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 Close puppy factories campaign timeline

We thank the community for their ongoing support which has enabled us to effectively lobby Government and increase community awareness which has resulted in legislation improvements and reduced sales of puppies in pet stores.

There is still more to do to reach our goal of ‘Closing Puppy Factories’. We will continue to campaign for change until this cruel practice is abolished in Victoria.

Our journey over the past decade


  • 29 November, the Victorian Labor Party secured leadership. They have pledged to provide RSPCA inspectors with additional powers to tackle puppy factories; reinstate mandatory breeding vet checks; provide RSPCA Victoria additional funds and powers to tackle puppy factories; only allow a maximum of 10 breeding dogs per business and pet shops will only allowed to sell dogs linked to registered animal shelters.
  • By October, the Victorian Liberal Party reinstated some key elements of April 2014 Code in October 2014 by implementing finite 5-litter limit for breeding dogs; compulsory post-birthing checks; and extended powers and funds to tackle puppy factories.
  • The State Government does a major backflip on animal welfare, allowing female dogs to be bred for their entire lifetime pending veterinary approval, and compulsory pre-mating and post-birthing veterinary checks of female breeding dogs are now non-compulsory.
  • In March 2014, RSPCA Inspectors undergo government training on what is believed to be the final version of the revised Breeding and Rearing Code. 


  • More than 20,000 stakeholders respond to the government’s public consultations on the Breeding and Rearing Code. This results in positive changes including a limit on the number of litters for breeding dogs, mandatory vet checks, banning of wire floor cages, prescribed exercise and socialisation requirements, and euthanasia by a veterinarian or in an emergency under veterinary direction using a humane method.
  • Our Take a Moment and Paws campaign launches and mitigates online puppy sales and impulse buying during the Christmas period.
  • RSPCA rescues over 100 vulnerable dogs from an intensive breeding facility.
  • The Smart Puppy and Dog Buyer’s website launches.


  • Pets Paradise goes into receivership. Close Puppy Factory campaigning has helped to change community behaviours.
  • Our Prove It Pet Shop Challenge engages 2,500 Victorians to ask pet shops to prove where their puppies have come from.
  • RSPCA Victoria attends Oscars Law’s third major Puppy Factory Awareness Rally, attracting 3000 people.
  • RSPCA Victoria rescues 62 dogs from an intensive breeding facility in rural Victoria.


  • Throughout 2011 - 2013, we submitted several rounds of recommendations to the Victorian Government which provided advice and improvements regarding proposed changes to the Breeding and Rearing Code.
  • Oscars Law launches Puppy Factory Awareness Rally with hundreds of RSPCA Victoria’s supporters attending at Parliament House. Derryn Hinch joins as an ambassador.
  • The Rescued Maggie campaign engages and educates children about RSPCA’s Five Freedoms.
  • Amendments made to the DAA increasing penalties for breeding business that operate unregistered (max. over $23,000 today) and for breeding businesses that are non-compliant with the code of practice (max. over $35,000 today).
  • Amendments to DAA giving powers to Councils to seize and dispose of animals from unregistered breeding businesses.
  • Addition of power for courts to impose banning orders for business owners found guilty of operating an unregistered or non-code compliant breeding business
  • RSPCA Inspectors become authorised under the DAA to inspect dog breeding businesses and to prosecute for non-compliance with the code of practice.
  • RSPCA Inspectors were awarded new powers to enforce the Code of Practice.


Community awareness on dog breeding issues reaches an all-time high with the launch of RSPCA’s Close Puppy Factories campaign, website and Smart Buyer’s Guide.
  • More than 100,000 Australians pledge not to purchase from a puppy factory.
  • In July 2010 a puppy factory seminar held, which was instrumental in bringing together relevant stakeholders to help bring about stronger regulation of, and hopefully a ban on, puppy factories.
  • 145 vulnerable dogs are rescued from an intensive breeding facility.
  • Santa’s Little Helper campaign launches and targets 200,000 homes to avoid buying from puppy factories.
  • Our Where Do I Come From online campaign launches targeting websites selling puppy factory animals. Buyers were educated at the point of sale.


The State Government’s pre-election campaign promises to improve animal welfare: empower RSPCA Inspectors to have the same powers as Local Government to enforce breeding legislation; change the definition of a domestic animal breeder from ten breeding females to three, and a commitment to stamp out puppy factories.


RSPCA Victoria continues to inform the community about the perils of puppy factories.


Under the previous Labor government, significant amendments were made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (POCTAA) 1986 including:
  • Tougher penalties for animal cruelty (max. over $35,000 fine today / 1 year imprisonment) and for aggravated cruelty (max. over $71,000 fine today / 2 years imprisonment).
  • Banning order provisions increased from 3 years to 10 years.
  • Greater powers for Inspectors to seize animals from offenders and retain animals in care pending a court outcome, with the ability to ask for forfeiture of the seized animals to the RSPCA. Prior to this, Inspectors were required to return the animals to the owner once vet treatment was complete even where cruelty charges were filed.
  • Greater investigation powers to search for and seize evidence.
RSPCA Victoria makes submissions to the Government on the Code of Practice for the Private Keeping of Dogs.


The Labor Government increases funding for our Inspectorate from $300,000 annually to $1 million per annum for the next four years.


RSPCA Victoria urges the government to expand Inspectorate powers to include the seizure of animals.


  • The government enforces stricter sales of companion animals to registered businesses.
  • Children under 16 years are prohibited from purchasing a companion animal.

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