Art to help dogs
THINGS looked bright when young pup Jack was small but gradually his owners lost interest and he was discarded outside and chained up with no water and inedible food.
Jack is one of the lucky ones. The emaciated animal was rescued by Aucklandbased Chained Dog Awareness which is fighting for a total ban on chaining.
He will now live out the rest of his days in a loving home.
But many dogs in backyards across New Zealand will live and die at the end of a chain or in cages and Leah Meihana is one of the people standing up for change.
The artist is holding a charity event called Off The Chain at her K’ Rd boutique to raise money for the group during the precinct’s First Thursdays arts event.
Tattoo and contemporary artists have gifted works to be sold and auctioned off during the evening and they will also come together to create a piece of live art.
Ms Meihana says she wants to raise awareness about the situation because many people don’t know chained dogs exist in their neighbourhoods.
‘‘I think it’s important people are aware that this is happening. Some people don’t like to see the photos or read the stories, but sadly these dogs are everywhere.’’
And Chained Dog Awareness volunteer Victoria Palmer says unfortunately this is true.
‘‘It’s an epidemic. There are thousands of dogs of all breeds suffering across New Zealand – not just in South and West Auckland.’’
Hundreds of chained dogs die each year from starvation, dehydration and neglect, she says.
The group continues to fight against dogs being chained up and has made a submission in a review of the Animal Welfare Act currently being undertaken.
Enforcing present animal protection legislation is a challenge because welfare groups are faced with owners who can claim to provide basic necessities such as shelter, food, water and exercise and it is hard to prove otherwise.
Jack’s only shelter was underneath the house on dirty and rubbish-littered concrete and he was teased repeatedly by his owner’s children.
He faced a life of neglect but after a long and slow process the group was able to convince his owners to relinquish ownership because he had ‘‘become a nuisance’’ to them.
One Mt Albert dog is still suffering at the end of a chain, Ms Palmer says.
The young dog has been tortured to become ‘‘mean’’ and is dehydrated.
She is the replacement for another dog which died after living out its nine years chained up on the property.
‘‘There are lots more unhappy endings than happy ones,’’ Ms Palmer says.
All of the proceeds from Off The Chain will go towards the group. The fundraiser is on May 2 at Ahoy Cutie, 214 Karangahape Rd, Cross St Arcade, from 6pm till 10pm.
Breaking the chain: K’ Rd artist Leah Meihana is organising a charity event called Off The Chain, to raise awareness and support for Chained Dog Awareness.