11

Dec 2009

Rugby Hero Tackles Abandoned Kiwi Dog Problem

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MEDIA RELEASE

New Zealand rugby legend Tony Woodcock has confirmed his support of the Pedigree&#174 Adoption Drive Charitable Trust with the adoption of the first dog today.

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Kiwi rugby legend Tony Woodcock has today announced his involvement with The Pedigree® Adoption Drive Charitable Trust and has adopted the first dog Mason as part of the scheme.

The Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust is part of a global programme established by Pedigree to help raise funds for desperate dogs in local communities.

The charity initiative aims to help house, feed and care for the more than 11,000* dogs dumped by their Kiwi owners each year.

“I’m thrilled to be involved with such a great initiative. We always had a family dog when I was younger and I can’t imagine how anyone could ever ill-treat or abandon one. I really hope that Kiwis get behind The Pedigree Adoption Drive to help give all of these dogs a second chance,” says Woodcock.

Woodock has adopted Mason, a nine month old Labrador cross, and says it was love at first sight when he saw the dog.

“He just won my heart as soon as I saw him. I just knew he was the dog for us. I truly believe that dogs make a huge contribution to a family. As well as providing company, security and friendship they help develop levels of care and responsibility in children,” says Woodcock.

Woodcock says Mason has settled into the family routine and has already claimed his own special place on the couch!

A registered New Zealand charity, The Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust, will donate money raised to animal shelters like the RNZSPCA to help house the thousands of dogs who are abandoned by owners.

The Chief Executive Officer of the RNZSPCA Robyn Kippenberger, says the organisation is grateful for the much needed support.

“The sad fact is that in New Zealand we are producing way more puppies than we need. People can’t cope and resort to drowning them in rivers, putting them in dustbins and dumping them in cardboard boxes on beaches. People these days are as careless with their animals as they are with their children.”

Kippenberger says there are a great many more dogs abandoned by their owners that are picked up by local authority dog control personnel.

In areas where the council has no agreement with the RNZSPCA pound dogs are often put down after the statutory seven days and there is no clear measure of just how many are affected.

Kippenberger says her organisation does its best to provide a safe haven for unloved and unwanted dogs but limited resources mean that the dogs aren’t in the best environment for their development.

“We don’t have a lot of options but to keep them in their cages for most of the day. Really it’s like being in prison. They get some exercise time in the yard and then it’s back to their cage. They are intelligent and the longer they are in their cages the harder it is to re-home them.”

The animals adopted from the SPCA make fantastic pets because they are just so grateful to have a home and know what life is like on the other side, she says.

Kippenberger says any money received from the Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust, would be used to help fund an offsite “Adoption Bus”– a resource used in the United States to increase animal adoptions.

“One of the biggest barriers we face in Auckland adoptions in particular is encouraging would be adoptees to get to Mangere as it’s a long way out for a lot of people. We need to have a fully kitted-out bus that visits urban communities and allows people to meet the dogs closer to home.”

Kippenberger says statistics from the United States show that in places where the buses operate more than half of the animals go in offsite adoptions.

The Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust now in its fourth year internationally, has been heralded a global success with over $3m being raised in 2008 alone, and homes found for dogs in countries ranging from the UK to Australia, US, Canada and Mexico.

Pedigree’s Marketing Manager Oliver Downs says he’s saddened by the high numbers of dogs who are abandoned by their Kiwi owners.

“At Pedigree we believe every dog deserves love, good food and a good home. Our company mantra “we’re for dogs” is something we’re proud of. We hope The Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust can assist us to look after the animals we love. On top of helping raise money to support the care and re-homing of abandoned dogs, our ultimate goal is to also increase the number of adoptions taking place.”

Each time you buy a Pedigree product between 8th March and 30th May 2009, Pedigree will donate a portion of every sale to the Pedigree Adoption Drive Charitable Trust to help care for New Zealand’s unloved and unwanted dogs.

For more information visit www.pedigreeadoptiondrive.co.nz to find out how you can support this worthwhile cause by making a donation or adopting a dog of your own.

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Fleur Revell
Fleur Revell is one of the country’s most eminent PR consultants and public relations practitioners with more than 20 years industry experience behind her. Fleur is also a three times Qantas Media Awards winner and Feature Writer of the Year; and has an exceptional working knowledge of the New Zealand media landscape and its accelerating evolution in the digital age.
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