Sickly animals bought from pet shops? Needed for submission.

Have you, or do you know anyone, who has bought a cat or dog that was sickly or something wrong with it from a pet shop?

Last year we were in a pet shop in Tweed heads NSW when we overheard a conversation between the manager and a back-yard breeder.

Said the Manager “As the puppy has a hernia, I won’t be able to get full-price for it; I”ll have to sell it at a reduced price”.

Please write your stories in the comment sections below. As much detail as you can, including the town and dates.

We’ll have your email address, but this wont be public so you can remain anonymous if you wish.

Thank you; these will go into submissions.


28 thoughts on “Sickly animals bought from pet shops? Needed for submission.

  1. deathrowpets May 14, 2010 / 5:36 pm

    sent by email, 14/05/10:
    “There are two black Toy poodles in the “PETs PARADISE “Petshop in Westfields Eastgardens NSW.These now adult dogs arrived as very cute pups in the leadup to last Christmas.They are still in the shop …housed in a small glass cage, sleepng on straw under artificial light.Recently they were “taken home”by the owners of the shop to be clipped for the first time.

    These poor dogs have No opportunity to socialise appropriately with other dogs,these poodles ARE NOT ever taken on daily walks,and spend their days in small cage with no “real”sunshine.Sure, they are fed and fully vaccinatedbut the psychological damage done to these dogs is immeasurable.

    How can they ever have any quality of life in the real world if they’ve never been out if the pet shop!!!!Their price has been dropped so as they will be easier to sell.

    Despite the fact that these poodles have been in the shop along with a now fully grown “spoodle”the new puppies keeep coming in!!there are at least 17 other pups of varying ages in Pets so called “Paradise”

    It’s so sad that this type of cruelty can go on before our very eyes.If you can follow up on this I would be very appreciative…so too would the dogs!

    Yes the dogs have shelter a bed and are fed…but dogs also need more than this!There are other more insidious forms of cruelty to animals other than the obvious!” L, Sydney

  2. Leo C May 16, 2010 / 7:21 pm

    Hi, what are you submitting and to whom? I’m currently doing my Honours thesis on the Animals (Regulation of Sale) Bill and am really interested in the question of whether banning the sale of animals in pet shops would make a difference to animal welfare and long term animal companionship. Please email me back, I’d be keen to learn more. Best wishes, Leo C.

  3. Jeanette May 16, 2010 / 7:30 pm

    In the year 2000 my new husband bought a puppy for his 3 girls. She was a 10 week old Maltese Terrier. He took me over to see the pup as I was the only one with any experience with dogs. I could see immediately something was wrong. She was lethargic and withdrawn. She was the last of her litter to go – but that was no surprise as she was not responding to prospective owners. I told my husband she either had a temperament problem or was unwell – probably the latter. He bought her anyway. After we got her home she continued to deteriorate and developed a severe hacking cough. I nursed her for two days – she was so worn out and such a small pup but was losing weight due to illness and inability to eat. The shop (at the Glendale Supercentre) told me they had an arrangement with the Vet Hospital at Hamilton and would cover costs. We took her there – they kept her for several days until she was well enough to come home. She was diagnosed with kennel cough. The pet shop owner obviously knew what was wrong but did not disclose at the time of purchase.
    Two years ago my 13 year old Lhasa Apso became very ill and had to be euthanased. The following Feb-Mar (2008) I was researching where I could find another. I eventually bought one from a reputable kennel in the Hunter Valley. Before this I had seen Lhasa puppies advertised in the Upper Hunter area – I rang the number – and a girl told me her mother bred them. She said she was bringing the litters to meet prospective owners outside the fast food outlets at Raymond Terrace. The only suitable pup was the same colouring as the one I had lost – too painful to contemplate taking. I was offered a pup in a different colour who was still at the breeders. He had ‘something wrong with his head’ – a bald patch or soft area she said would grow over and she said would sell to me at a reduced price. I asked her questions about all the pups – she said their kennel was a distance from the house (so they were not socialised with people). There were also numerous litters. Later I saw pups from this kennel in the local pet shop. They were $100 dearer than the excellent pedigree pup I purchased from the reputable breeder who, by the way, never place their pups in shops.

