Dog foster mother Aimee Ward (40) with blind cattle dog
Jemma in Dunedin yesterday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Community generosity has been revealed in the response to
the plight of an unwanted blind dog, but all has not gone to
Dog Rescue Dunedin co-ordinator Dr Jo Pollard said 9-year-old
Australian cattle dog Jemma was to be put down at the
Westwood pound but was put in the foster care of Aimee Ward
on June 17.
To better Jemma's chance of getting a ''forever home'', she
needed $2600 of cataract surgery in Christchurch.
The Outram-based charitable trust fundraised online and the
money was raised quickly with 69 donations, she said.
However, on Jemma's arrival in Christchurch on Monday, the
surgeon discovered the procedure was not suitable for Jemma's
The dog would remain blind and as Ms Ward was leaving New
Zealand in November on an extended holiday, the search for a
home had intensified, Dr Pollard said.
''We were trying to get her all better in time for adoption
before Aimee leaves New Zealand. If she's not adopted by
then, she will have to go into another foster home.
''Every time she changes her home, it will be a major
challenge for her because she has to learn where things are
... but she is a great dog and not at all sorry for
The level of support from the community revealed it was worth
persevering with Jemma, as she had many years ahead of her.
Ms Ward, of St Clair, said Jemma had limited vision in her
right eye, but she walked into tables, door frames and bushes
The dog had learnt ''the lie of the land'' and was
comfortable navigating the home and neighbourhood.
Dr Pollard said she would contact the people who had donated
to Jemma and if they did not want their money back, it could
be used for a diagnostic tool for dogs with vision problems,
preventing similar trips to Christchurch.
Another option could be to use the funds to help ease Jemma
into an adoptive home.
Dog Rescue Dunedin was at capacity last week, with 30 dogs in
foster care. Consequently, two pound dogs were put down, she
- Dog Rescue Dunedin would host a fundraising movie preview
at Rialto Cinemas on September 15. A similar fundraiser last
year raised over $3000.