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Volunteer fights for dogs

Posted at 2:02pm Tuesday 04 Jun, 2019

Saving Hope Foundation chair Janine Hinton says all dogs, regardless of breed, can be kind natured when raised right – and she has a 100 percent re-homing success rate to prove it.

In just under two years, the Saving Hope Foundation in Silverdale has rescued and re-homed more than 400 dogs, and Janine says the key is treating animals with empathy rather than resorting to putting them down.

“We have to start realising that a dog's behaviour is not their fault, it's the owners',” she says.

Janine began Saving Hope in July 2017 after her daughter, Anita Hinton, discovered a Pit Bull was going to be euthanized by the pound purely because of her breed.

That same Pitbull, named Hope, has lived with the Hintons ever since.

Janine says she volunteered for years prior to forming Saving Hope, by being a frequent dog foster-parent and doing administration work for her brother when he owned the Thames SPCA.

“I have always loved dogs more than people,” Janine says. “Dogs love you unconditionally and are always excited to see you when you come home.”

She juggles her volunteering work, which equates to full-time hours, with helping run her family trucking business and spending time with her seven kids, 16 grandkids and one great-grandchild.

Janine admits running the charity isn't easy – from the high demand for her services to witnessing animal abuse and neglect first hand.

In May, Janine had an influx of 78 puppies that had to stay in her small dog pen, as the more than 90 Saving Hope volunteer foster families were all full.

Amongst the pups was a litter so infested with fleas that they looked as though they were covered in bloody scabs.

“Even after being bathed they were still riddled with fleas and were incredibly anaemic. We all just cried – we cry a lot around here,” Janine says.

Janine's next goal is to raise money for a mobile de-sexing service to reduce the amount of neglected litters.

She is also working with a team of her volunteers to research the imprinting stage of a dog's development to better understand how to rehabilitate them out of traumatised behaviours.

“I do wake up some days and just think this is way too hard,” Janine says. “But we can't stop what we are doing, the problem is too big.”

Info: savinghope.co.nz/

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