List MP Kieran McAnulty checks out new Ruahine Animal Rescue

List MP Kieran McAnulty checks out new Ruahine Animal Rescue

Labour list MP and pet greyhound owner Kieran McAnulty greets cat Boy-boy, who lost his home after a house fire last year and is being cared for by Ruahine Animal Rescue.

Ruahine Animal Rescue is attracting attention.

Since its launch a few weeks ago, the Central Hawke’s Bay animal rescue organisation has been rounding up strays, animals in need, and donors and sponsors.

Last week, animal lover and Labour list MP Kieran McAnulty popped in to chat with volunteers and left having signed up as a regular donor.

McAnulty explained dogs are allowed to be taken into Parliament, with permission, and his greyhound Zoi accompanies him into his Parliamentary office.

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“Every workplace can be stressful and Parliament is no exception. There are three dogs that come to work on our floor, and people are always happy to see them. I think some people that come to my office are actually there to see Zoi.”

McAnulty said he was impressed at the huge amount of community support the organisation had gained “in such a short space of time”, before meeting two dogs due to go up for adoption.

Many of the volunteers and committee members at Ruahine Animal Rescue have had a long-term involvement with the Coughlan Road, Waipukurau facility, having worked with the CHB SPCA over its 35 years in operation.

The facility is still owned by SPCA NZ, which closed its CHB shelter nearly two years ago, but is currently leased by the CHB District Council, which operates its dog pound from the site.

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One of the volunteers, Jayne Sparr, worked with the CHB SPCA for three decades and did not hesitate to put her hand up when Ruahine Animal Rescue called.

“I feel like I got myself back when we were able to care for the district’s animals again. We still have a photo of the shelter’s patron – Colleen Adams – on the wall, and the feral cats who always visited for their daily meal still come here.”

Former CHB SPCA shelter manager Kerry Dunbar is also happy to be back at the coalface helping the district’s cats and dogs.

“We’ve all got our specialities … some of us have a rapport with cats and some with dogs. But there’s a wealth of experience here, and it’s all for the benefit of the animals.”

Committee member Amber McArthur says because the organisation is its own entity – currently registered as a social organisation and in the process of becoming a registered charity – they are able to work with not only the council to rehome suitable pound dogs, but also other organisations.

Volunteer Gaye Campbell with Ruahine Animal Rescue dogs Dougie and Shylo, both of whom are up for adoption.

“We work with the Fire and Emergency team to take pets when people have suffered a house fire or other emergency – there’s one house fire refugee cat currently here – and we can take pets to safety from a domestic violence situation, as often people are reluctant to leave if they think their pet is in danger.

“We can take a pet if an elder person is going into rest-home care, or if a family’s situation changes and they can no longer care for it.

“There’s a need for this in most communities, and we’re proud to be able to offer it here in Central Hawke’s Bay.”

Caring for the animals costs money. Each animal needs to be fed and examined by a vet, and when adopted will be desexed and vaccinated.

To cover costs, Ruahine Animal Rescue has donation boxes at Funky Pūkeko and New World Supermarket in Waipukurau, and at Waipawa Fish Supply, Waipawa.

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They also have a yearly member scheme: $25 for a single membership, $20 for Gold Card members and $50 for a family. There are regular donations of $1 a week and $5 a week available on their website, and businesses are invited to join up as corporate sponsors.

For more information and to volunteer, become a foster carer or apply to adopt, visit

List MP Kieran McAnulty checks out new Ruahine Animal Rescue

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