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Source: Auckland Council

Auckland Council Animal Management staff arrived to work at the Manukau Animal Shelter this morning to find a plastic container filled with 20 puppies at the front gate.

The abandoned puppies, from two different litters, are believed to be between four to eight weeks old.

Another nine puppies of around the same age were found in Clendon Park in Manurewa yesterday, bring the total of abandoned puppies in Auckland to 29 in 24 hours.

The discovery comes at a time when the council’s Animal Management staff are already under huge pressure, due to a significant increase in Auckland’s dog population following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officers have responded to more than 33,000 complaints and cared for 6,600 impounded dogs in the last financial year – up 32 per cent from the previous year.

James Hassell, Auckland Council’s General Manager of Licensing & Regulatory Compliance, urges owners who are struggling to look after their dog to take proactive measures before the problem gets worse.

“Get your dog desexed – that’s the only way we are going to get on top of this problem of having too many dogs in our region. This is the worst 24-hours we’ve ever had [for abandoned puppies].”

“Any behaviour involving animal abandonment is heart-breaking and it places a huge toll on our Animal Management team, who are already working to capacity. Incidents like this are the last thing anyone wants to find when they turn up for work in the morning.”

“We’re all relieved that at least they’ll be looked after during the most difficult weekend of the year for many dogs – over Guy Fawkes.”

Today’s sad discovery provides several important reminders to all pet owners:

  • De-sex your dog. Auckland Council is currently offering free de-sexing for registered dogs, classified as menacing in the following suburbs:
  • Manurewa, Ōtara, Papakura, Māngere, Māngere East, Papatoetoe, Pukekohe, Henderson, Massey, Mount Wellington, and Ōtāhuhu. Email 
  • Keep your dog contained until de-sexed.
  • If you are struggling to manage your dog, talk to your vet, an animal management officer or an animal behaviour specialist.
  • If you find a roaming dog, abandoned puppies or a dog acting aggressively, retreat to a safe place and contact our Auckland Council call centre on 09 301 0101 to report this.