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Stray dogs impounded by the Far North District Council are going to new homes in greater numbers thanks to an Okaihau animal lover.
The council only rehomed 14 (1%) of the 956 dogs it impounded in the 24 months before it contracted former SPCA kennels manager Sue Dennis to run its southern area dog pound in November 2008.
A further 194 dogs (20%) were returned to their owners, while 748 dogs (78%) were destroyed.
Ms Dennis found homes for 465 (20%) of the 2278 dogs the council impounded during the first 36 months she managed the pound at her rural Okaihau property.
A further 421 dogs (18%) were returned to their owners, while 1392 dogs (61%) were destroyed.
Sue puts her success down to advertising the homeless dogs on Trade Me.
“Most of the dogs go to homes out of the district. Some go as far as the South Island. I sent a wirehaired German pointer to Picton recently.”
She also uses her contacts in the animal welfare movement to find homes for dogs.
“I’m working with Tokoroa Animal Rescue. They take 6-8 dogs at a time.”
Others go to people who adopted dogs from the Bay of Islands SPCA when she managed its kennels for 13 years.
“A lot of people remember me. When their dog passes away, they contact me to see what I’ve got.”
Council field services operations manager Andrew Dowdle says shifting the pound from Kaikohe to Sue’s place in 2008 was a good move.
“The facility at council headquarters had become unsuitable. It was too small and the sound of dogs barking bothered neighbours and council staff.”
The council was delighted to have secured Sue’s services and impressed with the results she had achieved on its behalf.
“Her knowledge of dogs and their nature is second-to-none and she’ll only ever home the right dog to the right home.”
Auckland construction company owner Ben Price is thrilled with the beardie-collie-huntaway cross female he adopted from the pound a month ago after seeing an ad on Trade Me.
Mr Price says he had been looking for a dog for months but had been disappointed with the selection at the SPCA’s Mangere dog pound.
“Most of them come from South Auckland and a lot have been ill-treated or have staffie or pitbull in them.”
He was impressed with the variety of breeds at the council’s pound which receives dogs from all over the district.
He was happy to drive 250km to collect the dog which is now a much-loved member of his family.
“You’re going to have it for at least 12 years, so you want to be able to meet it and see what it’s like. A three-hour drive is well worth it”
Phone Sue Dennis on 401 9359 if you are interested in adopting a dog.