The Bay of Plenty VW Owners Club took over Mount Maunganui's Coronation Park this weekend for Run to the Sun, its annual showcase of all things Volkswagen.
"What happens is a load of people from all over New Zealand meet at Mount Maunganui Holiday Park and camp there the whole weekend," co-organiser Julie Gardner said.
"We have a social evening on the Friday night where we all catch up with each other. Then on the Saturday morning, we have the Show and Shine at Coronation Park in Mount Maunganui and that's where we put all our beautiful VWs – old and new – on display for the public to see. On the Sunday, we head out to Ōmokoroa for a cruise and have a picnic down there and everybody heads home from there."
Although there's around 100 classic VWs on show, there's a much bigger cause driving the event. Each year organisers choose a different local charity to benefit from the event.
"We have done Coast Guard, breast cancer, Diabetes New Zealand for children Surf Lifesavers and this year is Vada's Angels Animal Rescue.
"They seem to go for the animals that don't get that second chance of life, the ones with behavioural issues and I thought what they did was an amazing job. The lady who runs it has maybe 17 dogs at her own home and she takes them in and trains them."
That woman is Katrina Thompson who lives on a farm in Whakamarama. She says the extra funds to help the dogs are a big deal.
"It's huge to us and a really amazing opportunity for us to get more known for the work we are doing," Thompson said.
"I just saw the need of the pound dogs, the harder dogs that couldn't be homed just to anyone. The ones that needed the time to adjust to life and learn the correct dog behaviours."
Vada's Angels Animal Rescue works closely with pounds in Rotorua, Taupō, Western Bay and Thames but relies entirely on donations to keep going.
"We originally started out only wanting to have a maximum of six to seven dogs in at a time. We currently have 64 dogs under us. We're extremely lucky that we have a lot of them in foster to adopt situations. But they all start off generally at our farm and are here from two weeks up to six months, a year depending on the behaviour."
Some dogs can be rehabilitated in a short time but it's not the same for every canine.
"A lot of it is just learning to relax again," Thompson said. "A pound is a very stressful environment and the dogs are barking a lot. It's about them really learning to get into a home environment and a lot of these guys have never been in homes so they don't actually know how a home life works, so they don't have any idea about the boundaries and rules of a home."
Thompson said many of the dogs that ended up at the pound were there because of their owners.
"I'd say most of ours have generally been roaming dogs and owners don't come and claim them. We do get a lot of puppies and we've seen it often that we're getting litter after litter from the same dogs. But most of them people get them and don't want to train them; they don't want to spend the time."
Proceeds from the event will help give pound dogs a second chance.
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