Several West Australians have been left thousands of dollars out of pocket after a registered dog breeder failed to give them puppies they had pre-paid for, or refund owed deposits.
Cassandra Warren — a registered Busselton breeder of Australian Shepherds — has been flagged by Consumer Protection after more than a dozen customers reported her for not providing the puppies they had paid for.
Thirteen disgruntled customers have come forward since February.
It’s not the first time the Busselton breeder, who operates under the business name Marleys Australian Shepherds, has been investigated by Consumer Protection, with a spokesperson confirming similar complaints were made against Ms Warren in 2016 and 2019.
Of the latest claims, the department said it had managed to resolve six customer complaints with “refunds provided”
The remaining seven customers are yet to receive their pre-paid puppy or refunds which total more than $5500.
“The remaining consumers did not receive the dogs they ordered by the agreed date or within a reasonable time,” a Consumer Protection statement read.
“Nor did they get the requested refund of their deposits ranging from $500 to $2,500 that were paid between May 2021 and February 2022, despite Ms Warren telling them their deposits were refundable.”
The orders were for dogs not yet born with Ms Warren allegedly telling customers waiting for delivery that the delays are due to issues with breeding.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Gary Newcombe said it is deeply concerning that Ms Warren accepts deposits from buyers, yet fails to deliver as promised on too many occasions.
“Despite giving the buyers estimated dates for delivery based on the breeding program, the puppies don’t turn up after a long period of time and then consumers have difficulty getting their money back,” Mr Newcombe said.
“Ms Warren made it clear to the potential buyers that they would receive a full refund if they changed their mind but, despite this promise, the return of deposits has simply not eventuated in these cases.
“We have concerns about the unfair business practices of Cassie Warren and warn consumers not to have any dealings with her. It is recommended that dog buyers consider purchasing from other registered breeders until these outstanding issues are resolved.
Mr Newcombe suggested consumers purchase dogs that are readily available rather than wait for puppies to be born.
Ms Warren posts photos of her dogs through a Facebook page, as well as several Instagram pages, and is also listed as a registered breeder with the Canine Association of WA Dogs West.
Consumer Protection is urging anyone else who has paid for a dog through Ms Warren and is yet to receive it to come forward and make a complaint via the Consumer Protection website or by calling 1300 30 40 54.