Contributor: Emma Dunkley

I am a mother of two kids aged 5 and 8. I formerly worked in corporate marketing roles in Sydney and Brisbane for over 20 years, but moved to WA in 2009 to take over my husband’s family farm in South West WA. It is perfect in its location, between two large towns, and a five-minute drive from the most beautiful beach. The farm is situated on the Capel River, and is surrounded by Tuart Forrest. We are very lucky to live with such amazing place.


I have three cats (does that make me a crazy cat lady?), no farm dog yet – but I am actively looking for one now. Having recently fallen in love with schnauzers, they are the front runner in a long list of dog breeds I love.…. Sure, the schnauzer is not your typical farm dog, but I am not a typical farmer. Schnauzers have a lovely personality, and they feel like a great fit for my young family. We have 800 pregnant ewes at the moment, which will lead to an explosion of cuteness in June, and of course no farm is complete without the obligatory chook pen full of egg-laying hens (handy during these Covid times), and we can add a dozen magpies to our menagerie who fly in to entertain us daily.

Fetched Magazine Writer Emma Dunkley.jpg

I am the Co-Founder of an online platform called My Little Mate. My business partner Karin and I started this business with the idea of bringing legitimate pet breeders and rescue organisations together in one place.

Back in March 2019, we were discussing how difficult it was to find a pet from legitimate pet sellers, or rather how easy it was to be scammed. This problem still exists today.

At the time we thought, surely technology could be used to ensure pet sellers are who are they say they are, and that they have healthy pets to sell. Surely, a third party could take the onus from the pet buyer to do all the checks and balances to create a marketplace where everyone is legit?!

So that is what we did.

Karin and I created an app and a website that lists pets for sale from validated pet sellers. We talk to them all, so we know they vaccinate and microchip. They have a breeding program and a long relationship with their vet. They socialise their pets at home and are discerning about who they sell their fur babies to. In our opinion, this is what defines a good breeder.

We believe that if we can make it easier for the pet buying public to find great pet sellers, then positive change starts to snowball. Pet scamming and puppy farming is reduced. Surrendered animals decrease because pet matching gets better. Best fit adoption rise, reducing the numbers in shelters. More genetically healthier pets are available for sale. #winning.

My Little Mate aims to

  • Make it easier for people to connect to reputable pet sellers

  • Make the pet transaction financially secure via our eCommerce platform

  • Make the pet matching process easier

  • Make shopping local easier


What’s not to love about that?

Our view on ‘adopt don’t shop’

As responsible pet owners, we recognise there is an overpopulation of rescue animals in Australia and the message to ‘adopt not shop’ is incredibly important. We support this message. We support no kill refuges for rescues.

We also know that rescue/adoption animals are not suited to every home.

Reality is, there will always be demand for pure-bred and cross-bred animals, and we know there will always be pet breeders breeding them. We need to ensure the public only supports those pet breeders who are breeding the healthiest little mates they can.

I want to write articles that inform the general public what to look out for when looking to purchase a pet. Give you the heads up on any ‘new scams’ that might be around. We work closely with Sandy Trujilio from Puppy Scam Awareness Australia, teaming up to try and shut the dodgy breeders down and save good people from losing their money.


It’s a big job, but we’re on it!

Follow Emma & My Little Mate on Social Media


My Little Mate Website

My Little Mate Email

Phone My Little Mate -  1800 258 007

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