  4. messi117 May 17, 2010 / 9:05 am

    i have 3 dogs but nothing was wrong with them when we bought them.But 1 of my dogs might have her reproductive system infected which could lead to cancer.This happend because she had too many babies

  5. mia mckenzie May 20, 2010 / 11:51 am

    To Leo C, not only would you make a difference if companion animal sales in pet shops were illegal, but you would destroy puppy factories and decrease animal deaths in pounds. You wouldnt only just make a difference, you would revolutionise the companion animal industry. Imagine what the rspca and other pounds could do with their $ if they didnt have to look after animals they were going to kill. Next time you go past a pet shop, check out the animals in the glass cages and look at the sorrow and emptiness in their eyes.

  6. Sally Jay May 20, 2010 / 4:42 pm

    I have many friends where we help save abandoned and on death row dogs & cats. Back in the middle of 2007 there was a young lady who helped rescue dogs even when assessed not to be rehomed with lame excuses such as eg. barking (probably scared), doesn’t like goats, too big for a backyard. She worked at the Nillumbik Pound Eltham Victoria. There were two little dogs she named Bam Bam & Pebbles, she managed to get Bam Bam out (assessed as not rehomable because it doesn’t like goats) my sister fostered him and now he is in a loving home and very happy. As for Pebbles (18 mths old and assessed as a barker) there were 30 calls wanting to adopt her including myself. Phil Lovelace found out that the young lady was taking the dogs out the back door to save them, so as punishment he made her hold down Pebbles and had her euthanized, even after 30 calls wanting to adopt her. I reported him to the CEO of Nillumbik (Danielle Green MP ) with no outcome. I even spoke with the office of Michael Danby & informed them of the situation. To this day NOTHING HAS BEEN DONE TO CHANGE THIS LAW & Phil Lovelace should have been charged & punished for such a cruel act on a young dog that had her life taken away from her at the hands of a very cruel cold hearted man. The Australian Government needs to have tougher laws in place for over breeding created by greedy Puppy Farmers and dogs need to be assessed by a professional (who has compassion) who know what they are doing. LIFE IS VERY PRECIOUS not only to humans but dogs and cats also and we have NO RIGHT to take it away from them.

  7. julie danson May 21, 2010 / 8:57 pm

    as a vollunteer at the animal welfare league in queenlan it sickens and breaks my heart to see the number of undesexed pets sold at petshops and later they and/or their litters dumped at the shelter with no regard to what happens to these beautiful animals, people buy on a whim and its time petshops were accountable for the deaths they cause. DONT BUY FROM PETSHOPS OR BACKYARD BREEDERS. aLL BREEDERS SHOULD BE LICENCED AND CHECKED REGULARLY.

  8. mia mckenzie May 24, 2010 / 11:21 am

    Check out and you all now have the opportunity to take action and make a detrimental difference to the lives of companion animals. Are you sick of voicing your disgust and nothing happens? Now someones listening.

  9. Deathrowpets June 7, 2010 / 3:04 pm

    “I used to work for a well known pet shop chain in NSW. At first I thought it was fantastic, but increasingly, I stopped wanting to sell the dogs and other animals to people who were impulse buying. In fact, I just tried to keep myself involved in the cleaning and caring side of things instead.

    One man asked for a guard dog and I said “sorry we only sell pets”. Apparently, I was not allowed to refuse the sale of an animal to anyone according to my boss. This infuriated me.

    Another time when I was on my lunch break I saw a woman, who had just bought one of our more timid shitzu puppies. She was dragging him along the floor of our busy shopping centre by the lead, as she walked in front, as if he wasnt even there.

