Today I thought I’d send a shout out to someone I’ve written about in the past.
This person has no doubt been doing it tough for the last few years, and has been away, but this month I believe he is returning.
Chris Blackwood, who ran Passion For Pets at Carum Downs in Victoria with his wife Anessa, is back from a 3 years and 6 month stretch in the slammer.
It appears that unfortunately for the community at large pets weren’t the only thing Chris had a passion for, although some of the issues the store faced with dead animals and diseases would make you wonder if there ever was a passion for anything.
In fact below is a link to complaint filed with Victoria RSPCA that shows the passionate nature of this particular store.
The complaint details allegations of repeated breaches of the law involving the likes of:
- alterations to the date of birth of animals to facilitate a sale before legal age
- drugging puppies drinking water against vets advice to prevent diahorrea
- cases of parvo, including a customer complaint of a puppy dying
- Dumping a puppy in the bin when it died after being thrown against a wall
- Puppies and kittens not being fed appropriately
The puppy mentioned above as being dumped in the bin is pictured below. This poor puppy was literally thrown in its crate so hard it bounced off the back wall and lay limp. The puppy lay suffering all night before being found dead the next morning with blood coming from its ear. This would indicate it suffered internal bleeding from its abuse and died a slow and painful death.
Nobody at the store was disciplined.
The RSPCA claim to have visited the store and at the time they “investigated” found nothing wrong so the matter has been dumped just like the dead puppy. $5 Million taxpayer dollars over and above the RSPCA’s usual funding has been provided by the Victorian govt to investigate puppy farms and they can’t manage a complaint about a pet shop?
Far from delivering results from this $5 Million in funding for a special investigations unit we are instead seeing puppy farmers waiting to be charged years after dogs have been seized and properties raided.
The public wanted results and have thus far only been offered disappointment.
Anyway, Chris Blackwood is a lucky man, he faced up to 80 years, and it is my view that would have deserved every single day of an 80 year sentence. In fact I can’t understand why he got off so lightly, but getting off for Chris is where the problem lies.
So what did Chris do that was so wrong aside from operate a business plagued with problems?
Below is a link to the Court notice and charge details.
Two charges – Sexual penetration of a child under sixteen
Three Charges – Indecent act with or in the presence of child under sixteen
I won’t go into all the details, but much of it is in the Court Notice. However it is clear the acts were premeditated, and alarmingly there were also further acts that did not attract charges.
One of the victims in these cases was just 9 years of age.
The police investigation into Chris’s paedophile acts commenced in January 2012. Yet despite being investigated for predatory and sexual offences against children, Chris and his wife continued to operate a business that by its nature attracted children in to look at the animals.
The business even had celebrity endorsement, with Dr Harry Cooper coming out to promote the store for Chris in September 2012.
Given the substance of these criminal acts and the premeditated and predatory nature of these crimes it must be a creepy thought for all those parents who went to the store with the kids.
I hope the police also seized and checked over any surveillance footage from instore to ascertain whether any of it may have been saved for purposes other than security. This is something that we have seen in the past with Upmarket Pets in Melbourne and the owner Greg Kirby’s questionable use of security footage.
So where to now for Chris?
Well, Chris gets to spend the rest of his life on the sex offenders register, that much is certain. However I’m confident that employment opportunities whilst on that register are limited. Needless to say I don’t think he would be allowed to work back in a pet shop full of kids after school.
Ownership of the store is less certain with the stores ABN leading to a Trust Account.
One positive bit of news for Chris however is that his wife Anessa has stuck by him, and the pair are still a happy couple. Apparently penetrating a 9-year-old’s vagina with his tongue is a forgivable offence in this family.
More good news is that as on Saturday 8th April a phone call confirmed that Anessa is still working at the store. I guess she needs all the extra money she can get with an unemployed paedophile for a hubby.
But there is more good news that should help with the cash flow crisis a line on the sex offenders register probably brings, Anessa is breeding French Bulldogs and allegedly supplying them to pet shops around Australia. I also believe Passion For Pets Carrum Downs just recieved a delivery of French Bulldogs.
Think of what you may be supporting before you buy from a pet store, in fact if you want to be 100% sure the only way is to adopt.