One Rotorua pound pup has made an inter-island journey of more than 1000km to become part of his forever family.
Mac, a 12-month-old Border Collie, was found roaming in Rotorua in April and after spending weeks at the pound with no owner coming to claim him or any potential adoptees the pound was running out of options.
His sad story shared through social media sparked a series of events that led him to his forever family with a few kind gestures from strangers all over New Zealand along the way.
Mac’s new owner, Karena Hamilton of Pleasant Point near Timaru, says she first saw Mac on a social media page.
“I found out about Mac on a Facebook group NZ Border Collies that I joined recently. We were looking for another dog, perhaps a puppy, but had heard about rehoming Border Collies.
“What made me want him specifically was the fact he was going to be put down. We had the space and the genuine interest in giving him a home as soon as we saw the photo of him at the pound”.
Behind the scenes another kind person was also working to ensure Mac lived to see another week and hopefully find a home.
Kathleen Lindesay from Karaka, being a rescue Border Collie owner herself, is the person who sent Mac’s picture to NZ Border Collies so they could share his story on Facebook.
She contacted Rotorua pound to ask for an extension and was able to get some more time to find Mac a family.
“I had no idea when I rang the pound how I was going to rescue this poor sad looking wee dog but I knew one thing for sure, he wasn't going to be put to sleep if I had anything to do with it!”, says Kathleen.
“I have a rescue border collie called Koda and he is my best friend.”
Sadly the first potential owner had a change of heart but generously offered to pay for Mac’s desexing and registration out of his own pocket.
Kathleen remembers seeing Karena’s name on the social media posts and tried her luck to see if she was still interested in adopting Mac.
All it was going to take now was transporting Mac across the country to his new home in Pleasant Point.
And after a phone call from Kathleen, Chris from Dogtainers, added another kind gesture to the story and offered to fly Mac to the Timaru airport at cost.
Kathleen stepped in to raise the funds for Mac’s flight via a Givealittle page which raised over $800 from just 28 donors.
Mac has been in his home for about two weeks and Karena says she is starting to see positive changes in him.
“I’ve noticed how much he has calmed down. He’s a friendly dog, his tail was wagging when we saw his crate being lifted of the plane at Timaru airport.
“We’ve given him some new experiences like walking on the beach, rides in the car, playing fetch and we’ve introduced him to other pets in the family.”
Both women give their praise to the staff member at the pound who worked with them throughout Mac’s adoption.
“I can’t thank the staff member at the pound enough. I will never forget her saying "how long do you need... a week?” says Kathleen.
“I could tell she really cared about this wee dog. Their job must be so disheartening at times as they see the worst of humanity and how people treat animals so I hope this one success story will show her there are a lot of us out there who do love our dogs and do care.
“I’d love to thank all the people who donated to Mac’s cause. Without them and the generosity of Chris and his wife we wouldn’t have been able to get him to his new family”, she says.
Mac’s story has already been shared with many people across the country and is sparking interest in those who meet him.
“Mac’s adoption and rehoming has caused a big interest from other people, especially those with Border Collies”, says Karena.
“I have also noticed it with people who meet Mac and learn his story. So I’ve created a Facebook page for him called ‘Mac, Life Starts Now’.
“I would tell others looking to adopt a rescue dog to make sure they explore the options first and get a pet who fits in with your family.
“You are giving a loving home to a dog that may not have another opportunity to have that.”
To see dogs currently up for adoption at Rotorua pound keep an eye on www.rotorualakescouncil.nz/homelesshounds
To keep up to date with Mac’s story visit www.facebook.nz/macthebordercollie