A 60 Minutes investigation in 2010 uncovered that dogs being produced were often not purebreds as people expected, but cross-bred so called ‘designer’ dogs such as ‘labradoodles' (a labrador crossed with a poodle), or ‘spoodles' (a spaniel crossed with a poodle).
Footage showed dogs living in mud and filth, without bedding, as well as sick puppies in need of urgent veterinary attention. One dog was dragging around a tyre attached to his collar by a chain (to prevent escape), and another had a cruel anti-barking device attached to her neck (which emits an electric shock when the dog barks).
The 60 Minutes programme linked at least one farm in Gisborne to supplying young dogs to Animates, the largest pet store chain in the country.
With dogs being retailed for around $1,500 each, it’s an industry driven by profit at the expense of the dogs.