Dog Rescue Controversy: Alleged ‘Saviors’ of Sick Dog Assert Their Actions Were Justified
The rescue of a malnourished dog from a property in Howick, Auckland, has led to a heated dispute. Ciara Rhodes and Chanelle Whittaker, the women who facilitated the rescue, claim they acted out of concern for the dog’s health. However, the owner disputes their claims and accuses them of theft.
The Rescue Mission
Rhodes and Whittaker state they were led to the property after spotting an unsettling image of a tied-up puppy on social media. The pair were greeted by a different, emaciated older dog, which they believed was on the brink of death. They decided to intervene, placing the dog in their car while waiting for police to arrive.
The Owner’s Counterclaim
The dog’s owner refutes the accusations of neglect and maintains that her pet was unlawfully taken. She insists that another tenant from her property did not surrender the dog and that there were no child welfare concerns at her home.
The Aftermath of the Rescue
Rhodes and Whittaker allege they received online harassment from the dog’s original owners post-rescue. Police reportedly told Rhodes that due to the dog’s improved health, the SPCA would not file charges against the owners and suggested the return of the dog. However, the women refuse to give him back.
SPCA and Police Involvement
The SPCA claims that the women’s actions prematurely ended their own investigation into the dog’s welfare and warn against such vigilantism. The police confirm that while they were alerted to an incident involving an animal, no charges have been laid so far.
Current Status of the Dog
Presently, the dog, known as Waka, is under the care of a Northland rescue organization. An online petition has been initiated, pleading not to return Waka to his original owners due to fears of continued neglect.
The Owner’s Plea
Waka’s owner pleads for his return, stating that she had been attempting to secure veterinary help for him. She attributes his condition to his time in someone else’s care while she was handling a family situation. She also wants Rhodes and Whittaker charged with theft, citing her family’s distress due to Waka’s absence.
The SPCA confirms their initial concern about Waka’s condition but states that they were unable to remove the dog without a warrant. They planned to return the next day, but by then, Waka had been removed.
The agency warns the public against taking matters into their own hands and urges understanding of the constraints within which they operate.
The dispute regarding Waka’s rescue remains unresolved, leaving both parties in distress. Meanwhile, Waka’s health has shown significant improvement under the care of the Northland Rescue organization.
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