by Shelley Inon
A failed Winchester farm dog has found a new calling as a conservation dog.
Surrendered to dog rescue group Pound Paws, two and a-half-year-old beardie huntaway-cross Ink has achieved her first conservation dog certificate and is working towards full certification.
Pound Paws Orari-based volunteer Ingrid Moore believed Ink’s previous owner, “obviously wanted to find her a good home through us”.
Ink was adopted by Jane Iruri Tansell who is self-employed and does contract work for Doc.
She said she had been looking for a dog for work, but instead of approaching a breeder she had wanted to give a dog a second chance.
“I’ve taken it very slowly with her,” Mrs Iruri Tansell said.
While many people re-home dogs as pets, Mrs Iruri Tansell felt it was not only Ink that could make a good working dog.
She said she “wouldn’t overlook a dog that hasn’t worked out for someone else” as it could be a simple personality clash, like an overly confident dog and a quiet owner.
Ink recently had her first introduction to kiwi, as well as working around takahe and whio.
Her new job is to work closely with Mrs Iruri Tansell, tracking kiwi scent and indicating where kiwi are hiding.
This is not the only successful adoptee Pound Paws has had recently.
Two have become St John’s therapy dogs and one has won an agility competition.
Mrs Moore said Pound Paws dogs this year the organisation’s “busy period”.
“People go away for a holiday and instead of finding boarding for their dogs, they decide to surrender them,” she said.
Some of the dogs had arrived at the rescue via vets after people had gone to euthanise young animals who had broken a limb.
The hardest part of rescuing dogs was “seeing the situation they’d come out of”.
She said she had crawled into kennels through faeces to drag timid dogs out.
“Spay and neuter is so important. It stops the repetition.”
She hoped more people would re-home animals.
“It is supply and demand,” less demand would stop the breeding, she explained.