An initiative offering free desexing services for Auckland dogs has won praise from the Auckland Council.
The Desexy Revolution was started by the Humane Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming (HURRAH) Trust in Orewa.
HURRAH is an independent dog welfare charity, run entirely by volunteers, with a priority to rescue dogs with a proven temperament from euthanasia.
The scheme offers the chance to get dogs desexed for dog owners who wouldn't usually be able to afford it.
To be eligible they must live in Auckland and have a Community Services card.
It relies on donations and the generosity of others to pay for the dog's operation.
Most owners tend to pay it forward, putting money towards another dog after their own has been desexed.
Auckland Council animal management manager Tracey Moore says HURRAH has the council's support.
"We believe completely in the requirement for de-sexing of pets in order to reduce the number of strays and unwanted animals being presented to shelters and rescue organisations throughout the city," she said.
"No amount of animal management, shelter care, stray control or animal impoundment is able to make a significant, sustainable difference to the number of unwanted pets."
Michelle O'Connor nominated her friend's dog Pango, one of the first dogs desexed through the initiative.
Pango's operation was sponsored by Chris Scott and Annette Buckley via Facebook, and O'Connor said she can't thank them enough. "Pango came over for his first play date with my dog after his op and he is bouncing around and back to his usual self," she said.
"Not only is he going to be a great family pet now he has been desexed, but his family can also afford his registration. You have given this dog a better and safer future."
The Desexy Revolution is the brainchild of HURRAH's trustee Chrissy Clements who said it is a natural progression.
"A 2011 survey found that nearly one-third of all New Zealand households own a dog.
"However, hundreds - if not thousands - of dogs are euthanised in pounds and shelters every year simply because there are not enough homes for them all."
Dogs who have been desexed tend to live longer, are likely to avoid certain types of cancers, are less likely to roam and attack humans or animals and tend not to suffer from antisocial behaviour.
Education is a crucial part of the Desexy Revolution, especially trying to dispel the myth that a neutered dog somehow diminishes an owner's masculinity.
"Unfortunately, we repeatedly encounter this bizarre opinion," Clements said.
The initiative has also been given a big endorsement by Nathalie Visser, Waihi SPCA centre manager and animal welfare inspector.
"Desexing is fundamental for many SPCA centres as it is a crucial element to reducing numbers of unwanted animals in all regions," she said.
"Auckland SPCA receives about 20,000 unwanted animals every year and the majority of these are puppies and kittens from unplanned pregnancies.
"Both Waihi SPCA and other agencies have funded discounted desexing for eligible members of our community for several years now and the numbers of unwanted animals in our region have steadily and significantly reduced, so we know these initiatives are successful.
"Although desexing an animal should be part of responsible pet ownership, it is simply not an affordable priority for many low-income families and any initiative that actively promotes, and provides funding for de-sexing, has my support."
Visit givealittle.co.nz/cause/desexyrevolution to donate.
- North Harbour News
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