Last week Ruby, a golden retriever, was handed over to Auckland Council’s Henderson Animal Shelter.
At 14 years of age – which makes her about 88 in human years – it was clear that Ruby had a few age-related issues, but a soft nature.
Vicki Whitaker, Team Leader Henderson Animal Shelter, says Auckland Council’s animal shelter staff are passionate about finding the best outcome for dogs that come into shelters. They successfully rehome 100% of adoptable dogs.
Ruby had a vet check and, apart from a little arthritis due to her age, was classed as suitable for adoption. Vicki says Ruby’s temperament test confirmed what staff observed - she has a fantastic nature.
The staff couldn’t wait to give Ruby a much needed bath and brush. After her makeover her profile was put on Auckland Council Animal Shelter Facebook page for adoption.
A fantastic response
Within minutes people were commenting on Ruby’s profile and the shelter started to receive calls of interest.
Vicki says that older dogs are often harder to find homes for as most people that come through a shelter want a puppy or a younger dog, so staff were delighted with the amount of interest in finding Ruby a new home.
“We were overwhelmed by the support and encouragement received from people around the country. That level of interest was a great opportunity to remind people that we have other dogs looking for forever homes as well.”
Vicki says applications for adoption are accepted once everyone in the potential new family has met the dog – including any other dogs from the household. If the new owner rents, a letter from the landlord is required before an application can be processed.
Finally, a property inspection is completed to ensure the dog will be safe and fits well with the family as shelter staff look for the best forever home.
Vicki says there are many benefits to giving a home to an older dog.
“These dogs will often already be trained and socialised and will provide loyal companionship and unconditional love. All sorts of dogs come into our shelters and it’s really worthwhile following our Facebook page and contacting our shelters if you’re looking for a dog”
Winning the dog lottery
Photo: Ruby (left) and her "husband", Toby
Happily, Ruby is now spending her twilight years in paradise living on a lifestyle block with her 12 year old companion, another golden retriever called Toby. She also has two cats and a variety of livestock to play with.
New owner Lynsey,says Ruby’s story touched her heart as all dogs need a suitable home.
“We felt we could offer a 14 year old girl with health issues a perfect retirement setting,” she says.
Lynsey was impressed with the staff at the Henderson Shelter and says they were knowledgeable, helpful and clearly wanted the best for Ruby.
Within a couple of days of moving into her new home Ruby had already become a wonderful companion Toby, who woos her with his charm according to Lynsey.
And when not playing with her new friends Lynsey says that Ruby spends her time cuddling, sunbathing, paddling in her pool and eating.
Adopt a dog from a shelter, change its life and change your own!
Auckland Council has Animal Shelters in Silverdale, Henderson and Manukau. Dogs available for adoption are posted on the Facebook page and kennels are open for viewing during weekdays from 10:15am to 4:15pm and weekends/public holidays from 11am to 3pm.
Please note that a fully fenced section or suitable containment area is needed to adopt a dog.