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A consumer alert has been issued relating to the failure of a dog breeder to deliver within an agreed time and provide refunds requested by numerous customers.
Consumer Protection has received 13 complaints since February 2022 against Cassandra “Cassie” Warren, who is a registered breeder of Australian Shepherd dogs but may sell other breeds as well. Only six of the complaints have been resolved with refunds provided.
The seven remaining consumers did not receive the dogs they ordered by the agreed date or within a reasonable time, 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 total amount owed to these consumers is $5,500.
The orders were for dogs not yet born and Ms Warren told customers waiting for delivery that the delays are due to issues with breeding.
Consumer Protection is aware of other customers who are still waiting for either their puppies to be delivered or deposits to be returned, but have not yet lodged a complaint. Department records show a small number of complaints against Ms Warren were received between 2016 and 2019 relating to similar issues.
Ms Warren operates under the unregistered business name Marleys Australian Shepherds and posts photos of her dogs for sale via Facebook (account now closed) and Instagram accounts marleys.australian.shepherds, marleyaussieshepherds, cassiemarleyaussies and slinky_long_dogs_. Sales are also derived from her listing as a registered breeder with Dogs West (Canine Association of WA).
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.
“We would also advise consumers to consider purchasing dogs that are readily available rather than waiting for puppies to be born as part of a breeding program.”
Consumers who have had unsatisfactory dealings with Ms Warren are urged to lodge a complaint via the Consumer Protection website if they have yet to do so. Enquiries can be made by email email@example.com or by calling 1300 30 40 54.
Media Contact: Alan Hynd, (08) 6552 9248 / 0429 078 791 / firstname.lastname@example.org