan launch on July 25, and also for the van’s premiere at AC&C’s Brooklyn shelter on Wednesday, July 29. At both launch events, Dr. Cohen will consult with patients, provide tours of the van, and also sign copies of her book, for which she will donate 100% of the proceeds from the days’ book sales to AC&C.
Going forward, the Low Cost Vet Mobile’s location will alternate between Animal Care & Control’s Manhattan and Brooklyn locations, where it will provide assistance to pet owners at two of the busiest points of entry to the New York City shelter system.”
 About Companion Animal Network
Companion Animal Network (C.A.N.) was the force behind the creation of the NYC Animal Care and Control. Four years ago C.A.N founded the nation’s first surrender prevention program, and now it is launching the Low Cost Vet Mobile. C.A.N. has been acknowledged by the New York City Council in Resolution #985 for its efforts to bring improvements to the animal control services of New York City.
About Animal Care & Control of NYC
Animal Care & Control of New York City rescues over 43,000 animals each year, making the organization the largest pet rescue and adoption agency in the North East. Since 1995, the not-for-profit organization has been responsible for New York City’s municipal shelter system, caring for rescued animals and finding loving homes for homeless, injured, neglected, abused and abandoned animals in all five of the boroughs in New York City.
About the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals
The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Inc., founded in 2002 and powered by Maddie’s Fund®, The Pet Rescue Foundation, is a coalition of more than 160 animal rescue groups and shelters that are working with the City of New York to find homes for every cat and dog in the city that needs one. For more information about the Mayor’s Alliance, its participating organizations, and pet adoptions, please visit the Mayor’s Alliance web site at .

DRP Comment:

We badly need to get low-cost desexing programs running in every Council area across the country. Subsidised desexing has been shown to create dramatic results – and in the end saves council and tax payer money. Isn’t this a smarter alternative to collecting, housing and then killing thousands of healthy animals?

Let us know about any such initiatives you are seeing in Australia!

“We’ve proved it can be done!” – ‘No Kill News’: a brilliant web site –

“Thenokillnation” is a blog site that provides up to date information, articles and success stories. The “Victories” section is just brilliant, go here…..

For example:

Shelby becomes first KY no-kill shelter — by Julie Tam, FOX 41 News, 31 May 2009

 “Shelby County, Kentucky has become the first county in the state to run a no-kill animal shelter for an entire year.

On Saturday they shared their secret to saving animals’ lives. Every one of the faces, every wet nose inside a cage at the Shelby County Animal Shelter is alive not by chance or having the name “Lucky.”

“When you commit to make that happen, you enroll your entire community,” Denise Jones, founder of the Woodstock Animal Foundation, said. The Shelby County Humane Society and Animal Shelter have spent 10 years trying to become a no-kill facility.

“The businesses in this community are enrolled. The people who own farms help take in some of the feral cats,” Jones said. On Saturday, Shelby County celebrated becoming the first Kentucky shelter to go one year without euthanizing any animals that could be rehabilitated and were not a threat to the public.

“We don’t put anything down that’s got a chance to live,” James Collins, the county’s animal

control officer, said. Woodstock Animal Foundation has taken in and treated sick puppies. Local families foster some pets, and other animals go to no-kill shelters as far as Minnesota and Maine. “Ebeneezer up here has been here since before Christmas,” said Kelly Jedlicki, the county’s No Kill Mission coordinator.

Jedlicki says in most other shelters, the cats — some of which have been at the shelter since August — would have already been euthanized.

But Shelby County is following a model that’s worked in other states.

“There are four other counties that take in 17,000-20,000 animals a year that are no-kill as well,”

Jedlicki said. “Nathan Winograd and Richard Avanzino, the two founders of the No Kill Mission, say by the year 2015, that we should become a no-kill nation, if everybody follows the plan.”

Almost 1,600 animals have been taken to the Shelby County shelter over the past year, so it hasnot been easy adopting them out. But no-kill is possible there because of programs like low-cost spay-neuter and Operation Catsnip — catching feral cats, fixing them, and releasing them back into the wild.

“We’ve proven it can be done, and that’s a great feeling,” Jones said.”

DRP Comment:

This is a great example of where No Kill has shown success. Show this to anyone who says “it can’t be done”……

Let us know if you are trying to influence any senior management of shelters and pounds about No Kill, and we’ll see if we can help.

Bookmark the site for future good news!

University of Queensland/RSPCA $25,000 scholarship to improve marketing of rehomable animals

“UQ Business School honours student Christilene du Plessis has been awarded a $25,000 RSPCA Qld Scholarship to help in the search for an ethical way to find homes for Queensland shelter animals. Read more here

The one-off scholarship, financed by the Petcare Information Advisory Service (PIAS), will fund Ms du Plessis’ market research as part of RSPCA Qld’s one-year trial selling refuge animals through commercial pet shops…”

DRP Comment:

The scholarship money is provided by the Pet Care Advisory Service to the University of Qld…… which is doing the overview of the rehoming of RSPCA pets within pet supply stores.

This Pet Care Advisory Service seems to be funded by Mars.  Interesting they’ve handed over money which will directly benefit shelter dogs.

Yuur thoughts?

An important message for Australia from Nathan Winograd…

The Race is on! Australia, New Zealand and the US vie to see who will become a No Kill nation first!

On September 30th, we participated in a national conference on the Gold Coast of Australia. Bringing together shelter directors, government officials, rescue groups and animal lovers from all over Australia and New Zealand, the No Kill Advocacy Centre presented 4 workshops: Building a No Kill Australia; The No Kill Matrix; What is a saveable animal?; Developing Trap – Neuter -Release in the Australian context and Reforming Animal Control / Management: A discussion for CEOs, Managers and Leaders of Pounds and Shelters.

This was our message to our colleagues in Australia:……….”

To read the rest of this article, please click here.

DRP Comment:

This paper is singularly THE  most important message for Australian pound cats and dogs in recent times. Please read it, aborb it, and copy it far and wide. If you know any Pound or Shelter management or staff, or Councillors in your area, please send them a copy and ask them to digest the content. Then ask them “what actions will you take?” “If not, why not?”

Incidentally and importantly, many of the “objections” presented by Winograd in this paper come DIRECTLY from some of the senior managers of our well known Pound and Charity Shelters. This was not unexpected by Winograd – it mirrors exactly the reaction in the US.

These senior managers need to “get on the train”. We need to demand it of them. If they won’t, then they need to get out of the way and let someone else who WILL do it have a go.

Tell us who you think this message needs to be directed to……