Bunnings pet policy scare at North Geelong store

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A spill of snail pellets at Bunnings North Geelong has raised new concerns over the company’s pet-friendly policy, according to a shopper.

The poisonous pellets could have been a dangerous temptation for dogs visiting the store with owners this week, said Lethbridge’s Liz Day.

“The snail pellets spillage stretched over about three metres and it just really struck me,” she said.

“I could tell it had been there for some time, it wasn’t a fresh spillage. You could tell someone had tried to sweep some of it up but there were still pellets all along the bottom shelf.”

Mrs Day said the pellets were “attractive to dogs”.

“Years ago, someone I know’s dogs injested only a tablespoon of them. The dogs got through it but they were in a really bad way.”

Mrs Day raised her concerns after a dog allegedly bit a child at a Melton Bunnings earlier in the week.

Mrs Day, with life-long experience handling animals on her farm, wanted improved safety for pets, customers and children at Bunnings stores.

“You can’t keep your eyes on your animals all the time. When you’re shopping and distracted, I think it would be easy not to notice a dog eating some snail pellets and therefore not treat it in time.

“Then you might have a dead dog.”

Mrs Day said the manager was “horrified” when she contacted the North Geelong store with her concerns.

He was amenable and open to her suggestions, she said.

Mrs Day also contacted Bunnings’ head office, which took her feedback on board, she said.

“There should be obvious warning signs at the entrances and staff should be trained about how to handle a potential fight breaking out between dogs.

“I suggested they send a dog behaviourist out to stores to assess the sites for any foreseeable safety issues so that appropriate caution can be taken.”

Mrs Day was satisfied the store would address her concerns with staff regularly monitoring the aisle with snail pellets but remained worried about other problems arising under the pets policy.

“This is only one store and one incident. There are many other items in Bunnings that are dangerous to animals, like rat poison.

“I have a rescue Jack Russell called Toby and I definitely wouldn’t take him into a Bunnings store.”

A Bunnings spokesperson said pet dogs had been visiting the company’s stores “in a low-key way” for 20 years, some in the back of tradies’ utes and others in the arms of their owners.

“Seven months ago, to make things clearer for our team, we changed the wording of an outdated policy that was at odds with this reality. We made a common sense decision to recognise in our policies that well-behaved pet dogs are permitted,” the spokesperson said.

“Safety and store presentation are very important to us and we always welcome customer feedback. The team at Geelong North have received a lot of positive feedback this week and little challenges like ensuring any spills are cleaned up quickly are a continual area of focus for our teams.

“We’ll continue listening to feedback from customers and take this into account and to evolve our policy so that it meets community expectations.”

Originally published at Geelong Independent.

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About Alana Mitchelson

Alana Mitchelson is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @AlanaMitchelson.

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