Thunder claps and the overflow from Marton have kept the Wanganui dog pound in Ridgway St busy in recent weeks.
Wanganui District Council animal ranger Bernie Compton said business had been very brisk and the pound was now chocka with 37 dogs and six puppies. It even had a couple of runaway goats until their owners came to claim them. The overhead thunder on December 20 terrified six dogs into fleeing home, two had sprinted from their Gonville home into Victoria Ave where they rushed in the door of a video store and collapsed panting on the floor, he said.
"The thunder was worse than Guy Fawkes night for dogs and that's really saying something," Mr Compton said.
Fortunately the dogs were all chipped and tagged so their owners were able to be contacted, he said.
"We've reunited all the dogs with their owners which is great."
During the hot, sunny weather last week Mr Compton was contacted by the SPCA to help with the number of dogs locked in cars in scorching heat.
"We can't gain access to the cars to help the animal; only the SPCA inspectors can do that.
"I really think we should be able to get into the cars as well. Some of these dogs were in a bad way ... it's absolute cruelty, it really is."
Dogs from neighbouring Marton had to be brought into Wanganui because the Rangitikei pound didn't have the space to hold many dogs and they needed to install more kennels, he said.
During the Cemetery Circuit motorcycle races on Boxing Day the dogs coped very well at the pound because they're used to traffic noise anyway, Mr Compton said. And there was an added bonus.
"Spectators at the races were coming across the road all day and looking at the dogs and lots of them have come back wanting to adopt a dog."
Mr Compton said the pound was a great facility because it was in town and not hidden away on the outskirts.
"And we like people to come and look at the dogs, which doesn't happen at other pounds. There are a lot of pounds where people have to wait outside the gates and wait for the staff to bring dogs out to them. We're very open here and it works very well. People visit us all the time."