Words and photographs by Julia Sansone | @thesansberry
The infamous @Pets Melbourne Central is again under fire as another change.org lobby recirculates social media, calling on the RSPCA and Victorian Government to take action.
In the latest effort to shut down the notoriously negligent pet retailer, change.org user Alexandria Jadresic has gathered over 27,000 signatures, driven by a wide spread of passionate and frustrated Facebook users.
In her online letter, Jadresic claims she has witnessed dead fish, malnourished puppies and kittens with eye infections at the business located on the level ground of the CBD retail hub.
“When I raised [these issues] with staff all they said was their animal care is up to date with RSPCA guidelines and is RSPCA approved,” she wrote.
“I am fed up with this stores treatment of animals. It has to stop.”
The petition continues to be flooded with messages of support, angered by the disregard for the wellbeing of the animals.
“I am signing this petition as I have previously placed a complaint with RSPCA of this pet store for it’s neglect of animals,” says supporter of the petition, Victoria Sanders.
“I believe they are associated with backyard breeders due to animal defects noted.”
Signatory of the petition, Neil Robison, says in addition to widespread unsatisfactory treatment, breeds of animals being sold are not appropriate for the businesses urban location.
“This store is not showing the most fundamental duty of care to the animals,” he wrote.
“And not least of which, they shouldn’t be selling large breed dogs from a city CBD location, regardless of whether they exercise them.”
Legislation which regulates the sale of animals falls under the Code of Practice for the Operation of Pet Shops, which defines the minimum standards of accommodation, management and care which are appropriate to the welfare, physical and behavioural needs of pet animals held for sale in registered pet shops.
People who operate or work in pet shops are required by the Act to comply with these minimum standards, and are encouraged to establish higher standards.
While many people are turning to the RSPCA for support, they do not approve or give licenses to retail pet stores, meaning a license doesn’t always mean cruelty free.
RSPCA Victoria say it is the responsibility of Melbourne Central to stop the further operation of the store.
“Whilst we can inspect reported cases of cruelty, we do not have the power to close a business,” a RSPCA Victoria representative said on Twitter.
“This needs to be taken up with Melbourne Central as they may be able to terminate the lease.”
RSPCA and The City Of Melbourne, however, are currently investigating the welfare of two dogs that are believed to be from the @Pets Melbourne Central business.