    I ran over and picked him up, he was shaking and extremely frightened, and I tried to hand him to her, explaining that he wasn’t fully vaccinated yet and that he would need to be carried. She just put him back on the ground and kept on dragging him. I could already see the years of neglect and abuse facing him and felt so guilty for being a part of the process that allowed him to end up there.

    There was nothing I could do. I was powerless. And there were too many other situations like this. I am now strongly against chain pet stores that treat living animals like commodities.

    I would like to make a plea to people wanting to get a pet: Please buy your pets from animal shelters and have them desexed.

    Thank you.” Rebecca

  10. Deathrowpets June 7, 2010 / 3:06 pm

    “The Puppy Shack”, Days Road Wilston, Queensland

    This is the tawdry name given to a pet shop which recently opened on a busy corner near my daughter’s school in Wilston Queensland.
    They have seized the opportunity to open in an old shop which became vacant in a blatant attempt to get passing families to drop in and look at their “adorable” and no doubt farmed puppies. Having seen the people who run it, they seem the type. My daughter begs me everyday to take her in to ” see the puppies”. This positioning of a pet shop near a school just infuriates and disgusts me. I will NEVER take her in there, ever, ever.” C

  11. Deathrowpets June 23, 2010 / 1:48 pm

    Sent to us by a current PIAA Member:

    “I know a PIAA pet shop member who accepts backyard bred puppies as young as perhaps 5-6wks (she is never 100% sure how old they are). These puppies are constantly full of worms, covered in fleas, and anaemic. In recent discussion, she has said she feels obligated to take them and sell them to a good home. However she also knows she is encouraging this ‘breeder’ to continue breeding. For the pet shop owner, she says she feels sorry for the puppies, and for the breeder its all about the money. I have spoken to the pet shop owner about this problem our industry faces, and the main concern that these puppies she sells, may not become desexed at 6mths, and could result in more puppies being born, and sold back to pet shops. Its a continuous cycle, and pet shop owners do not know how to change. Perhaps PIAA could help pet shop owners change the way they conduct their business, and help put animals before profit. I am sure there are a lot of pet shop owners across Australia, who would think twice about selling pets if they actually seen where they came from. If they opened their eyes and seen the videos and websites I have seen. It makes you think twice about supporting an industry that doesnt support the welfare of animals.”

  12. vetnurse July 6, 2010 / 9:35 am

    In my work as a Vet Nurse, I’ve seen a lot of health and temperament problems with puppies sold in pet shops.
    Puppies kept in glass boxes in pet shop windows can develop yeast infections in their ears because their living environment is constantly warm and moist.
    I’ve seen puppies bought from pet shops that have not been vaccinated properly. The pet shop starts out vaccinating them but when they don’t sell and continue to sit in the window, they delay or don’t bother with further vaccinations. The new owner comes in to the vet clinic with their new pup and we discover that vaccinations are overdue.
    I helped euthanase a poor little Maltese x who was bought from a pet shop. The owners noticed within weeks of buying her that she was drinking a lot of water. The vet discovered that she had been born with kidney failure. She lived to just before her first birthday when I helped put her to sleep.
    I’ve seen puppies sold to the most unsuitable homes both in terms of breed and the type of house/building the new owner is living in. This leads to behavioural and training problems.
    I’ve seen happy friendly pet shop puppies change in their temperament after leaving the glass box that they’ve lived in for many weeks. While in the unchanging, unstimulating and unchallenging environment of the small glass box, they are not being socialised and exposed to the real world. Those pups that are unlucky enough to spend many weeks in a pet shop have difficulty adapting to the real world. They can bond very closely to their immediate family while being fear aggressive towards strange people and dogs.
    Toilet training for pet shop pups can be very challenging, especially for pups which have spend many weeks in a pet shop. It is natural for pups to want to toilet well away from their bed and food/water bowls. In pet shops, they are forced to toilet close to their bed and food/water bowls and learn to be dirty. This makes it hard for the new owner to teach toilet training.
    I could go on and on…

