Several West Australians have been left with thousands of dollars out of pocket after a registered dog breeder failed to give them puppies for which they had pre-paid or refunded deposits due.
Cassandra Warren – a registered breeder of Australian Shepherds in Busselton – has been flagged by Consumer Protection after more than a dozen customers reported her for not providing the puppies they paid for.
Thirteen disgruntled customers have come forward since February.
This is not the first time the Busselton breeder, who operates under the trade name Marleys Australian Shepherds, has been investigated by consumer protection, with a spokesperson confirming that similar complaints have been made. filed against Ms Warren in 2016 and 2019.
Among the latest complaints, the department said it had successfully resolved six customer complaints with ‘refunds provided’
The other seven customers have yet to receive their prepaid puppy or refunds totaling more than $5,500.
“The remaining consumers did not receive the dogs they ordered on the agreed date or within a reasonable time,” a statement from consumer protection said.
“They also failed to obtain the requested refund of their deposits ranging from $500 to $2,500 which were paid between May 2021 and February 2022, despite Ms. Warren telling them their deposits were refundable.”
The orders were for dogs that weren’t yet born, with Ms Warren reportedly telling customers awaiting delivery that the delays were due to breeding issues.
Consumer Protection Commissioner Gary Newcombe said it was deeply concerning that Ms Warren was taking deposits from buyers but failing to deliver as promised on too many occasions.
“Despite estimated delivery dates to buyers based on the breeding program, puppies are not showing up after a long time and consumers are struggling to get their money back,” Mr Newcombe said.
“Ms Warren made it clear to potential buyers that they would receive a full refund if they changed their minds but, despite this promise, the return of deposits has simply not happened in these cases.
“We are concerned about Cassie Warren’s unfair business practices and warn consumers not to do business with her. It is recommended that dog buyers consider purchasing from other registered breeders until these outstanding issues are resolved.
Mr Newcombe suggested consumers buy readily available dogs rather than waiting for puppies to be born.
Ms Warren posts pictures of her dogs on 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 urges anyone else who has paid for a dog through Ms Warren and has not yet received it to come forward and file a complaint via the Consumer Protection website or by calling 1300 30 40 54.