Dogs  |  20 Jun 2022

The Animal Management team’s policy of reuniting dogs with their owners has seen only 565 of the 2,246 lost dogs come through the Shelter doors this year.

And of those 565, all were either adopted or ended up back home – none were euthanised.

This result is something the Christchurch City Council Animal Services Manager Lionel Bridger and his team are incredibly proud of.

“It’s like a badge of honour. Our team work hard with every single dog that comes through our door to make sure they either get back to their owners, or go to a loving, new home that’s the right fit for them,” Mr Bridger says.

All dogs that can’t be returned home immediately because they don’t have a microchip or their owners cannot be contacted head to the Animal Shelter in Bromley.

When they arrive, they’re checked to make sure there are no injuries that require vet treatment.

“If they do, we take care of that and the dog is scanned again to double check that it’s not chipped,” Mr Bridger says.

The dogs get their own kennel, bedding and high quality food that suits whatever age the dog is. They’re fed twice a day and exercised every day in a large paddock to give them a good run and sniff around.

“We have a few repeat visitors that I think like to come to the shelter just for the food,” Mr Bridger says.

While this is happening, staff are also busy trying every means possible to locate their owners.

“We call, we put letters in their letterboxes, use social media. But unfortunately not all dog owners come forward,” Mr Bridger says.

If an owner cannot be found, the dogs are assessed and if their temperate is suitable, they’re put up for adoption.

“Dogs that have temperamental issues are held until they can be rehomed to Dog Watch or Bull Breed rescue where these two organisations do a lot of work with the dogs until they can be rehomed to a new family,” Mr Bridger says.