A new leash on life for four-legged friends in Māngere
16 December 2022
Pets can help to make a house a home. They are great companions and an important part of some whanau, which is why Kāinga Ora is a pet-friendly landlord.
Of course, pet ownership isn’t all cuddles, pats and long walks in the park, it’s a real commitment. There can also be significant costs involved, which for some become a barrier to getting important procedures like immunisations and dog registrations.
Kāinga Ora Housing Support and Wellbeing Manager, Suzy Mitchell, says her team first identified this was a growing issue for customers in Māngere, and they had a practical solution in mind to help.
“I contacted Chained Dog Rehabilitation with the team’s idea to bring all the right people to the community, on one day and under one roof to provide on-the-spot procedures like microchipping and immunisations,” said Suzy.
Amanda Fraser-Jones, trustee of registered charity Chained Dog Rehabilitation, jumped at the chance to partner with Kāinga Ora to deliver what is now known to be the country’s first ‘fix your friends’ event.
“Around the country, requests to rehome dogs have increased by more than 150 percent over the last six months alone,” said Amanda. “The reasons are vast but, more often than not, it comes down to money – with dog owners simply unable to afford de-sexing or registration costs.
“Rescuing and rehoming dogs can sometimes feel like being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. Partnering with Kāinga Ora for this event was an opportunity to provide practical and proactive support to their customers who want to be responsible dog owners, but for whom the barriers are just too big,” said Amanda.
A few short weeks later – following hours of work, letter drops, conversations with customers and coordination with key partners including Auckland Council’s animal management team – the first ‘fix your friends’ event came to life.
“The event was a real success.” Suzy said. “In just a few hours, we were able to microchip, vaccinate and register over 65 dogs and give 15 puppies life-saving immunisations - right there on the spot!”
Not only did the ‘fix your friends’ event provide the one-stop-shop for family dogs to receive important treatments, it was provided at no cost to Kāinga Ora customers thanks to the team at Chained Dog Rehabilitation, who generously funded over $16,000 worth of procedures and processes on the day.
“We could tell from the looks on our customers’ faces the difference this support made, helping make life a little easier heading into the holiday season,” Suzy said.
Auckland Council’s Team Leader of Animal Management Carly said they were more than happy to get behind the event, which will ultimately reduce the load on council shelters and animal rescue organisations, which are often at capacity.
“Vaccinations are so important to help decrease Parvo virus, which is a highly contagious and deadly disease affecting dogs that is really prevalent in our communities. The only way to keep Parvo virus out of our shelters is to remove it from our communities and immunising dogs will help achieve this,” Carly explained.
“This event also gave us the opportunity to register and microchip more than 65 dogs, which is really important. If a dog is fully registered and the microchip is up to date, we will be able to get a lost dog straight back to the owners. If dogs are not registered or microchipped, we may struggle to reunite them with their owners,” Carly said.
Kāinga Ora customer Mii, who attended the event with his dog, was blown away with the support.
“We just want to give a massive shout out to Chained Dog Rehabilitation and Auckland Council for supporting the event that Kāinga Ora has held within the Māngere community. Thank you guys so much,” Mii said.
The ‘fix your friends’ pilot event was a partnership between Kāinga Ora, Chained Dog Rehabilitation and the Māngere Bridge Vet Clinic.
To donate to Chained Dog Rehabilitation & Rehoming head to their website www.chaineddog.org.nz(external link)
Page updated: 16 December 2022