Desperate for homes after long stay

STRESSED OUT: Niles desperately needs a new home.
STRESSED OUT: Niles desperately needs a new home.

After spending more than a year between them growing up in a cage, life in confinement is starting to take its toll on Niles and Daisy.

But could West Auckland's animal lovers hold the key to their freedom?

Between them, 10-month-old Niles and 7-month-old Daisy have clocked up over a year at the SPCA Animal Village in Mangere and their hunt for homes is getting desperate.

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Daisy has been in SPCA care her entire life.
LOOKING FOR LOVE: Daisy has been in SPCA care her entire life.

German shepherd cross Niles came to the Animal Village as a 4-month-old and has spent more than half of his life in SPCA care.

His brother, who was rescued with him, was quickly adopted but six months down the track, Niles is still waiting for someone to take him home.

Canine attendant Erica Lombard says the pooch is starting to show signs of stress.

"Because he's been here so long he's starting to do things like chase his tail," she says.

"It's a stereotypical behaviour that's quite common in dogs who spend a long time in kennels - it's one of their coping mechanisms."

SPCA chief executive Christine Kalin says that sort of stress can lead to behavioural problems so it's important that Niles finds a new home as quickly as possible.

"While the dogs receive excellent care here, nothing surpasses being part of a family environment in the comforts of a family's home."

Most of the dogs and puppies that come through the Animal Village are rehomed within one to three months and Ms Kalin isn't sure why Niles has been overlooked.

"He's just one of those dogs who for some reason seems to be passed over. But we know someone out there has got a heart that's ready for Niles."

Ms Lombard describes the pup as "a really cool dude" who loves the outdoors.

"He's really affectionate, he loves being with people. If he's with people then he's happy as Larry."

Daisy, a labrador-staffy cross, has been at the Animal Village even longer than Niles.

She's been in SPCA care her entire life after being born a stray under a house. Her seven brothers and sisters have all been adopted but no-one has come for her.

Ms Lombard says Daisy's a "big puppy" who loves toys and would like nothing more than to play fetch all day.

She's handling her long wait better than Niles but "obviously it's frustrating", Ms Kalin says.

"They're in a contained environment more than they would be if they were part of a family. We just don't have the facilities to provide what a family would provide in terms of space."

ADOPT US Can you help? Daisy is available for adoption at the SPCA Auckland Animal Village, 50 Westney Rd, Mangere. Phone 256 7300.

Western Leader