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

Man arrested after fatal stabbing in Upper Hutt

A man has been arrested following a man's death in Upper Hutt this afternoon after being stabbed.

Police have launched a homicide investigation.

Emergency services were called a scene on Golders Road in Upper Hutt shortly after 4:30pm and despite their best efforts to revive the victim, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police arrested a male nearby the scene of the assault and are currently speaking with him.

"There is not thought to be any risk to the public at this time, however the Police investigation into what happened continues," Detective Senior Sergeant Martin said.

Police car Source: 1 NEWS


The Hastings' Four Square that sold four winning first division Lotto tickets

Hastings was the lucky home to four winning first division Lotto tickets last night.

Flaxmere's Scott Drive Four Square was the winning shop and TVNZ1's Seven Sharp meet with the owner.

"We have five first division winners in Flaxmere, and we have got four of them," owner Becky Gee said.

"Usually one shop gets one but one shop got four, unbelievable."

Last night there were 40 first division winners, who each get $25,000.

Ms Gee says she doesn’t know who the winners were yet, but says hopefully she’ll find out soon.

"Hopefully it’ll go to people who need it, to pay a lot of bills."

Lotto confirmed that one person purchased four of the winning tickets, which means they take home $100,000.

It turns out Scott Drive Four Square is where to buy a winning ticket. Source: Seven Sharp


Watch: Three re-entry options for Pike River Mine explained in 3D graphic

Mining experts are gathered in Greymouth to look at the risks involved in the three re-entry options for the Pike River Mine, and 1 NEWS has explained the options using a 3D graphic.

The bodies of 29 men remain in the West Coast mine following an explosion on November 19  2010. Re-entry would allow experts to search for the bodies and gather evidence about the disaster.

The graphic shows the lie of the land above the mine and two distinct areas of the mine underground.

The mine drift, or access tunnel, starts from the entrance to the mine and runs 2.29 kilometres to what's known as the workings.

The workings are where the coal was being extracted and were the last locations of the 29 miners. The workings area contains a network of more than four kilometres of tunnels.

The first re-entry option is going in through the current entrance as it is now, with no secondary exit.

The second is the same but with a large bore hole made to provide a means of escape.

The other option is to create a new two-metre by two-metre tunnel about 200 metres long from up on a hill, to connect with another area for ventilation and a second exit.

Safety is the biggest priority and the findings will be reviewed over the next month.

After an explosion at the West Coast mine on 19 November 2010, the bodies of 29 men remain in the mine. Source: 1 NEWS

Baby squirrels in the US freed from tail tangle

Baby squirrels in the US state of Wisconsin have been freed after their tails became dangerously tangled together.

They were handed in at the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre which worked to save the lives of the five young grey squirrels.

They became entangled with grass and plastic strips their mother used to build a nest.

The squirrels were cut free with scissors while under anaesthetic.

"You can imagine how wiggly and unruly this frightened, distressed ball of squirrely energy was, so our first step was to anaesthetise all five of them at the same time," the centre told the BBC.

Then they began unravelling the "Gordon Knot".

"It was impossible to tell whose tail was whose, and we were increasingly concerned because all of them had suffered from varying degrees of tissue damage to their tails caused by circulatory impairment.

"The creatures will soon be free to resume a tangle-free life in the wild," the centre said.

Baby squirrels in Wisconsin have been freed after their tails became dangerously tangled together. Source: