Wanaka's new animal shelter, run by Buffy Paterson (right)
with help from volunteers like Callie Turner (13), will
have 8-week-old puppies Zoe (left) and Louise and other
dogs up for adoption at Wanaka's annual holiday gala today.
Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Animal-loving Wanaka woman Buffy Paterson has big plans
for her fledgling pet rescue programme, which will hold its
first adoption day today at Wanaka's annual holiday gala.
Miss Paterson, who is ''obsessed with animals'', started an
animal shelter about two months ago, with help from
Queenstown and Wanaka foster care volunteers, and has already
rehomed 14 dogs in the lower South Island.
While many of the rescued dogs find permanent homes in
Wanaka, most come from outside the resort, including some
from Dog Rescue Dunedin, which fosters and rehomes dogs from
the Dunedin City Council pound which are destined to be put
Miss Paterson's aim is to establish a nationwide rescue
programme through New Zealand's first self-sustaining animal
shelter based in Wanaka - an ''animal-loving community''.
The proposed facility would be a for-profit no-kill shelter,
supported by income from an associated boarding kennels,
cattery, retail shop and grooming service and modelled on an
animal shelter in Aspen, Colorado, in the United States,
where Miss Paterson comes from.
''The motto is a dog boarded is a shelter dog supported.''
She is looking for premises to establish such a facility,
either in partnership with the Queenstown Lakes District
Council or privately.
The cost of the rescued animals' vet treatment, food and
transportation is being covered by Miss Paterson and public
donations, along with support from local businesses -
particularly Aspiring Veterinary Services and Adventure Car
Rentals, in Wanaka.
Friends of the Wanaka Animal Shelter recently became a
registered charity to apply for grants and funding for the
Miss Paterson's other plans include having youth offenders do
community service at the shelter, running a ''rent-a-pet''
service where visitors to Wanaka could take a shelter dog for
a day, and providing funding for people who cannot afford to
have their animal neutered.
While the charity is known informally as ''DogsWanaka'', no
animal is excluded. Some kittens have been fostered; people
have offered to take in horses and Miss Paterson and her
daughter recently rescued a dove, later claimed by its owner.
The intention was not to ''overwhelm the community with
vicious dogs or anything'', but rather to help ''highly
adoptable pets'' find new homes, Miss Paterson said.
''We're going to have the facilities, through fundraising, to
be able to buy these dogs the time that they need.''
Wanaka Holiday Gala, Wanaka Showgrounds, 11am-2pm today.