Wheels & Dollbaby designer Melanie Greensmith is on the cutting edge of fashion but she says Perth is sadly behind the times when it comes to looking after its canine population.
Greensmith, who is a patron of the Dogs' Refuge Home of WA and owner of three maltese terriers, made the comments yesterday as construction began on a new boarding facility at the not-for-profit rescue centre.
While she may be better known for her leopard print designs worn by Kate Moss, Dita Von Teese and Deborah Harry, Ms Greensmith dreams that Perth will become more cosmopolitan by welcoming dogs into the social arena.
"They've got to sort this out in Perth, they want people to fly in here, relocate here and we are a real backwater," she said yesterday.
"They've got to start allowing dogs out and about, they are family, dogs provides colour, in cafes for example - they just sit there.
"Everybody has a dog in Paris. They are everywhere and they are allowed everywhere.
"We were in a restaurant and my mum said 'check that out' and it was a chick having a cigarette with her dog on her lap at the restaurant.
"Here it's ridiculous."
Last year, the City of South Perth angered local dog owners after it placed a ban on pets from al fresco areas, while the Fremantle and Bayswater councils allow leashed dogs to accompany their owners to brunch.
Greensmith has now taken to collating evidence and studying dog-friendly communities in order to build a case and present it to her hometown.
"I took all of these photos as evidence while I was in England and France to show Perth how it's done," she said.
"I've been studying the work ethics of Google, and they are now finding that the more relaxed they are with their staff, by letting their dogs come to work with them, they perform better in their job."
And while her clothes may be designed to help "snare a millionaire", Greensmith is now urging "single girls to ditch the men and pick up a pooch".
"For all those cool girls out there, forget the men and get a dog," she said.
Her Wheels & Dollbaby limited edition Minky Tee, which features a watercolour drawing of her dog Fifi L'Amour, nicknamed 'Minky', under the slogan, "A Dollbaby always needs her Pooch", has raised more than $7,500 for the Dogs' Refuge Home.
Refuge president Karen Rhodes agreed that, in comparison to areas of Europe, Perth had a poor pooch mentality.
She said 180,000 dogs were euthanised in Australia each year – nine times as many as the UK, which has three times the population but does not allow the sale of dogs in pet shops.
The Dogs' Refuge Home rescues, rehabilitates and aims to adopt out dogs that have been abandoned, surrendered or abused.
The new kennel facility is due to be completed in the coming months and will offer an alternative quarantine enclosure for the animals.
To learn more about adopting a pet head to http://www.dogshome.org.au/
Follow Jenna Clarke on Twitter @jennamclarke