Report law-breaking pet stores
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On 1 July 2018, historic new laws will come into effect that ban the sale of puppies and kittens in pet shops. It’s important to note that these laws are in Victoria only — they were passed last year by the Victorian Labor Government.
The legislation also combats puppy factories and introduces a Pet Exchange Register. These changes come into effect later on, but if you want to know more, you can read our summary here.
Pet shops have been receiving notices for months now informing them of the changes and reminding them what they need to do to adapt, so in theory, we should expect them all to do the right thing.
But history has shown us that pet shops aren’t always keen on following the law or acting in the best interest of animal welfare: so here’s our step-by-step guide on what to do if you see a pet shop still selling puppies or kittens in Victoria.
One of our favourite things about the new legislation is that it allows pet shops to hold adoption days in conjunction with rescue groups. It’s something that more progressive pet supply stores have been doing for years now, and with great success.
A pet store that is doing the right thing will have the name of the rescue group or shelter that they are working with clearly on display. If they don’t, then ask.
If you think that something dodgy is going on, and animals are being sold under the guise as ‘rescue’ or are just blatantly flouting the new laws: continue with the steps below.
Unfortunately. the resources for animal welfare complaints are stretched, and it’s harder to get someone out to inspect without evidence. We can’t stress the importance of collecting evidence enough.
We recommend taking photos and video, especially if you talk to somebody in store about it.
Lodge a complaint:
It’s important to cover all bases with this one. There a number of bodies who can act on pet stores:
- First of all, if the pet store is in a shopping centre, contact centre management and let them know one of their tenants is breaking the law.
- Contact the council that the pet store is in. If you don’t know, a quick Google search of the suburb should let you know.
- Lodge a cruelty complaint with the RSPCA: Call the Victorian line on 03 9224 2222 or lodge an online cruelty complaint using the button below.
Finally, contact Oscar's Law:
We need to stay on top of any stores that aren’t following the new laws, so that we can ensure they are dealt with appropriately following your complaint. After you have followed the steps above, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.