Well, it was a good attempt for Bunnings, alas the home improvement chain’s fresh dog-friendly policy has taken a turn for the worse.
Just days after the store allowed customers to wander the shop floor with their canine companions, five-year-old Madeline Hungerford was bitten by one of these very dogs.
The youngin had been walking through her local Melton Bunnings on Sunday, and tried to pat a dog that no one else was patting (first warning sign).
But before Hungerford could get within patting range, the dog allegedly bit her on the leg.
“It’s broken the skin just below her knee,” the girl’s mother told 3AW yesterday.
“She’s got two bite marks that broke the skin, a couple of bite marks around the side and bruising and swelling.”
“We just don’t think dogs should be there,” she added. “Bunnings on a Sunday is really busy … It’s just not a good environment for a dog.”
In a cruel twist of fate, and perhaps a sign from the universe never to buy a dog, little Hungerford had just gotten over her fear of dogs when the rascal – allegedly a raucous Jack Russell terrier – bit her.
“Madeline, like any child, went through a phase where she was petrified by dogs and she’s actually just gotten over that,” Ms Hungerford said.
“We just hope this doesn’t put her back to where she used to be, and scar her for life.”
Kudos to Bunnings, who responded by paying for the girl’s medical bills, however the Hungerfords still believe the policy needs to be scrapped.
Bunnings operations director Michael Schneider said that while customers weren’t being encouraged to bring pets inside, “as long as pets are under appropriate control, are not aggressive and do not compromise the safety of our team or customers they are welcome”.
“Our team members have full discretion to deny any pet entry to the store,” he said, adding that assistance animals “have always been and will always be allowed entry into our stores”.
Bunnings managing director John Gillam said that dogs had always been allowed in-store in a “low key” way, and the decision to change the policy was “common sense”.
“We will continue to evolve our policy so that it meets community expectations,” Gillam said.
And while we hate cats, the idea of bringing all four-legged friends into Bunnings is something we support, given our pet iguana likes the odd social outing.
— Studio 10 (@Studio10au) November 9, 2015
Alternatively, maybe leave the kids at home?
I went to Bunnings today and saw no dogs AND I stepped on a child
— hot choclety milk (@aimeeclarke) November 7, 2015