Yesterday was my Day for Good, which I spent at HUHA – Helping Us Help Animals – at their Otaki shelter.
The day started bright and early, reporting for duty at 8am at the old Otaki Race Course Stables. Currently they are housing 45 dogs and 2 puppies. Some dogs share stables, some need to be by themselves due to behavioural issues, or for peace and quiet. Some have health issues, some will never be adoptable, and will live the rest of their days at Huha, others will be adopted out after a rigorous screening of potential forever homes. Sadly many are owner surrender, and these dogs need so much love and attention, and above all patience.
The morning starts with dogs being moved from cage to cage, some in outside pens, some in a fenced field, some in an internal play area once used for exercising horses.
All volunteers in the cleaning part of the stables are given a high-vis vest, and if required, earmuffs, as these dogs can bark, and bark they do.
A finally orchestrated moving of dogs with special behavioural needs, and then the cleaning began. 4 hours of hosing, scrubbing, and disinfecting of the bedrooms of 45 dogs.
After a well-deserved rest in the sun, the walking commenced, dogs are taken out one at a time, or occasionally pairs of dogs dependant on the relationship between dogs, and dogs and handlers.
The first two Photos are of Ryder, and Opie, two heading dogs, that were rescued from a farm over run with dogs. Over 100 dogs have been surrendered from this property in the past year alone. Both of these dogs are beautiful wonderful angels, and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking them, and their friends, before going home to collapse from exhaustion. The third photo is of my 8 month old pup, who is now a hefty 23 kilos. Adopting him was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done.
I usually volunteer on weekends for walks, they are always looking for donations, either of food, blankets, dog toys, bedding, and of course money for the surgeries. Each dog is rehomed fully vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered.
If you want to volunteer, they are based in Otaki, and they are open to the general public from 12:00 to 3:00 pm every day. Any enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow them on Facebook for updates on their new site being built, and volunteering and adoptions.