Warning: Distressing content
Protesters in Australia are preparing to gather outside Perth's Parliament House over a bill to stop puppy farming, after pups from a dog that "rotted from the inside out" at a farm in New South Wales were advertised by a Western Australian pet shop.
The RSPCA raided puppy farms at Inverell and Wagga last week, after "allegations of animal cruelty and noncompliance of state breeding Codes of Practice".
At the Inverell farm, a 10-month-old boxer named Strawberry had allegedly died over a matter of days after becoming sick during a pregnancy while her remaining litter rotted inside of her in February.
The Animal Justice Party said three surviving puppies were shipped to pet shops.
According to WAToday, by April two of the pups were being advertised by Perth pet shop Claremont Puppies and Pets.
The shop's owner Victor Finkelstein told the publication he sourced puppies from the Inverell breeder but didn't think they had been treated badly and didn't know about the conditions on the farm, which had been raided by the RSPCA in 2015.
The council brought hundreds of charges that were later settled out of court with no conviction against the breeder, who was allowed to continue operating.
A whistleblower, reportedly a former worker on the farm, told WAToday that Strawberry smelled "like death", probably because another worker who had bathed the poor dog reported finding parts of dead puppies and maggots in Strawberry's vagina and mouth.
"She was basically rotting from the inside out and that would be why she smelled of death," the former worker said.
"And not once did [the owner] show any enthusiasm of taking Strawberry to the vet to have a caesarean or to get the medical treatment she needed."
The worker alleged the owner went into Strawberry's pen one day, "nudged her with his foot while saying: 'Are you dead yet?', and was laughing about it".
The whistleblower identified two of Strawberry's puppies advertised on the Perth pet shop's Facebook page.
Finkelstein said he last visited the Inverell breeder 18 months ago and had "never seen a dog in bad conditions".
He agreed Strawberry's story was cruel "if it has happened" but said it "sounds like a load of cr*p".
He went on to allege animal activists brought on the raid in a bid to get legislation passed through WA parliament that would prohibit him continuing to sell puppies at his pet shop, which he told WAToday would put him out of business.
A protest organised by anti-puppy farming group Oscar's Law is scheduled for outside WA parliament at 10am on Thursday morning (AWST).
The organisation noted that although Strawberry has died, "her life is her message, and we can't let it be forgotten".
"Especially by WA MPs who plan to vote against the upcoming Stop Puppy Farming Bill."
Victoria passed similar legislation against puppy farming in 2017.
Animal Justice Party MP Emma Hurst said at the time of last week's raids a lack of similar laws in NSW was allowing cruelty to continue, as Victoria's legislation exacerbated the problem.
"Puppy farmers like this are now surging across the border, knowing that our weak laws fail to protect dogs from this sort of cruelty," Hurst said.