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Wellington Charity: HUHA

We're now associated with a new charity in Wellington, HUHA (Helping You Help Animals). Helping you help animals (HUHA) is dedicated to teaching empathy to the community and providing shelter for those less fortunate animals that struggle to survive in today’s disposable culture. The sanctuary is fun and interactive in many ways, designed to encourage our community to be proactive and take responsibility for the welfare of animals and the protection of our unique environment. HUHA actively works everyday to find homes and foster care for a multitude of homeless, abandoned, seized and abused animals.

The desire to help, protect and rescue animals and birdlife has always been part of Carolyn Press-McKenzie’s DNA. She has, in herself, been a one-woman sanctuary for living beings her whole life.

She and her husband, Jim McKenzie, bought a 13-acre paradise in Kaitoke and called it the Pakuratahi Farm Animal Sanctuary and there all creatures that needed help were treated with respect and compassion; they were promised a new life free of small cages, chains, boredom, ignorance and other forms of abuse.

As time went on, it became clear that many of the animals were not neglected or abused through conscious cruelty, but through ignorance and thoughtlessness; not behaviours of a criminally evil bent but the lesser, and fixable, condition of lack of knowledge, empathy and awareness. Sometimes people’s circumstances caused their lives to crumble about them and their animals became casualties of hard times.

So the real need to share knowledge with people to assist them in the choices they made that affected animals became apparent. It wasn’t enough to just rescue animals, but to get information out on how to care for animals, to understand them and consider them.

Meanwhile, the numbers of injured, damaged and unwanted animals increased and one thing became blindingly chesterclear to Carolyn and Jim – two people alone could not do all that needed to be done. They would either have to limit the vision and leave some things unaddressed and some animals unrescued, or they would need to expand and get people to help.

In 2008, the Pakuratahi Animal Sanctuary was rebranded as HUHA – Helping You Help Animals. This was to put the “You” into the project; the recognition that it wasn’t just all about finding someone to take on the problem and walk away relieved. The community could take responsibility, wants to take responsibility, everyone (with help and knowledge) should be part of the solution. It began by providing an education resource online as well as the continued provision of a safe haven for injured, neglected and abused animals and wildlife. It was a place where all volunteers were keen to join up, helping with working bees, caring for the animals at the sanctuary, sharing ideas and their vision for the future.

For more information about HUHA visit their website - huha.org.nz