Community engagement is hot right now. First conceptualised in the shopping mall space by Austrian architect and mall designer Victor Gruen, the idea of a community-focused mall was a strong influence in the design of Stride’s new West Auckland NorthWest mall. Now, Botany Town Centre has leaned into its community responsibility by planning a series of adoption days for “death row” dogs in partnership with non-profit dog rescue organisation, DC Rescue.
Botany Town Centre is managed by AMP Capital Shopping Centres. It will host its inaugural adoption day on the 26 March from 9am until noon. At the centre, DC Rescue will be joined by dog trainers Citizen Canine, and together they will help introduce puppies and older dogs to potential owners. Dog photographer Kelly Wolfe will capture images of potential matches on the day, and dog treat specialists OnePodgyDog will have a stall on hand for those who want to spoil their new best friend rotten.
There will also be a drop-off point inside Botany Town Centre where shoppers can donate dog food, blankets and other supplies.
The aim of the operation is not just to raise goodwill, but to take pressure off Auckland’s overstretched animal shelters and to educate the community about dog safety skills. Botany Town Centre cites a 2015 report indicating that during that year, 9,432 dogs were impounded across all Auckland council pounds. More than 42 percent of these were euthanised.
Botany Town Centre senior marketing manager, Desiree Clark, says DC Rescue is an important organisation that she’s proud to support.
“Having rescued a dog myself I am motivated to set up regular adoption drives at the centre,” says Clark. “I know how one person can change one life and we couldn’t image our lives without our rescue dog, Benny. With the number of Auckland’s dog relinquishing rates remaining high, we hope to help as many dogs as we can find their new forever homes.”
Clark says there’s a stigma that adopting a dog is hard work, but she hopes the adoption event will help make this a more accessible option.
“We are bringing these dogs to the public so people can properly spend time and fall in love with them.”
DC Rescue founder Cherie Baker praised Botany Town Centre for getting involved.
“We are so happy Botany Town Centre reached out and offered to help share our message. We hope other shopping centres follow their lead in hosting adoption drives, because the issues of overpopulation and poor dog education are ongoing and people need many more opportunities to learn about dogs and interact with dogs that need adoption.”