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
The number of dogs being put down in Dunedin was more
than halved last year, largely thanks to the efforts of a new
The Star requested figures from the Dunedin City Council
about how many dogs have been euthanised over the past five
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
Dog Rescue Dunedin founder Jo Pollard said the charity had
saved 117 dogs so far, only 12 of which were still in foster
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
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.''