Justin Bieber has, once again, purchased another pet animal, stirring debate among animal rights activists; not for the reason that many might initially imagine, however.
After returning home to Canada for the Christmas holidays, the 19-year-old singer was seen stopping off at a pet store – Ruffin’s Pet Centre in Stratford, Ontario. It is reported that Bieber paid for a white and brown, American bulldog puppy, aged just seven weeks old.
Speaking to E! News, workers at Ruffin’s Pet Centre explained that Bieber and his family regularly frequent the store and have made previous transactions. The pet store owner described the encounter, indicating that Bieber entered the premises with a bodyguard and a group of friends, just before closing time. After, seemingly, window shopping for a short while, Bieber spotted the puppy, “held it and liked it.”
Bieber’s father – now separated from Justin’s mother, Pattie Mallette – took to Twitter to confirm the news, explaining that one “lucky” Justin Bieber fan would be provided with the opportunity to name the nascent pooch, before urging the community to follow them on Twitter.
The dog, who has now been named Petey, was sold for a whopping $600. In addition to Petey, the Heartbreaker singer picked up a collar, some dog food and a collection of toys.
The Canadian musician has already had a turbulent history with pets. Bieber acquired a capuchin monkey, called Mally, that was confiscated by customs officials in Germany, earlier this year. The monkey has now been granted permanent residence in a wildlife park with members of his own species. Although Mally was the most recent and widely reported of all the singer’s animal-related shenanigans, there have been at least a handful of other occasions.
Bieber created quite the media stir after having arrived at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony, in 2012, with an albino boa constrictor adorning his neck; the pet snake was later auctioned off. The same fate was to befall Bieber’s former pet hamster, whom the Baby star gave away to a young girl during a chance encounter through a chain-link fence.
Of course, controversy wasn’t far away. Shortly after the news of Justin’s canine acquisition, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) activists slammed the star for electing to buy young Petey from a pet store, as opposed to performing an adoption through a rescue shelter. Animal lovers have condemned the music sensation’s actions, accusing him of failing to set a good example.
PETA’s Senior Vice President of Cruelty Investigations, Daphna Nachminovitch, had some fairly choice words to say on the subject when speaking to WENN:
“Whether or not reports are true that Justin Bieber purchased a puppy from a pet store for $600, Peta wants to remind everyone that when you buy a dog or cat from a pet store or breeder, you sentence an animal in a shelter to death… Six to eight million homeless animals enter shelters every year, and half of them must be euthanised for lack of a good home, so there is no excuse for buying an animal, no matter who you are.”
Bieber has recently taken a break over the festive season to enjoy some time with his family, after allegedly announcing his retirement on Dec. 24, 2013. Earlier in the week, he tweeted that he was blessed to be spending time with his family, before wishing the world a “blessed Christmas.”
The legitimacy of Bieber’s supposed retirement, which came just a day before the release of Justin Bieber’s Believe biopic, has been called into question. Just a few tweets after announcing his retirement, he uploaded the following post:
“Be kind loving to each other, forgive each other as god forgave us through Christ Merry Christmas. IM HERE FOREVER.”
Earlier on in December, Bieber had also uttered similar intentions of retirement when speaking to Power 106 FM in Los Angeles. The news was immediately dismissed by his manager, Scooter Braun, who claimed the star was merely due to take a break in 2014.
By James Fenner