By Jessica Micallef
The alleged sale of puppies in public places, such as carparks and service stations, in the Macedon Ranges is under investigation by RSPCA Victoria.
Inspectors are investigating two seperate alleged brokers and breeders – one selling puppies in public in the Macedon Ranges, Mitchell Shire and Whittlesea council areas, and another in the Colac Otway Shire.
It is alleged the puppies were being sold in public places near schools, service stations and carparks.
The breeds allegedly sold include bull terriers, great danes and kelpies, some of which require veterinary treatment soon after purchase, the RSPCA said.
The sale of animals in public places such as parks, roadsides and carparks is illegal in Victoria.
RSPCA Victoria’s inspectorate team leader – major investigations Lisa Calleja said that compared to previous years, a higher number of reports related to the sale of animals in public places had been received during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“High demand for pets during the pandemic meant many Victorians sought alternate sales channels and unknowingly purchased animals from illegal businesses that sell animals from public places to hide the location of other operations,” she said.
“The subjects of RSPCA Victoria investigations are often sophisticated networks that use covert methods so our inspectorate team relies on the public information that may assist with investigations.
“We encourage anyone with information to make a report. Sometimes things that may seem insignificant can be the missing element in an investigation.”
Individuals who sell dogs and cats from a public place can face a $4835 fine, while body corporates could face a maximum penalty of $24,178.
RSPCA Victoria encourages people looking to become a dog or cat owner to visit the place where the puppy or kitten was born, meet the mother dog or cat and check the breeder provides a high standard of care and living conditions for all their animals.
To submit a report: rspcavic.org/services/tip-off or call 9224 2222.