Backyard breeding is rife in New Zealand, and while it’s a big moneymaker for some, it’s the animals who pay the real price. Investigations have uncovered squalid backyard operations with multiple dogs living in shocking conditions.
Log on to Trade Me, type in ‘puppies,’ and you’re a few clicks away from being able to purchase a dog. Any dog. From miniature toy breeds to St Bernards. Puppies range in price from $100 to $4,000, and there are few regulations with which breeders need to comply. Some sellers have multiple litters of a range of different breeds listed, clearly indicating that they are a big operation.
Mother dogs used for breeding are often subjected to multiple, consecutive pregnancies until they are ‘spent’ meaning their bodies are exhausted and drained. Puppies are sold without being de-sexed, to anyone who can pay, sometimes with no checks into the potential new owner’s home or history.