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In the 16 months Laney has been in the care of Thames SPCA, she has had only two applications from interested families. PHOTO: KELLEY TANTAU

Dog spends 16 months, and counting, in SPCA

A dog who was brought to Thames’ SPCA as a puppy is now nearing two-years-old, spending more time in the animal shelter than she ever was outside of it.
Melissa Donoghue, Thames SPCA’s animal attendant, says it’s now Laney’s turn to find her forever home.
Laney, a female mixed breed, was handed in to the shelter off Ngati Maru Highway after her owner could no longer take care of her.
That was 16 months ago, and Melissa said Laney – who has a maternal nature – deserved to find “her person”.
“She has been like a foster mum for so many of our abandoned puppies that have come into the centre,” she said. “They just don’t know how to act as they get a bit older – bad behaviour which a mum would usually sort out.
“Laney always straightens them out, and she’s done that for at least five lots of puppies. She’s gentle but firm and she’s got an energy about her but she can also lax out.”
In the 16 months Laney has been in the care of Thames SPCA, she has had only two applications from families interested in being her forever owners.
Melissa said the lack of interest was “heartbreaking”.
“She’s been in here for so long. She was a puppy – she was so young when she first came here. It would be good to see her with her person.”
Because Laney is a high-energy pooch and requires a property with secure fencing, Melissa thinks that’s why people have preferred to adopt other dogs.
But she said there’s many qualities to Laney that would make a new owner very happy.
She’s described as a type of dog “that just loves to do everything” – running, playing, or hanging out with her humans. She enjoys playing fetch, frisbee, tug-of-war, and going on hikes.
While there’s no time limit on Laney’s stay at the SPCA, and while Melissa does bring the dogs presents over Christmas, she would like to see Laney – who is vaccinated and desexed – have a new home by the New Year.
“I really want her to have her person everyday,” she said. “I give her what I can give her, but I’m only here for so many hours, and it’s then when I wish for them to have their own person and their own home.
“We make it the best for them while they’re here, but we do shed a tear when they head out the gate.”
DETAILS: To enquire about Laney, phone Thames SPCA on 07 868 6830 or visit