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SPCA Otago animal attendant Rachel Foerg said Ted was given to the Dunedin shelter by a person who told staff he had became surplus to a breeder's requirements.
Ted could be from a ''puppy mill'' - a large-scale breeder where care was below standard.
''They have cages and cages and cages of breeding dogs.''
Ted had not been looked after and had bad hips that needed medical attention.
SPCA Otago business development manager Kirsty Thomson said there had been social media reports of ''puppy mills'' in South Otago.
But as there had not been any ''legitimate complaints'' the shelter had not investigated.