Backyard breeders, cute Instagram pics worsening problem of unwanted huskies, say rescuers

Husky rescuers say the emergence of backyard breeders and social media has made the problem of unwanted huskies worse.

Husky Rescue New Zealand says this is the worst season yet for them.

Michelle Atwood of Husky Rescue says it's the time of year when people are busy and they're away. 

"If they're already finding it difficult, this time of year is just that extra the kick they need. We even had dogs surrendered on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day," she said.

Ms Atwood says some people supplying huskies don't care about giving the new owner the right information. 

"They're quite happy to look at cute Insta (Instagram) photos, but they're not being told the realities of this breed's ownership requirements."

It means huskies taken in by Husky Rescue are having to wait as long as a year before being adopted.

We've got the highest number ever in our care at the moment at 460 - Barry Helm of Canterbury SPCA

"It's harder and harder and harder to find the right homes for these guys," Ms Atwood said.

Animal shelters around the country have been inundated with pets being rescued or put up for adoption.

The Canterbury SPCA has a record number of animals in its care and it's calling on volunteers to help with the overflow.

"This is a peak season for us and we've got the highest number ever in our care at the moment at 460," said  Barry Helm of the Canterbury SPCA.

"Kittens especially. We do have a lot of rabbits which is great to see going out our doors, because we seem to have an unusually large number in Canterbury," Mr Helm said.

But not all the animals at the shelter have had an easy start to life.

"If they're abandoned or without a mum, we do get a large number of those through our doors, so we have to take them in and care for them. We can't leave them in the community unattended. So that drives a lot of our animal numbers," Mr Helm said.

New Zealand has some of the highest pet ownership in the world, second only to the US. But with thousands of animals going through the SPCA every year, there're always more looking for a home.

There are also always people looking for a pet at the SPCA shelter.

In Canterbury the SPCA has reached overflow point. Source: 1 NEWS