Pet shop offering help for animals
By ROXANNE MILLAR
AS more and more pet shops come under fire from the RSPCA, a Tweed Heads store is embarking on its second successful year of a program that gives unwanted animals some Christmas cheer.
South Tweed's Petcare Superstore has erected its annual animal wishing tree, which features pictures of unwanted and abandoned Friends of the Pound animal customers can give presents to.
It is just one of many strategies the local store has embraced to steer clear of selling animals in their store, which is a practise the RSPCA has hit out against.
RSPCA chief inspector Don Robinson said recently two pet store owners faced court in NSW charged with cruelty and failing to adequately care for animals in their stores.
He said while most pet shop owners were responsible, they all had a huge responsibility under the law to ensure the welfare of animals in their care.
"Indiscriminate breeding by unregistered breeders jeopardises the welfare of the animals and puts more unwanted animals into the community," he said.
Petcare Superstore owner Kylie Rogers said she was opposed to buying animals for sale and keeping them in the store and had come up with an alternative.
"There are so many animals in welfare agencies that need homes and we think what we do is a nicer way to rehouse them," she said.
"We keep a picture board of Friends of the Pound animals to help rehome them, because a lot of people can't handle going to the pound."
The store also keeps some Friends of the Pound cats on hand to sell, especially in breeding season.
Another Tweed Heads store has implemented a policy that puts paid to RSPCA criticism of a lack of follow-up care by pet shops with the animals they sell.
Tweed City's Pets Paradise owner Sharon Uttridge said they had a 10day health guarantee that covered any vet bills in- curred in the first 10 days of ownership.
"We pay for everything. Plus the animals come microchipped, vaccinated, wormed and with vet checks before and after sale," she said.