Pets last a lifetime

CARALISE TRAYES
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2013
Kitty Cat

HERE KITTY: Around 65 cats and kittens like this one are up for adoption at the West Animal Shelter in Henderson. Silverdale animal shelter are taking care of this little guy to help train dogs to handle a feline presence.

Kitty Cat
CHRISTMAS DELIGHT: Vicki Whitaker with one of the dogs up for adoption at the Silverdale Animal Shelter.

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Christmas could be the perfect excuse to adopt a new family member if your kids have been begging for a pet.

And what better place to choose a canine companion than from Silverdale Animal Shelter.

But before doing your doggy shopping there are a few things to consider.

"The main thing people need to think about is that it is a lifetime commitment," animal management team leader Vicki Whitaker says.

"Also you need to think about ongoing costs of food, vaccinations, and medical costs. And if you have a stable environment, like if you are currently renting a house, what will happen if you have to move."

If those things are accounted for the rewards of owning a pooch is priceless.

Vicki owns three of her own dogs at her Waimauku home.

"I get a lot of reward out of owning my own dogs. But you have to be ready for it too.

"It's like having a newborn baby, you will have to get up in the middle of the night and let it outside to do its business and train it.

"But the good thing is you can go out and leave it at home. The rewards are endless."

The shelter hosts a range of pooches from pedigrees to aggressive mutts.

"Some of our dogs up for adoption come from dog control. We temperament test them to establish what behaviours they have and if we can retrain them.

"We also get people surrendering dogs for a number of reasons, like relationship breakdowns or they can't afford it or can't take it with them into a new house," she says.

Around 15 people a month visit the Silverdale shelter to adopt a dog, most come during spring and summer.

"People walk in and have love at first sight, but sometimes particular breeds might not suit the lifestyle the people have got.

"We try and get some information from the owner, like if someone is home during the day and what size property they have.

"This helps us see what type of breed and temperament will suit them.

"It's kind of like, I would like to own a convertible, but that wont tow my horse float."

Vicki says the dogs deserve a second chance as a lot of them are in the shelter because of human error.

To adopt a dog or puppy, visit the Silverdale Animal Shelter at 47 Tavern Rd, Silverdale, between 10.15am to 4.15pm weekdays or 11am to 3pm on weekends.

One of the staff will guide you through the process.

"If a person sees a dog they are interested in we put their name on it. Then we send an animal control officer out to do a property inspection.

"Once that's approved we vaccinate, desex and microchip the dog and it is ready to go."

Puppies costs $270 and dogs over 6 months old are $230.

For more information on adopting a dog visit aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/dogs.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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