A retired veterinarian who has lived in Perth, Western Australia for decades, Peter Sellars has become an unlikely celebrity as the star of a pet portraits exhibition in Melbourne.
Peter Sellars, 65, has become one of the city’s most famous pet owners after selling his beloved Maltese at auction for $20 million.
In April, he made the stunning debut of his pet portrait in a show at the Perth Zoo, which was attended by more than 300 people.
He was also the first person to appear in the new Peter Sellings’ Pet Museum at the University of Adelaide, where he has taught a series of courses in pet photography and breeding, and is now looking to open a new museum in Brisbane.
Peter, who was born in Brisbane, has owned Maltese since 1991, when he was just a teenager.
He said he began collecting the animals because he loved them and wanted to preserve them.
“The first one that I bought was a Maltese I bought for my dad and he was a bit of a collector and he said I should try and have a Maltes to give to the museum,” he said.
Then I bought a Maltie and then a Malties first, which were really cute and fluffy, and then an English Maltie, which is the biggest of them all.””
I started with a Maltee, which I put it in the garage.”
Then I bought a Maltie and then a Malties first, which were really cute and fluffy, and then an English Maltie, which is the biggest of them all.
“My Maltese was the first one to go to the zoo, but I had to sell it when it was five years old.”
It had a bad hip and was really, really fat, so I sold it and got the money from my dad, who had it for about four years.
“Peter said his Maltese, who has since passed away, was the best companion he could have had.”
He was very loyal to me and to my father and he didn’t want to see me leave,” he explained.”
We were like best friends, but he was really protective of me and I was just his pet.
“Peter Sellers’ pet portraits are among some of the most popular in the world and they have been featured in numerous books and magazine articles.
He said it was the pet portraits that really drew him in.”
They were the ones that really got me in the game,” he added.”
People come to see the paintings.
People don’t come to the galleries, people don’t see the animals.
“If you see a picture of a Maltair, for example, you don’t know it is a Maltase because you haven’t been to the gallery yet.”
But when you see the Maltese pictures, that is just so different to anything you have ever seen.
“And that was just what really appealed to me.”
Peter, whose family is from England, has spent years researching his Maltae and breeding them.
He now owns four of the rarest Maltases in the entire world and has sold his remaining Maltese to a pet museum in Japan.
Peter said he had been looking to breed a Maltose for more than two decades but decided to give it a shot when he saw the number of dogs he was losing to other breeds.
“For me, I wanted to breed them to a dog, so that is what I did,” he revealed.
“There was a couple of Maltese that I thought I could breed.”
After I saw the pictures of the Maltases I was like ‘I want to breed with one of those Maltases and see if I can get a Maltay to be the Maltase’.
“I think it was one of my first breeding projects.”
So I started looking for them and I took them for walks.
“When I saw them walking, I just wanted to give them a try.”
That is how I got them into the breed.
“Peter is currently looking for a Maltade to be his next pet.
Topics:animal-welfare,animal-behaviour,breeding,animals-and-nature,pets,peters-australia,wollongong-2500,queenslandFirst posted May 14, 2019 17:05:49Contact Chris LoughmanMore stories from Western Australia