Vote for our Ally
Ally, a finalist in New Zealand’s Top Dog with a Job, has come leaps and bounds from being an abused and mistreated one-year-old – and she needs your votes now!
Ally was picked up by Lio, a South Taranaki District Council Compliance Officer at the beginning of the year. Lio contacted Summer Heather-Stewart, a former vet nurse and qualified animal welfare inspector, to assess Ally’s condition. Summer was met by an 18-month-old rottweiler, who had just had her fourth litter of pups, was lacking muscle condition, was exceptionally timid, and who didn’t play or feel safe.
“As part of the ‘We Love Dogs Charitable Trust’ we were asked if we could help rehabilitate Ally so she could be rehomed,” said Summer. “We transferred her ownership to the Trust and, working with a Wellington Trust Practitioner, we began to address Ally’s past trauma and fears.”
Work continued over several months and the rottweiler responded to the training – changing from a shy and hesitant dog to a balanced, trusting dog, who accepted cuddles and loved people.
“Ally’s personality showed she had many of the traits necessary to become a service dog for rest homes. I fell in love with her, and I officially adopted her in March 2023,” said Summer.
Summer arranged for a trial visit to an Idea Services home in Hāwera. The outing was a huge success with clients reacting positively to the new visitor – Ally was patient and accepting of the pats, played fetch when the ball was thrown and chased bubbles when they were blown. Summer said that she is intelligent and instinctively knows if clients don’t want to interact, she seems to understand non-verbal communication and responds to their needs.
With the trial a success Ally now has a regular job. She visits the Disability Hub in Hāwera, Idea residential homes and will start a new venture working with students from the special needs unit at Te Pae Pae o Aotea next week. It’s a pretty exciting journey for a dog who had a sad and traumatic start to life and a heartwarming story about the rewards for good training and a whole lot of love.
Summer entered Ally into the “Top Dog with a Job” category of NZ Top Dog, a nationwide competition run by Frog Recruitment an HR company based in Auckland. The criteria requires the top dog to make a positive difference in our society for the work they do to improve human lives on a day-to-day basis.
“Ally is clearly meeting that purpose,” says Summer. “Her new friends are delighted to see her and there is a higher level of interaction occurring between clients since Ally has been visiting.”
There have been over 350 entries and Ally has just been selected as one of the 20 finalists – the judging session is later this month, and the winners will be announced on 25 August.
If you’d like to vote for our Hāwera girl, please visit NZTOPDOG People's Choice - Vote now (frogrecruitment.co.nz) and type Ally into the search bar on the #NZTOPDOG page.