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Husky Rescue NZ, which is based in Rolleston and has been operating for 11 years, currently has more than 70 dogs in its care. But a lack of visitors and events due to the coronavirus lockdown means it may have to dramatically reduce this number.
That is unless it can find an alternative to the income it was earning from tourism, event and education-based bookings.
As well as re-homing unwanted or abandoned huskies, Husky Rescue NZ provides education for potential owners and some of its dogs are available for public, private, corporate and educational events.
Founder Michelle Attwood said the restrictions on international travel because of Covid-19 is a key issue behind the income reduction.
The organisation has launched an urgent appeal for donations to see it through the crisis until new income sources can be secured.
“It costs us about $32,000 a month, more than $380,000 a year, to run Husky Rescue NZ with these events bringing in just under half of that," Ms Attwood said.
“If we cannot find other income, or bring in enough donations, we will have to reduce the amount of dogs we can take or even shut down, in spite of the continuous and growing need out there."
Ms Attwood said the loss of income will probably mean its plan to use huskies as therapy dogs at hospitals for children with special needs and people with post-traumatic stress disorder will have to be put on hold.