Animal charity holds fundraiser in west Auckland to help rescue chained dogs
Schofield is a big teddy bear of a dog.
But for the first two years of his life, he spent day and night on a chain in Auckland, starved of human interaction, an animal welfare group says.
Chained Dog Rehabilitation and Rehoming NZ trustee Amanda Fraser-Jones said Schofield is now just a big goober.
Schofield is one of the 100 animals rescued by CDRRNZ, a charity focused on challenging the practice of life-chaining dogs.
CDRRNZ is holding its first fundraising gala dinner in west Auckland on September 28.
While still legal in New Zealand, life-chaining of pets has become increasingly controversial.
Improving the situation relies on education, Fraser-Jones said.
"The ideal situation is not to remove the dog. Ideal is to educate families to have a happy and healthy family dog."
CDRRNZ has no legal authority to take dogs. If a dog comes into their care it's voluntary.
These dogs are fostered, re-trained and then put up for adoption. Fraser-Jones described the dogs as reverting to 50 kilogram puppies.
"When we find the right home, it's brilliant. But, you have to be a special person to take an ex-chained dog. No matter how good the training is, they get overexcited about life."
Serena Maitland, volunteer with CDRRNZ, said the life-chaining of dogs is New Zealand's "dirty little secret".
Maitland said chained dogs are often the ones that we hear about in the media.
"These are the at risk dogs who are lacking in social experiences with both humans and other animals. That is what makes them a risk - not their breed. They are the ones that get out and bite someone. They don't know how to dog."
Professor Kevin Stafford, of Massey University's Institute of Vet, Animal and Biomedical Services, said long-term chaining was a problem.
He said the solitary existence of life-chained animals raised the possibility of significant issues.
"Dogs do not like being by themselves. When dogs are left like this they can go into a very bad space, they become anxious or aggressive."