  13. Deathrowpets July 30, 2010 / 2:11 pm

    Sent to us by email:

    “I don’t know if there is much you can do, but I saw on your webpage you were interested in pet shops we felt were being cruel to animals.
    I went to Redlands Pets in Capalaba, QLD today and was pleasantly suprised that there was a pet store inside a shopping centre not selling pets. I picked up a few things to purchase until I saw the puppies for sale in their other window (that I hadn’t seen). Not one puppy was over the age of 9 weeks (my sister told me those 9 week ones were there 2 weeks ago). My major concern was the only box with one puppy on their own. They had one 7 week old staffy on its own. Too young to be away from its mother, and definately too young to not have littermates OR AT LEAST another puppy to play with.
    I was disgusted, put down my purchases and left.
    I really hope there is something you can do. It’s bad enough that they are selling puppies from backyard breeders and puppy mills, but to have them alone at such a young age is disgraceful!!!!

    Kind Regards, CS’

  14. Deathrowpets July 30, 2010 / 2:14 pm

    Another message:

    “I’d really like your input on this one.

    I was at Broadway petshop a few weeks back and there was a French Bulldog pup. All by himself in a tiny cage, for sale for $1800. I popped in again on Sunday as I needed flea treatment for my dog and it was the only petshop open in my area and the poor French Bulldog was still there. The cage is far too small for him. He’s four months old now and I’m really worried about him. He’s going to end up with such weak bones and some serious mental issues. What can be done? He looks like he just wants it all to end.

    If I phone the RSPCA they’ll just say “he’s physically ok, nothing that can be done.” I don’t want to support the petshop puppy trade and buy him (plus he’s $1800!).

    Kind regards H”

  15. Deathrowpets August 15, 2010 / 3:44 pm

    Sent via email:
    “I do work in a pet store and one that doesn’t sell puppies and kittens. We promote adoption and we try to educate our customers. I also have put together my own brochure.
    It’s amazing once you start chatting to people about puppy farms, byb and pet shops they really take notice.
    For the best part of my life I have hated pet shops that sell puppies and kittens.

    And now that I have some spare time I volunteer at a shelter. This makes me more determind to spread the word even more.
    I find the whole system so confusing. I’m not highly educated but I’m not stupid.
    To me it seems so simple. Shut these places down.
    And if governments arn’t going to do anything about it why don’t they throw some cash towards rescue that survive on a shoe string budget.

    There is a woman who has been farming puppies for over 13 years in suburbia, near me. She has been supplying all the petstores including our fav PP. 12 months ago she opened a disgusting shop to sell her pups from. I had to go in
    only to find she was selling them out of cardboard boxes. There were 3 whippets with no blankets or warmth, front door open, on a main road. There were so many pups and it was filthy. I raced home rang council and a few days later they did an audit. She remains open however I couldn’t resist and went back the place was worse. My heart was racing and I was so red in the face with anger. Again I called the council. It was coincidence that it was 12 months ago that I first reported her. There have been several complaints made about this place and she was due for her 12 month audit and she is going to court to be shut down.
    I have also found out that she has had cruelty charges against her and has several other outlets. So I guess this means that she will still be able to operate elsewhere?”

  16. Concerned Owner August 19, 2010 / 6:18 pm

    One big concern I have always had about pet shop puppies and kittens is the very young age at which they are sold.
    Mother dogs/cats do not naturally wean their young until about 12 weeks (and don’t make them ‘leave home’ for many months after that), yet pet shops sell them at 6 weeks because they are cutest. (And some may be even younger – if they suck your clothes, they’re probably only 4 weeks.)
    Pet shops and new owners don’t supplement their food with pet milk for the next 6 weeks (until normal weaning age), so that they end up calcium-depleted, which leads to bone problems later on.
    And they also feed them on cheap supermarket dry food, which has too much salt for developing kidneys (many people think it’s ‘normal’ for cats to die at 12 or 13 – my healthily-fed cats live to their early 20s!). They should eat specific ‘puppy’ or ‘kitten’ tinned food at least until 12 weeks. (It’s not just a marketing ploy from the pet food makers.)

