Outrage over 'dodgy' act with puppies witnessed on busy Aussie street

The woman was reported to the RSPCA who arrived shortly after. However, she'd already left the scene with the animals.

A man picks up a puppy while the woman leans down to pick one out of the basket (left) and multiple puppies in the basket (right).
A woman was selling puppies out of a basket in Cabramatta, Sydney last week. Source: TikTok

Footage of a woman seemingly selling puppies from a basket along a busy street has shone a spotlight on a "dodgy" practice taking hold across the country, while thousands of dogs are stuck in rehoming centres waiting to be adopted

Allen Nguyen, 26, spotted the shocking scene while walking down a busy shopping strip on John Street in Cabramatta, Sydney last Saturday and took his phone out to capture it.

"I was going to get lunch at Cabramatta and I saw the lady at the side of the street, there were about five people around her looking at the dogs... some were just curious but there were definitely some people that were looking at buying one," he told Yahoo News.

He believes the dogs were being sold for $500 each and that at least four were available for purchase. Although he didn't get confirmation from the woman, Nguyen was under the impression she was unlicensed and he called her behaviour "unethical".

"It's not quite normal for people to be selling dogs on a street, it was a funny situation, [but] there's lots of ethical concerns around it," he said. "There's actually pets up for adoption that have no homes and then people who are unlicensed are breeding puppies and selling them on the street."

The RSPCA confirmed to Yahoo News it was aware of the incident and workers were sent out to speak to the woman, but she had disappeared with the puppies by the time they got there. It's unknown if any of the dogs were purchased and if she was licensed or not.

Unlicensed breeders, or backyard breeders as they are sometimes referred to, exasperate overpopulation as they often breed animals irrespective of whether there is a demand or not. Across the country rehoming centres are currently full of dogs, as well as other pets, after demand dropped drastically after the pandemic.

There are several factors contributing to the drop in demand. The high cost of living meaning many can't afford to care for dogs, as well as a competitive rental market resulting in owners having to surrender their dog in order to secure a home.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and YouTube.