'World's cutest sheep' supporting recovering addicts

A breed of sheep described as more like dogs than sheep is doing its bit to support recovering addicts by helping raise funds for a retreat in Northland.

The Valais Blacknose is described as "the world's cutest sheep" and is now being bred in New Zealand.

Calendars featuring photos of the adorable sheep are being sold to raise funds for a healing and recovery centre for addicts in Northland.

The Wild Side Trust wants to purchase a property in Arapohue, to establish the centre in response to drug and alcohol addictions in the region.

Valais Blacknose breeder Sally Strathdee said the calendars were a way of supporting the work of the trust in helping people break free from addictions and lead fulfilling lives. 

"We love what they're doing," said Strathdee 

So far just over 100 calendars have been sold, across New Zealand and the world, including the USA, Europe, Australia and Canada and a second run had been printed.

Sally and Lindsay Strathdee first fell in love with the Valais Blacknose breed five years ago, after making the change from Christchurch to Motueka.

After spotting the breed on the internet, they were immediately smitten with their black faces, ears and feet, shaggy fringes and white fluffy fleece.

They joined forces with friend and business partner Christine Reed from the Wairarapa and imported the valuable animals as embryos from top prize-winning flocks in Scotland and the UK.  

All money raised from the calendars would go towards Wild Side Trust charity and the fundraising effort for the Northland retreat.

The Valais Blacknose 2020 calendars are  $25 plus postage and packaging.