Friday, 9 February 2018
Dogs Victoria has received a number of complaints relating to Ms Belinda Petrowsky and her breeding practices. Specifically, the complaints relate to an application to register a litter of Cocker Spaniels and the correctness of the declaration of parentage made by the member.
An investigation was commenced and DNA analysis was obtained by Dogs Victoria which established beyond reasonable doubt that the sire and the dam listed on the litter application were not the parents of all of the puppies included in the application.
Further, Dogs Victoria’s investigation also revealed microchip irregularities.
As a result of the investigation and the findings, Dogs Victoria brought disciplinary charges against Ms Petrowsky, including disciplinary charges pursuant to the following Rules, Regulations and Codes:-
20.1 VCA Code of Practice - Ethics
20.1.2 A member shall not engage in any behaviour that is contrary to the standards accepted by the community.
2.17 VCA Rule - Disciplining of Members
Members shall strictly observe and act in conformity with and not otherwise than in accordance with the Rules, Regulations, Codes of Ethics and Codes of Practice of the VCA and shall not conduct themselves in such a manner as to bring the VCA into disrepute or to bring themselves as a breeder, owner, exhibitor, handler, Show official, Judge or VCA member into disrepute.
A Disciplinary Hearing was scheduled in relation to this subject on Thursday, 8 February 2018, however prior to the hearing taking place, Ms Petrowsky tendered her resignation as a member of Dogs Victoria on Friday, 12 January 2018.
Dogs Victoria does not have power to proceed against a person who is not a member, and accordingly Ms Petrowsky’s resignation has prevented the hearing of these charges and appropriate disciplinary action being taken.
Dogs Victoria’s Management Committee considers this public statement is made accurately for the purposes of notifying its members and those potentially affected by Ms Petrowsky’s breeding practices in this matter. Dogs Victoria has further determined that Ms Petrowsky shall not be eligible to be re-admitted as a member and has notified the ANKC and other relevant organisations of Dogs Victoria’s decision.
Wednesday, 20 December 2017
As the Victorian Government resumes debate on the Domestic Animals Amendment (Puppy Farm and Pet Shops) Bill 2016, it remains vital that all members are informed of any changes which may affect your obligations as a member of Dogs Victoria.
As such we have created a new section on our website called ‘Victorian Legislation’. This section will contain continually evolving information as issues relating to canine welfare are raised.
Thursday, 30 November 2017
Members are notified of the new Shortened Tails Registration Process as approved by Management Committee at their November 2017 meeting.
This is a new regulation which will be updated on our website shortly. Click here to read more.
Members have until 31 December 2017 to comply with the process.
Monday, 27 November 2017
On Wednesday, 22 November, Dogs Victoria successfully resolved two Magistrates’ Court proceedings commenced against us in 2014 by a group of current members and Irish Wolfhound breeders. Dogs Victoria is relieved to have achieved a final conclusion to over five years of litigation relating to inaccuracies contained in applications for litter registration made by a previous member of Dogs Victoria of two Irish Wolfhounds in 2007, resulting in those dogs wrongfully being entered onto the ANKC Main Register and therefore wrongfully entitled to the benefits of registration.
In their claims, the plaintiffs alleged that Dogs Victoria had breached its duties and obligations under legislation and our Rules in the decisions made to address the inaccuracies in the original litter registrations, which also affected the progeny of those litters. The plaintiffs also complained that Dogs Victoria were negligent in the decisions we made. We have and continue to deny these allegations, and have been required to spend considerable resources defending the claims and the integrity of our internal governance.
On 8 June 2016, Magistrate Smith ruled that an unregistered dog known as ‘Murphy’ was the sire of the dogs that were entered on to the Main Register in 2007, and that those dogs were to be removed from the Main Register. Following this, the plaintiffs asked the Court to have ‘Murphy’ entered onto the ANKC Main Register to reinstate the dogs initially registered in 2007.
At a hearing on 24 October 2017, Magistrate Smith agreed with submissions made by Dogs Victoria that Murphy was ineligible for registration on the Main Register. Following this ruling, Dogs Victoria and the plaintiffs have settled the litigation. On 23 November 2017, the Magistrates’ Court dismissed the members’ proceedings with no order as to costs.
The legal costs of these proceedings have been predominantly recovered under Dogs Victoria’s insurance. A final reconciliation will be available within the annual reports.
Wednesday, 8 March 2017
On Wednesday 8 June, Magistrate Smith made Orders in relation to a long running dispute between Dogs Victoria, Loretta van Nunspeet, Graham Jacobson, Tony and Eve Costa, Anthony Clare and Kathryn O’Brien as to the parentage of Gaelhound Heather O’Reily and Roughneen Eve (Dogs).
Ms van Nunspeet and Mr Jacobson asserted that Dogs Victoria had proceeded on a mistake of fact in registering Ornumflow Lord Erikson as the Sire of the Dogs despite sworn evidence from the breeders supporting the registration. The Plaintiffs presented new DNA evidence to the Court which Magistrate Smith accepted as showing that an unregistered dog of unknown parentage, by the name of “Murphy” was the Sire of the Dogs.
Magistrate Smith therefore made the following Orders in respect of the dispute between Loretta van Nunspeet, Graham Jacobson and Dogs Victoria:
The dispute between Dogs Victoria, the Costas, Clare and O’Brien has been adjourned to a time to be fixed by the Court. The nature of the Dog Owners claim is likely to change following today’s Orders of Magistrate Smith.
The matter will return to court at a later date to consider the position of the Costas, Clare and O’Brien.
Saturday, 4 March 2017
In March 2014 Dogs Victoria settled proceedings issued by Graham Jacobson and Loretta van Nunspeet relating to the removal of various dogs from the Main Register. In accordance with the settlement deed, Dogs Victoria conducted two surveys as to whether a Conditional Register should be created for dogs of unknown parentage. Dogs Victoria agreed to create the Conditional Register, and place the dogs in question on the Conditional Register, if the results of the survey were in favour of its creation.
The owners of the dogs then challenged the decision of Dogs Victoria to place them on the Conditional Register. This challenge was upheld by the Management Committee.
Although Dogs Victoria created and gazetted the Conditional Register in May 2015, the establishment of the Conditional Register was rejected by the ANKC Board in October 2015.
Today Magistrate Smith set aside the Jacobson and van Nunspeet settlement on the basis that it was impossible for Dogs Victoria to maintain the Conditional Register without the consent or approval of the ANKC. As a result of this decision, their original complaint regarding the parentage of the dogs, and Dogs Victoria's decisions in relation to the registration of those dogs, has been reinstated before the Court. As the dog owners have also issued proceedings against Dogs Victoria on similar issues, the court has ordered that these proceedings be heard together on 6 June 2016.
Dogs Victoria welcomes the opportunity to have these long running disputes conclusively determined by the Court.
Saturday, 25 February 2017
The final report on the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Restricted Breed legislation has been published. Click on the following link to view this report in full. Dogs_Parliamentary Inquiry _report.pdf
Dogs Victoria's new online membership portal offers members the freedom and flexibility to manage their membership details at any time.