Dog rescue: “You feel like you have saved a life

Four-legged friends . . . Dog Rescue Dunedin volunteer Lisa Cassidy, with her three rescue dogs (from left) Wilf, Myth and Flick. PHOTO: GRETA YEOMAN

Have your children moved out?

Replace them with a dog.

That is the suggestion from a nationwide campaign that aims to rehome rescue dogs in households where the children may have left home.

Dog Rescue Dunedin volunteer Lisa Cassidy said the Pedigree Child Replacement Programme sounded like a good idea that would raise the profile of organisations working to get dogs rehomed.

The programme offered profiles of rescue dogs on a website, which could allow parents to match characteristics of their children with a four-legged creature.

Ms Cassidy got involved with Dog Rescue Dunedin after adopting her first dog from the organisation.

“There’s just something special about owning a rescue dog, because you feel like you have saved a life.”

She now worked in a liaison role for the organisation, inspecting properties of potential fosterers and owners, as well as assessing dogs to figure out their characteristics and those of the households they would be suited to.

Some dogs were happy being left at home during the work day but others needed more regular attention.

“Every dog has individual needs.”

The organisation, which began five years ago, rehomed about one dog every fortnight. Some dogs could be in Dog Rescue’s hands for a few days but others would be there for a few months, she said.

Dog Rescue Dunedin had also recently launched a scheme to partially fund the costs of desexing 14 Dunedin dogs a month, she said.

Interested owners could get in contact with Dog Rescue Dunedin to find out more about the scheme, Ms Cassidy said.

For more information on the Pedigree Child Replacement Programme or to view the dogs up for adoption in Dunedin, visit