How much does a pet shop make from live animals?

We were told by one of our readers that a tradesman attended their house for some work recently.

It transpires that his brother owns Warriewood Pet Shop in Sydneys northern suburbs.  He confided that the brother makes over $40,000 pa from sales of live animals….

DRP Comment and actions you can take:

There are many pet shops who have decided that they will not sell puppies and kittens from breeders ( some help rehome homeless animals from pounds or rescue groups – a practice we strongly support). We need to support these pet shops. Pet Shop Stars here..

There are many of us who will not spend a cent in pet shops that sell animals, go here to download feedback cards for pet stores you will not support. I wonder how much business pet shops selling animals ( not homeless animals) are losing because we go elsewhere?

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5 thoughts on “How much does a pet shop make from live animals?

  1. Deathrowpets August 4, 2010 / 1:16 pm

    We were sent this letter from the Sydney pet shop “Dogs and the City”owner:

    “As a pet free pet shop I am often amazed at the amount of ignorance among the general public as to where exactly pet shops source their animals and what health and regulatory conditions apply to the sale of them.

    I am contacted at least once a week by people trying to sell litters of puppies, some using the “accidental litter” excuse, and some quite blatantly offering a variety of breed x’s. Only today someone trying to sell Husky puppies contacted me.

    These calls are often cut dramatically short when you start to ask too many questions. As a single outlet pet shop if you calculate that a litter usually consists of 4 – 6 puppies, an offer of at least one litter per week, my shop alone would have had on offer approximately 1570 puppies over the past 6 years. At a price of often more than $1000 per puppy, this equates to a conservative estimate of over $1,500,000 in pet sales alone. A shopping mall pet chain would be selling many times this number of puppies. No wonder PIAA is fighting to keep this form of revenue flowing.

    I have also been in contact with a breeder who offered me all number of breed mixes from Cavalier’s, Chihuahua’s, Pugaliers, Cockers, Foxy, Jack r’s, Poodle, Spoodle, Shelties, Maltese, Pappions, and even an English Sheepdog mix. These puppies were to wholesale from between $250 – $500.

    They would be couriered over the border from Victoria where the puppies would be handed over to me in a McDonalds car park. This is hardly an above board method of purchase.

    I was told to take out insurance at $4.60 per kilo, as there was a good chance that some puppies would die in transport. She suggested that her dogs were all healthy as they were kept in raised wire bottomed cages for easy cleaning. Apparently not too much concern was paid to the discomfort of the dosg or the pain and damage this would cause to their feet.
    She also mentioned, as a presumed form of reference, that she supplied various Pets Paradise stores in Victoria and NSW.

    Another huge problem is the general publics lack of knowledge as to what they are to expect form a pet shop puppy in regards to age at sale, microchipping, vaccination and worming.

    More times than I would like to remember I have had customers come in with puppies freshly purchased from shopping mall pet chains sold well below the regulation 8 weeks of age. Not only has the shop done this against pet shop sale regulations, but the customer has had no idea how wrong this is ethically and for the health of the puppy. Also quite regularly these puppies are, un-wormed, and un-microchipped.

    On some occasions I have quite seriously questioned the health of the puppies involved and have indeed had reports back from customers grateful for my input, as they have had to hospitalise their new puppy because of health problems directly after purchase. These problems can be anything from intestinal illnesses to parvo.

    It has also been my experience that very few pet shops actually know what kind of cross breeds they are selling. Having purchased their livestock from rather dubious breeders this is not of any great surprise.

    Also as pet shops tend to hire rather young inexperienced staff, the information dished out to the unsuspecting pet buyer is usually of next to no use or value. As a dog trainer and behavioural counsellor with some 15 years experience I have quite a reasonably knowledge of dog breeds and their behavioural traits, and I can assure you that the information many people are given upon purchase of their puppies is pure rubbish, and in some cases capable of not only causing harm, but most likely to result in the re-homing of the dog as it turns into something the owner is totally unprepared for.

    As a retail business owner I can well understand the need for any business in this hard economic market to want to sell as much and as often as is physically possible.

    This is where the problem lays with the sale of pets in shops. It is a clash of cultures. You want to buy your product for as little as possible and turn over your stock as fast as possible. To do this you need to source puppies cheaply and sell them to the first person who wants them, otherwise your costs eat into the very important profit margin. To suggest that this is not the case is a fallacy.

    No retail enterprise sells something unless it is profitable, to do otherwise would be to go out of business. And that is the impasse; you cannot ethically sell an animal and make a profit at the same time. Something has to give, and it is and always will be the health and welfare of the animals involved.”

  2. penny jackson August 5, 2010 / 2:51 pm

    This sad tale proves beyond all doubt that governments need to be held responsible to stop indiscriminate breeding of animals for the pet industry whether it be pet shop[s, backyard breeders or disgusting puppy farms. Only registered breeders should be allowed and even then highly regulated with low “quotas”. responsible pet ownership and adopting from shelters should be
    highly encouraged and pet shops should only ever be “pet SUPPLIES shops” only. No animal should be sold as a commodity or item of stock.

  3. Mel August 27, 2010 / 1:05 am

    I recently took a job at a Pets Paradise store, after being assured by the boss that they did not buy from puppy farms.
    After talking to a foster carer who said that they did, I then did some reasearch and Pets Paradise popping up at least once in nearly every puppy farm related article I could find.
    After consulting my boss a second time about the puppy farm issue, it was once again denied.
    So either they don’t actually buy from puppy farms, or the more likely case: they not only lie to their customers, but to their staff too.
    All animals sold in the shop are labelled as stock items, and if one dies it’s written off, like you would faulty stock.
    So far as I’ve been working there I have seen animals kept in appalling conditions, found dead mice, fish and hermit crabs, had outbreaks of scaly beak and scaly foot with budgies, and watched puppies come in and out at a rate of knots.
    The puppies are kept in their pens all day, and the staff are discouraged to get them out for people to pat them because it ‘stresses them out’
    We are only allowed to take a puppy out of its pen if the person is considering buying it. (Holding that cute little puppy makes the sale.)
    Most of the staff hired are young, with little or no pet knowledge whatsoever (I had to teach one Junior member how to bathe a dog)
    The worst part is that, as a shop assistant, your number one priority is not the animals, but the customers.
    It’s all about making a sale no matter who it’s to.

    As an employee I can honestly tell you that the turn over of puppies

  4. Jan Baker September 9, 2010 / 8:59 pm

    Mandatory desexing is going to help with the overpopulating of puppies….pounds should not let a dog be sold until it is desexed, this will stop a lot of puppy farmers & unregistered back yard breeders from picking 2 dogs to breed with…..if they are desexed then these inhumane people won’t go to pounds…..stop these puppy mills….with PIAA & a lot of puppy farmers owning pet shops it is a big business…..commercial food is sold to these farms & pet shops….there are a lot of people at the top that don’t want to stop these puppy farms as they are making too much money…..they don’t care about the animals suffering that means nothing to them…..the law has to lay down some new rules & make these people stick to them…..

  5. sue butler October 15, 2010 / 10:09 am

    Ive worked in a Pet shop and it broke my heart, a few times we had pups in from 6weeks old and they could not be sold till we were able to reduce the price and they would be 6 months old by the time they got out.
    THERE SHOULD BE A LAW ABOUT HOW LONG A PUPPY CAN STAY IN A PET SHOP! we use to ship ours from store to store if they werent sold after 3 weeks but that only adds more stress to the puppy and most of them would end up sick.

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