I am 30 years old and have lived in Victoria all of my life. My husband's cousin and his 4 year old daughter were visiting from Ireland last week, and really wanted to go to the bug zoo. My husband and I have a 6 month old so we thought it would be a fun family thing to do.
When we arrived at the bug zoo I was told I could not bring my stroller in, but could leave it in the gift shop area. This was fine with me as I thought it would be fairly safe there. We went in to the bug area, the 4 year old loved it, and the employee giving the tour was very knowledgable. I left the bug area earlier then the others as the baby was getting fussy. I went to sit with the stroller and found my child's toy had been taken off of the stroller by a dog that was running around the shop (I am assuming this was the owner's dog). The dog definitely belonged to the lady behind the counter. There were a couple of dogs that were running around in the gift shop area. I have two large dogs so I am very tolerant of dogs, and the things that they get into. The thing that really bothered me was that when the 4 year old with us came out of the bug area, one of the little dogs growled, and snapped right in her face when she reached to pet it. Of course she then started crying and we left. The woman behind the counter didn't seem to care at all that her dog snapped at a child. She instead told us that the dog "is not good with children" after the fact that it had growled, and snapped at a child. Why would you bring a dog that is not good with kids to a "family friendly place"? Seriously?! I would NEVER go back! I think its only fair to share our experience with others. I would hate for this dog to actually hurt a child.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
4 March 2012
As the owner and manager of the Bug Zoo, I would like to thank the writer of this review for letting us know about her difficult experience with my dog, and for the chance it gives me to think again about how Maggie, Ginger, Josephine and Angelo (my dogs) interact, especially, with younger visitors to the Bug Zoo. Most people who meet them agree that they are adorable small dogs (6 to 20lbs). They are a Havanese Poodle cross, two with "top knots" and Josephine literally smiles at people who approach her with affection! The dogs are generally very comfortable with all of our visitors. They are very well behaved and obedient. I do not let them roam freely, and they are never allowed in the exhibit area. I monitor their whereabouts quite closely when they are in the giftshop. Mostly, they are either in the back office or behind the front desk with me when I am there. I know from many experiences that they add to the friendly welcome our guests receive. So—and I’m afraid I can’t actually recall the incident described—it’s very unlikely I would have said that any of them aren’t good with children, unless in some context that the writer has omitted. Sometimes a very young child will, quite naturally, make a sudden movement or noise that alarms one of the dogs, and I wonder if that’s what happened in this case? The Zoo is often very busy, with many children of all ages, and of course, we must rely on the parent or caregiver to closely supervise the youngest ones, including their interaction with the dogs. I often ask parents of young children if they want me to put the dogs away if a child is showing fear. But when someone asks me if they can pet one of the dogs I try to help ensure that it is a positive experience for everyone. Angelo and Josephine are just puppies so I want any interaction that they have with people to be positive because I don’t want them to learn to be afraid of anyone, quite the opposite. If a toddler wants to have contact with the dogs I often ask the parents to help. I want everyone to love ALL animals. I want my dogs to love all humans. I would never want anyone to have a bad experience with my dogs. So I’ll just finish by saying that I’m sorry that this writer was upset by her experience with one of my dogs, that I too am horrified by the thought of any harm happening, and that I will continue to do my best to make sure that all interactions with my dogs are positive for everyone.
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I’ve posted a couple of pictures to show you the two puppies….Angelo and Josephine.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC