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Putting an end to the business of cruelty.

Finding a Good Breeder

There are a number of things you can do to help determine whether you are dealing with a reputable breeder, or purchasing an animal from an illegal or non-compliant breeder.

It has become increasingly common for people in Australia to buy animals online through classified ad sites, especially ‘designer’ breeds which usually attract a high dollar value. If you’re buying an animal online or in-person and the breeder cannot provide this information or cancels the sale when you ask these questions, please report them to us here.

The safest bet at the end of the day is to adopt an animal from a reputable shelter, pound or rescue group. You can view all RSPCA NSW animals looking for good a good adoptive home here.

Ask the right questions

If you’re buying an animal online or in person and the breeder cannot provide this information or cancels the sale when you ask these questions, please report them to us here.

  • Can I meet the animals mum and dad?
  • Can I see the conditions in which it has been raised?
  • Can you provide a complete history of the puppy and its lineage?
  • Will you provide support and information after purchase?
  • Has this puppy received certified veterinary care?
  • How many litters has the mother had?
  • Will you provide a guarantee after purchase?
  • Can you provide references?

Find a breeder that

The below are indications of a responsible breeder.

  • Plans each pregnancy carefully
  • Is genuinely concerned about the welfare of their animals
  • Will provide a complete veterinary history of the animal
  • Provides ongoing communication and support after-sale
  • Can provide references from previous litters sold
  • Asks you lots of questions – it shows they care where their animals are going home with
  • Lists microchip details or an authorised Rehoming Organisation (RON) number on any animal advertisements.

Breeder Red Flags

If you notice any of these red flags, please report it to us here.

  • They don’t provide location information and often make excuses to stop you from visiting and inspecting the conditions. They may also ask to meet you at a public car park or similar to exchange the animal and money.
  • They are giving you a puppy or kitten less than 8 weeks old. This is illegal in NSW and breeders who do not follow these basic laws are likely breaking a lot more.
  • They cannot provide the microchip number or do not have an official Rehoming Organisation Number (RON) listed on their website or advertisement. In NSW it is illegal to rehome, sell or giveaway an animal without a microchip and breeders must list the animals microchip number on all advertisements.  All reputable rehoming organisations will have a unique RON number that must be included in their advertisements (or provide microchip details for the specific animal). In NSW, you can visit Pet Registery NSW to verify a microchip or RON number.
  • They won’t let you meet the animal’s mother. Reputable breeders should allow you to meet the animal’s mum before you commit to buying an animal from them. It’s good to see the condition the animal’s mum is in as this can be an indication of how they are being treated.
  • They don’t ask you many questions about your family or home. Reputable breeders genuinely care about the welfare of the animals they have bred and helped raise and want to ensure they are going to a responsible owner and safe and happy home.
  • They are significantly less expensive or more expensive than other breeders you have spoken with.

You have the power! Unethical breeders continue to operate because there is a demand for their “product,” and people who may not do their due diligence before buying. Use your consumer power to tell them you don’t agree with practices and won’t buy animal from them.

Learn more about the Intensive Breeding Taskforce (IBTF)

Intensive Breeding Taskforce FAQs

Intensive breeding facilities are not illegal to operate and the reality is that many pets were bred in these kinds of places. However, if you are worried that your pet has health issues relating to how they were bred, it’s worth having a conversation with your veterinarian. If you would like to make a report or provide a tip-off about the breeding facility, you can do so here.

While the internet is a great way to research and look for your new best friend, you need to be extremely cautious when buying a pet online. If you aren’t able to meet the breeder or animal in person before purchasing, we would suggest asking to have a video call with the breeder so you can see the animal, the housing conditions and ask any questions.

In NSW, intensive breeding facilities, or puppy factories, are not explicitly illegal. However, the conditions in which we commonly see the animals being kept, bred and sold in these facilities, is illegal. The Animal Welfare Code of Practice – Breeding Dogs and Cats determines what is and is not ‘illegal’ in NSW. The Code sets standards for the care and management of breeding dogs and cats, including standards for housing, environment, security, animal management, food and water, cleaning and disinfection, transport, health and care, transfer of ownership, and breeding. Currently, there are no limitations on the number of animals or the number of litters that can be sold in NSW.

Failure to meet Code standards may result in our inspectors issuing one or more of the following:

  • A Section 24N Written Direction
  • An Infringement Notice (PIN)
  • An Official Caution

In serious cases, failure to meet minimum standards may result in a prosecution under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (1979). In this scenario, animals may be seized, and Court Attendance Notices may be issued.