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Pups enjoy Lions win at HUHA event

At fundraising event Pups in the Park, dogs and their owners enjoyed watching the Wellington Lions beat North Harbour on a sunny Sunday afternoon.


Story and photos by Luke Jackson

Reggie, a three year old Dogue de Bordeaux wearing a lion’s mane (below) had a lot to say about the Wellington Lions uneven Mitre 10 Rugby Premiership season. All off the record, of course.

Getting to see the Lions play was on Reggie’s bucket list. He has congestive heart failure and not much longer to live. The winning game was one to tick off, alongside swimming in Lake Taupo and playing in the snow.

Reggie is one of 88 dogs that joined their owners to watch the Lions dominate North Harbour 35-23 on a sunny afternoon last Sunday.

Pups in the Park was organised by animal services charity Helping You Helping Animals (HUHA) with the support of Wellington City Council and Wellington Rugby.

This is the second year it has run, returning due to… paw-pular demand.

HUHA was founded by Carolyn Press Mackenzie as a local charity in Upper Hutt nearly 18 years ago. Since then it has developed into a nationwide organisation made up of three shelters, a vet clinic and an op-shop.

However this growth is not necessarily a positive thing, rather a reflection of “the large number of animals in need of support”, according to Press Mackenzie.

HUHA work with the SPCA to take animals from unsuitable homes and help the council to organise the best policies for animal welfare.

Twenty volunteers came to Westpac Stadium on Sunday to help collect donations and mind the dogs in case of any emergencies. Press-Mackenzie was pleased about the generous donations which will go towards finding homes and foster care for homeless and abused animals.

The day was also about getting people to spend more time with their dogs, said Press Mackenzie.

“Anything that gets people out and about and having an enriching day with their dog means the world to us.”