Unique way to raise funds

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Oamaru animal-lovers have come up with a fail-safe fundraising format – a dog photo competition in aid of Pound Paws Rescue.

Photographer Karen Fraser, from Jack ‘n’ Jill Portraits, offered 10-minute time slots that were booked up throughout last Saturday. Each dog owner paid $5 to have their pet’s portrait taken.

Mrs Fraser set up her equipment around a rustic scene with a wooden cart, old cream cans and bales of hay inside Vetlife Oamaru’s Thames St premises.

As a trial run the previous day, she photographed her own 4-week-old chocolate Labrador puppy Dozer.

Then Natasha Kozik, who could not be there on Saturday, took along her rescued pit bull-collie, Jake, and her mother’s rescued corgi-Jack Russell, Sky. The two obligingly posed separately and together for Mrs Fraser.

Photos of all the dogs would be in a 2020 calendar also raising funds for Pound Paws Rescue.

A Pound Paws Rescue spokeswoman said it was “an ongoing battle” to rehome dogs left in the district’s pound or from private owners.

It was not simply a matter of finding people who wanted a dog. Some of the animals had difficult temperaments or had been affected by their previous circumstances, so it was important to “get the right owners”, the spokeswoman said.

All dogs were desexed before being rehomed.

The common perception was that only big, tough dogs ended up in the pound. But that was not the case.

“There are all breeds and all sizes.”

She had handled many cases of Bichon Frises needing new homes.

Lukey, a rough collie-cross that made the news in 2017 when he was attacked by another dog while being walked in Waimate, was one of the dogs being photographed for the calendar. Initial fears he would not survive face and neck wounds proved unfounded and he was now 12 years old and living happily with the foster family that had adopted him from the Timaru pound.

Mrs Fraser photographed 42 dogs. This week their owners were choosing the shot to be used for the calendar, then all 42 photos would displayed in the Vetlife windows.

The public would vote for their favourites, at $1 per vote.

Mrs Fraser said she was now seeking 12 sponsors, one for each month of the year, to contribute $100 each to produce the calendar.