Charity saves dogs from death

Dog days . . . Dunedin's dogs are better off, with three organisations looking out for them. SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming, with Ghost who is recovering from a broken leg, says "it is all about SPCA and Dog Rescue and the DCC working together". Photo by Dan Hutchinson

Dog days . . . Dunedin’s dogs are better off, with three organisations looking out for them. executive officer Sophie McSkimming, with Ghost who is recovering from a broken leg, says “it is all about SPCA and and the working together”. Photo by Dan Hutchinson

The number of dogs put down in Dunedin was more than halved last year, largely thanks to the efforts of a new .

The Star requested figures from the about how many dogs have been euthanised over the past five years.

They show the council put down 62 dogs in 2012, compared with 136 in 2011.

Council animal control team leader Ros MacGill said the recently formed charity Dog Rescue Dunedin was now taking almost all the unwanted dogs from the pound.”

Previously we would have asked the SPCA to take the dogs but if they didn’t have room and we didn’t have a home for it then we would have to euthanise the dog.”

She said the council held dogs for seven days to allow time for the owner to collect it and pay the fees before it was offered for adoption. People could still adopt directly from the council.

Dog Rescue Dunedin founder Jo Pollard said the charity had saved 117 dogs so far, only 12 of which were still in foster care.”

We are having a reasonable turnover.”

She said it had been a massive job for herself and co-ordinator Michelle Hagar, who had been doing long hours each week on a voluntary basis to get the charity going.

Their worst moment came over Christmas when they simply did not have enough foster carers available to take four dogs from the pound, which were euthanised.

That was the only time they were unable to take dogs.

Every week, they set up a stall somewhere to raise their profile and hoped donations would come in as well, but they were still operating on a shoestring budget, she said.

Ms Pollard said they were not an established charity organisation so getting donations from the main funding bodies and other people who would normally give to the cause had been difficult.

”Somewhere like the SPCA, you can make a bequest and have faith that it is still going to be there in 10 years when you die.”

Ms Pollard, who used to be involved with SPCA Otago, said she set up the rescue operation after the SPCA stopped taking dogs from the pound in 2011.

She said they had a memorandum of understanding with the council and it seemed to be working well.

”We do try to work closely with the DCC because they do their best. I think we are quite lucky in Dunedin. We have quite a progressive animal control unit.”

 

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Comments

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