7 November 2018
When local teacher Kumiko Hammersley said goodbye to her Rottweiler she was feeling lost but a 10 year old Staffy cross from the pound helped her find her way.
“I decided to re-home a dog because a month earlier I had to put my disabled Rottweiler to sleep and after having my life revolve around a dog for two years I was a little lost,” she said.
Ms Hammersley said when she first saw Karma at the pound it was as though the dog had given up. Unlike the other dogs which all bounded to the front of their cages, barking for attention, Karma lay in the corner of her cage looking like she had accepted her fate.
It was that sad look that attracted Ms Hammersley and ultimately led to Karma becoming her perfect ‘couch potato/side kick’.
Karma had come to be at the pound after her owners failed to register her. The dog spent a month waiting for her owners to collect her but they changed their minds. Thanks to Ms Hammersley, Karma now has a loving forever home.
Karma is now considered one of the family at the Hammersley house. She is like another grandchild for Ms Hammersley’s parents and an honorary student at Owhata School where Ms Hammersley teaches.
“She visits my class once a month . . . She is the best bribe ever with them too and the kids will behave so they can have their ‘Karma time’.”
That usually involves five or so minutes on their own patting Karma.
Since adopting Karma, Ms Hammersley has shared regular updates with Rotorua Lakes Council’s Animal Control team. They often get photos of her in fancy dress or relaxing around the house.
Karma is one of the many dogs that are rehomed from the Rotorua pound each year. The Animal Control team try to rehome as many as possible and further investment to upgrade the pound facility will mean more room to hold dogs looking for forever homes.
Phase one includes upgrading the fence and laying the foundation to increase capacity to allow for 50 new pens. The first 23 pens will be finished by the end of the year with the rest being installed in the new financial year.
Other work includes improvements to the existing grass exercise areas, plans to install a sustainable water tank for gardens and cleaning and new custom made kennels for pregnant or nursing dogs.
The pound works with a range of rescue organisations and vets and uses council’s online channels to try and find homes for dogs suitable for re-homing.
More than 100 dogs a year are re-homed. You can see some of this year’s rehomed dogs here.
If you would like to adopt a pound pooch, keep an eye on the Homeless Hounds page on the Council’s website or contact an Animal Control officer on 07 348 4199 and they can talk you through the process.
Photos 1 - 3: Karma in various dress up outfits. Photo 4: the new concrete pad at the Rotorua pound waiting for kennels to be constructed.