Saving chained dogs

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 05:00 11/09/2012
Petra
PLUCKY SURVIVOR: Petra, the only survivor of eight pups taken from mum at less than a day old.
Petra's mum
IN CHAINS: Petra the puppy’s mum remains chained up.
Christine Breen
Liz Willis
DOG RESCUE: Christine Breen from Chained Dog Awareness with Cody who is looking for a home after being rescued from a pound.

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Mum lives life constantly at the end of a chain but her puppy Petra escaped a doomed life.

Petra is the sole survivor of a litter of eight taken from their chained mum by the pets' South Auckland owners and given to neighbours before they were even a day old.

The puppy's poignant story is being shared by a group fighting against dogs being chained up for life as it prepares for a North Shore fundraiser.

Auckland-based Chained Dog Awareness wants law changes to stop dogs being chained. Its volunteers also head on to the streets to make a practical difference.

The SPCA also has concerns about dogs chained up and is considering submissions on this, and other matters, in the review of the Animal Welfare Act currently being undertaken.

Petra was just eight days old and lucky to be alive when the Chained Dog Awareness group discovered her.

She had been living with a family of 11 kids and no-one could remember where she was when volunteers from the group arrived.

Eventually she was found hidden in a kitchen cupboard to prevent the kids from taking her to school.

Petra was doomed to a short life of neglect and her scenario is an everyday situation for dogs in her South Auckland street, the group says.

Petra was fostered by an experienced dog owner whose dog had just weaned its puppies and could feed Petra.

Her foster mum bottle fed Petra as a supplement and in the process fell in love with Petra and adopted her.

Petra, unlike her mum, has never known a chain and Chained Dog Awareness is fighting to free others.

Trustee Christine Breen says most problems are in South Auckland but dogs throughout the country, of all breeds, can be chained from a puppy until death.

“We're a third world country by allowing this to happen," she says.

Animal protection legislation is difficult to enforce, she says.

An owner can claim to provide shelter, food, water and exercise but without 24/7 video evidence it's hard to prove otherwise, Ms Breen says.

The group says hundreds of chained dogs die each year from neglect, starvation and dehydration. The group wants a total ban on dog chaining and provides education to owners willing to accept help.

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When neglect is too much they seek relinquishment and take the dog to foster carers and train it. When the dog is ready, a forever home is sought.

Go to chaineddognz.org for information. Submissions to the Animal Welfare Act close on September 27.

FUNDRAISER: The Lady and the Tramp

The Lady and the Tramp is the theme for a North Shore fundraiser for Chained Dog Awareness.

An auction will include everything from a bach weekend to a pet pamper pack and there will be guest speakers, entertainment and a buffer dinner.

The evening starts at 7pm on September 15 in the Northcote/Birkenhead Rugby Club, Recreation Drive Birkenhead.

Tickets are $35. Email cdanzfundraiser@gmail.com or phone 021 241 8552.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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