  17. Rin November 3, 2010 / 9:57 pm

    Sally Ann, I hear what you are saying in regards to Phil Lovelace, I am currently dealing with the Nillumbik pound and the excuses they use for euthanase is ridiculous… He definatly needs to get off his perch…

  18. doglover February 24, 2012 / 12:00 am

    I use to work for Pets Paradise in Victoria AU, they knowingly sold sick animals and treated staff really badly. They never let the dogs out of their pens to get any exercise with some puppies being in store until 5 months of age. They treat employees really badly. They under pay and often don’t pay for up to 6 weeks at a time.

    A store which will remain un-nammed forced an employee to kill some guinea pigs as the store owner refused to pay the $30 it would cost to get them put down.

  19. Jeanette David-Ball February 24, 2012 / 10:01 am

    Being forced to kill an animal would definitely be a serious health and safety issue – one which WorkCover or the Victorian equivalent would be interested in investigating I am sure. Mental health injuries take twice as long to resolve as physical and no employer has the right to put an employee in this situation. I own guinea pigs and I know they would squeal terribly in a situation like that.
    I have a family in my street who bought a pup from the local pets paradise at Glendale NSW. The dog was sick, and after 12 days of very expensive veterinary treatment, died. The store denied any responsibility, though the vet said the pup was sick at the time of purchase and the store would have known.

  20. firefly April 2, 2012 / 6:47 pm

    Goodness be on guard with Pets Paradise there are many honest employees but not so many honest store manager/owners. They have Australia wide knowingly sold sick animals some with kidney issues who were not expected to live past 1 year despite their company policy from head office stating they don’t sell sick animals. Yet head office want nothing to do with franchised store complaints they get sent to the store owner to deal with so really when complaining to Pets Paradise you’re actually complaining to the person who’s in the wrong.

    They are the most expensive pet store and will tell you that yet they justify it by saying you’re getting the best customer service if you purchase from one of our stores.

  21. J September 25, 2013 / 11:21 pm


    Recently bought a gorgeous 9 week old Spoodle puppy from Puppy Shack on a Saturday, after a few visits and discussions with the seemingly nice female staff in there – 5 days later (within the 5 day ‘health guarantee’ period), the poor little man came down with vomiting and diarrhoea – as it was so late in the evening on the Thursday night when he became sick, we had no choice but to take him to the vet on the Friday morning (10.5 hrs outside of the guarantee period). Diagnosed with PARVOVIRUS and on the brink of death, we were given the option to either put him down or spend $4500 treating him ourselves as Puppy Shack would not let us treat him at their designated vet clinic due to the health guarantee. We were devastated and confused as the pup had not left our hard-floored, high rise apartment since we got him. Obviously we chose to treat him as we couldn’t be the thought of losing him. We contacted the pet store as soon as this occurred and emailed through the timeline of exactly what happened as parvo usually takes a 7-10 day incubation period before they show symptoms, hoping that a store that who appeared to care so much about their animals and their product would come to some sort a compromise to assist us with saving his life, whether financially or otherwise – waited nearly a week for a reply, in which surprisingly the store did not contact us to even see how the pup was doing. Luckily, after 5 gruelling days of treatment, the little guy made it through against all odds. We let the owner of the store know that he survived, and what the final vet bill came to so he was aware – to which we received a reply that basically they wanted nothing to do with helping us from this point and were to offer no sort of compensation. All in all, we had the puppy for barely 5 days before he got sick – paid $1200 for him from Puppy Shack, $500 for his bed and products, and then on top of that an unexpected $4500 for the parvo treatment. And obviously more than anything, this was incredibly traumatic for us. As a customer, and the buyer of a product essentially, it would have been nice to be at the receiving end of a more compassionate and reasonable response from the store. Very disappointing to say the least. Lesson learnt – I will never buy another pet from a pet store ever again and would advise everyone I know against it also. I would never wish this experience on anyone.

