When you're leasing, you always know it's not going to be forever


The property homing Otaki's Helping You Help Animals (Huha) shelter has been sold, and will be bulldozed to make way for a quarry within the next six months.

Previously leased by the Ashford Park stables, and recently purchased by Winstone Aggregates, the land has hosted hundreds of homeless dogs and homeless horses since Huha's shift to the property in 2011.

Now, following a generous $100,000 donation from a long-standing Otaki couple, Huha founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie is pleased to announce Huha will open a purpose-built shelter on its own land.

After a two-year search for a suitable location, Huha has found long-term residence in an 18-acre property on SH1 Manakau, just north of Wellington, though the property is a blank canvas.


"When you're leasing, you always know it's not going to be forever, so I looked continuously to find a property, but most properties weren't appropriate.

"Then we found this land we love and think is perfect."

With six months to rally and build a shelter, and with a $200,000 mortgage hanging over its head, Huha is set to complete a refuge comprised of three by three bedrooms for each of the 28 dogs on site.

Mrs Press-McKenzie said Huha would be minimising the number of dogs in its care from 50 to 28 to successfully manage and rehabilitate four-legged boarders at a faster pace, increasing turnover.

Planned shelter improvements include sound mitigation, with acoustic engineers working to design a shelter less noisy than the Otaki location.

"The dogs will also have indoor-outdoor flow, which they don't currently have, so they can have their own exercise area without having to be taken out on a lead.

"The new shelter won't be fancy, but it'll be warm and loving and real sanctuary for these dogs."

She hoped the community would continue supporting the voluntary-run charity by helping with fundraising for the rebuild.

"We've got the land and now we have to do the fundraising to do the building.

"We're confident that with the community's help, we'll be able to do this."

¦To make a donation towards the rebuild, visit Huha's Givealittle page.