The team at the Taupō Pound is barking up the right tree when it comes to rehoming dogs.
In the year 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022, there were 133 dogs adopted. The combined total of the three years before that was 136.
Taupō District Council compliance and regulatory manager, Ross McDonald says the fact so many dogs have been adopted says a lot about the effort the compliance team puts in to finding each dog its “forever home”.
The pound’s popular Taupō District Adopt a Dog page on Facebook plays a significant role in the success, full of enticing potential pet photos produced by compliance team leader and professional photographer, Cam.
“What seems a relatively small thing actually has a huge impact and grabs people’s attention,” says Mr McDonald.
“The photos bring the dogs to life and show their individual personalities. What I had not really considered was how hard it is to get a dog to be calm and still while it is photographed and some dogs can become very unsettled when exposed to the process. Especially if the dog has not had positive experiences from people prior to coming to us.”
Taupō District Council pound keeper, Taylor says the pound is “extremely lucky” to have a professional photographer on the team.
“The photos we have, they are pretty amazing and those in themselves help boost our adoptions. They give you a brief idea of what a dog is like,” she says.
“You get certain dogs that just cause a storm, they blow up the internet, there’s just so much interest. In fact, every dog we post gets interest which is the main thing.”
While the finished photos are hitting the spot, behind the scenes can be chaotic, says Taylor.
“It’s a tricky process because not only does the photographer have to get his lighting right, his settings right, but the dog has to be calm enough for that split second to allow us to get the photo.”
At the same time as adoption numbers have risen, the number of dogs euthanised in Taupō has dropped from 276 in 2018/19 and 224 in 2019/20, to 96 in 2020/21 and 97 in 2021/22.
Mr McDonald says the only time euthanasia is considered is when a dog has displayed behaviours that may have a high potential to endanger the community and other animals and wildlife, or on the advice of a vet or inspector when a dog’s health and condition is beyond treatment.
“Outside of those two examples we strive to rehome all dogs regardless of breed,” he said.