Animal rights campaigners target Mandurah pet shop

Ruth Cooper (inset) was subject to abuse after her store gave away a dog.
Ruth Cooper (inset) was subject to abuse after her store gave away a dog.

A MANDURAH pet shop owner says she�s scared to go outside after she was subjected to abuse from online animal rights campaigners.

Mandurah Pet and Reptile World owner Ruth Cooper said she put an admittedly �poorly written� post on Facebook on Tuesday.

The post said �Continuing our freebie Friday we are giving away a dog to one lucky customer. Come in and see the dog and have a look around. This Friday only.�

Soon after, animal rights group Oscar�s Law posted alerted their 140,243 followers on Facebook to the post.

They told their followers to go on the pet shop�s page and tell them dogs are not prizes in competitions or giveaways.

What followed was abuse from people calling the pet shop �disgusting� and accusing them of selling dogs from puppy farms.

Mrs Cooper said none of her puppies came from puppy farms.

�These are the first puppies we�ve had since last winter,� she said.

�We do not support puppy farms, if I do not check people personally, then my husband does.�

Mrs Cooper said there was a simple explanation for the post.

�A local lady bought in puppies for us to sell,� she said.

�She told us she also had a three-year-old dog, she can�t handle, who needs to find a home.

�We have another customer who comes in once a week and he had a dog that died at 12 a few months ago.�

Mrs Cooper said her post was in reference to the pet shop giving away the three-year-old dog to this customer.

�We would never give away a random dog to a random person,� she said.

�I appreciate these people (Oscar�s Law), I really do because they have a conscience and they are trying to protect the animal and we need more people like that.

�But they attacked and they wouldn�t let me explain in my comments, so now I�m just letting it go.�

Mrs Cooper said she had been threatened and is afraid to go outside.

�Everybody thinks the pet shop is the bad guy and we�ve worked for a year to change that perception,� she said.

�We have re-homed 85 dumped kittens.

�I encourage everyone to come in and check us out.�

In the course of a few hours Mandurah Pet and Reptile World, who have 380 followers, had dropped from a four star rated business to a one star rated business.

Their post trying to explain the situation garnered 90 comments from outraged animal rights activists.

Oscar�s Law posted that pets are a lifetime commitment and they said they are not �a giveaway inanimate object�.

They told their followers to tell the pet shop to �stop selling backyard bred and factory farmed dogs – many of which appear to be much younger than eight weeks old.