Bunnings is under pressure from some shoppers to ban all dogs except service dogs in stores, after a fight broke out between two dogs, leaving one dead and onlookers horrified over the weekend.
The incident took place at an outlet in Stafford, Brisbane over the weekend and saw an unrestrained pit bull maul and kill a smaller dog who was being held in a trolley.
According to a report from news.com, staff had reportedly asked the pit bull’s owner to put the pet on a leash before he entered.
One witness told the outlet that the attack was ‘brutal and graphic’ and blamed the dog’s owner for taking a ‘vicious’ dog into a confined public place unrestrained.
Bunnings’ store entry policy states that pets are welcome if they are “secured safely in a vehicle, on a lead and wearing a muzzle or carried”.
Bunnings Area Manager Patrick Blair said in a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle they are working with the local council to assist their investigation and have contacted the owner of the deceased dog to offer support.
“An unfortunate incident occurred between two dogs at our Stafford store on Sunday,” he says. “Our team acted quickly to remind the owner of our store guidelines before they entered the store.”
“We have been in touch with the other owner to offer support and our thoughts are with them,” he continues, adding: “We’re working with council to assist with their investigation.”
“We thank our team for the calm and professional way that they handled the situation.”
Debate erupts over dog ban
Online debate has erupted over the incident and while witnesses largely appear to hold the pet owner responsible, users on Facebook are debating whether Bunnings should be banning all dogs except service dogs in stores.
In a post on Facebook group Aussie Spirit almost one thousand users are divided over the horrifying story, with an almost 50/50 split over whether the policy should change.
One user said dogs should ‘absolutely not’ be taken into Bunnings stores.
“(Unless as below, they are working 'care' dogs) they are safer and feel more secure at home,” the user wrote. “This is horrific - I am heartbroken for that defenceless dog's owners.”
“Responsible pet owners keep their animals controlled/leashed in public spaces,” another hit back. “Would this have happened if the dog was leashed? Probably not.”
“So less about where the incident occurred than about responsible pet ownership.”
“I could not understand Bunnings allowing dogs in their stores...” another wrote. “I love dogs but don't want to trip over one, or deal with accidental poops that can happen!!!”
One argued the well-behaved majority shouldn’t be punished for the minority.
“Dogs should continue so long as dog owners follow the rules and have them on leash, muzzled or in the trolley under their full control,” one woman wrote. “I have my very well behaved staffy in my trolley under my full control and have never had a problem.”
The extreme situation has come as a shock to many Bunnings shoppers, but it’s not the first time debate over dogs in stores has erupted online.
On this day last year, a dog owner found herself copping backlash online after sharing a snap of her 16-week-old poodle cross, Georgie on her first trip to Bunnings.
The sweet snap was slammed by some who believed dogs should be left at home and others who thought it was unhygienic to allow dogs in trolleys.
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