  22. ms vedder May 9, 2014 / 1:14 am

    I would like sally jay to tell me all she can about mr lovelace. I am experiencing first hand how cruel he is. I am also making a complaint to Danielle Green and I am very dissapointed that she did not address what he done. Seems he enjoys hurting dogs and women with the authority he has. Very very dangerous to have people with warped values in positions of any authority. He will breach and play with the law to teach people lessons that have done nothing wrong. Short man syndrome to pick on dogs and women. Please get back to me if you can. He needs to be accountable for his actions.

  23. Ms James March 6, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    All those who have had dealings with Phil Lovelace, i would love to hear from you as I am having my own issues

  24. Wendy Lane May 6, 2016 / 10:08 pm

    We purchased our male Cavoodle pup last September from the Puppy Shack Brisbane for $1500.00, he was sickly from the start, diagnosed with a urinary tract infection, displayed unusual behaviours which turned out to be seizures, was constipated, and had virtually no appetite, and was very under weight. We visited emergency pet hospital a few times and after having spent thousands, finally received a diagnosis from the specialist of a serious condition called a congenital liver shunt from birth. Research indicates that this condition is caused by poor parental nutrition, not genetics. The pet store took offence at my suspicions about the pet store and refused any kind of refund. Ourselves and our daughters have been on an emotional roller coaster and we’ve been told Charlie needs a $5000.00 operation. Charlie doesn’t have the use of his liver so can’t have any kind of toxins, this means no medications, anaesthetic for desexing, heart worm or flee tick treatments. All dog foods are processed/include pesticides, chemicals etc so he is on a raw organic chicken, vegetable, fruit diet which he loves I might add but is very expensive. I’m just about to make a complaint to fair trading.

  25. Wonder women May 7, 2016 / 10:04 am

    Hello yes I have had major issues with Phil Lovelace. He is a very bitter, vindictive, short man who will make up stories in court and has worked out the one tactic to win court cases, then when he looses he gets articles written about you in the age accusing you of what the courts actually found you not guilty of, and refuses to pay what the court ordered him to pay. Hes just policeman wanna be but too short so picks on animals and animal lovers. A real manWhat did he do to you?

  26. brendon May 14, 2016 / 10:51 pm

    puppy shack is a disgrace! To think i was actually considering ordering a puppy tomorrow for my daughter.
    After reading these reviews i will not!
    fuck you Puppy Shack! “where there is smoke there is fire”
    and you are a puppy fuelled BONFIRE!
    Fuck you!
    Family in Townsviile

  27. October 6, 2016 / 9:08 am

    My dog died in July. Snake bite. I was severely depressed, and am still heartbroken.
    In hopes to lift my spirits, my mother surprise gifted me an expensive Sprocker puppy from Puppyshack. Theres been no trouble so far, but.. They sent the wrong puppy. It was a very long trip, and the puppy they sent was very different from the one we asked for, her sibling. We couldn’t just send her back after such a long trip!

    However, she vomits every known and then. Its happened less lately, and shes nearly hitting 6 months old. She hates leashes and grooming items, but we’re working on it,

    We’ve put it down as her eating too fast, but upon reading reviews I’m honestly getting scared I’ll loose her too. I already had to hold one of my girls in my arms as she passed on. I don’t think I can go through that again. Especially with one so young. So, now I guess I’m going to have to wait and see if it’s inevitable. Maybe god actually let me be lucky this time.

    But now that I know about this stuff, I will never again buy from a store that sells puppies and kittens. Not if it means possibly supporting this crap.

  28. jane December 8, 2016 / 4:00 pm

    Can anyone who’s dealt with Phil Lovalace please contact me ASAP its a matter of life and death for my dogs. I want to get others stories and evidence on his total abuse of power and ridiculous and unjust procedures.

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