Buffy Paterson (right) at her Wanaka animal shelter with
volunteer Callie Turner (13) and puppies Zoe (left) and
Louise. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
After rehoming more than 20 dogs and 10 cats since
establishing a Wanaka-based pet rescue programme late last
year, Dogs Wanaka founder Buffy Paterson has packed up and
moved to Hastings where she hopes setting up a dedicated animal
haven will prove an easier process.
Miss Paterson's dream of establishing a not-for-profit,
no-kill shelter in Wanaka, funded by an associated boarding
kennels and cattery, has stalled, after the consent
requirements for the project became too daunting.
The rehomed pets - predominantly dogs - came from throughout
the lower South Island, including some which were destined to
be put down if new homes were not found. Most were fostered
at her own rental home in Wanaka, with some help from a small
pool of volunteers in the Queenstown Lakes district.
Miss Paterson said she had several approaches from land
owners regarding a site on which to build her proposed pet
rescue premises, but council planners had indicated the
consent process could be long and costly.
''[Dogs Wanaka] takes all of my time and I'm doing it all on
my own, basically, so I really need to be able to get it
moving sooner than what I can down here.
''I can't just sit ... and drown myself financially, waiting.
I need to make something happen.''
A recent trip to the Hawkes Bay with her teenage daughter
prompted the pair's decision to relocate north. Miss Paterson
had a good support network of friends in the Hastings area,
an important attraction for a single mother, she said.
She also expected to encounter less red tape there.
However, the move would not spell the end for Dogs Wanaka,
''I can't just let it die after all this ... we definitely
want to keep this going . . . '' She would continue to manage
the Dogs Wanaka foster programme from her new base, and if
she could establish a self-sustaining rescue facility in the
Hawkes Bay, she would then be in a better position to return
and do the same in Wanaka, she said.
While Miss Paterson left Wanaka this week, Dogs Wanaka will
have a stand at the Upper Clutha A and P Show on March 7 and
8 where people can sign up as foster care email@example.com