A Kapiti Coast animal shelter is on a mission to keep "cruel, antiquated" collars out of the hands of dog owners.

HUHA (Helping you help animals) has put the pressure on New Zealand retailer Uncle Bill's Bargain Barn, after it was found to be selling plastic K9 prong collars for $7.95 each.

The collars have spikes on the inside which are designed to dig into a dog's neck when jerked as a training device.

The products also offer advice on how to train dogs, suggesting owners should give physical punishments when dogs don't follow commands and not reward good behaviour with treats.

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New Zealand retailer Uncle Bill's Bargain Barn was found to be selling plastic K9 prong collars. Photo / HUHANZ Facebook
New Zealand retailer Uncle Bill's Bargain Barn was found to be selling plastic K9 prong collars. Photo / HUHANZ Facebook

HUHA has called the products cruel, and has asked Uncle Bill's Bargain Barn management to take the collars off its shelves.

The store's management said in an email to HUHA, "although we are not doing anything illegal in selling this item we acknowledge your concerns and make a commitment that we will not buy this item, or similar item in the future, however we are not prepared to remove the current item from sale, we believe our customers have the right to make that choice of purchasing the item at this time".

That means 300 prong collars remain on the shelves across Uncle Bill's seven stores.

HUHA founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie said she had decided to travel to each of the stores and buy every single collar they have.

"Although we really appreciate the fact that they are taking the stand of not bringing more in, we still see those 300 as having the potential to harm 300 dogs.

"We like to do things that are tangible and actually get really good results."

The collars have spikes which are designed to dig into a dog's neck as a training device. Photo / HUHANZ Facebook
The collars have spikes which are designed to dig into a dog's neck as a training device. Photo / HUHANZ Facebook

Press-McKenzie estimated the journey would cost about $2400 in total, but said it is likely to save them money in the long run.

"It would cost us about $2500 every time we get a damaged rescue in because we have to take them through a rehabilitation process."

Press-McKenzie has already started her journey, acquiring 144 collars today, and wants to completely strip the shelves as soon as possible.

The Ministry for Primary Industries said prong collars shouldn't be used on dogs, but there are no regulations outlawing them.

Press-McKenzie said HUHA's next project is to have this recommendation enforced by law.