HUHA has advocated for, rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed or released tens of thousands of animals since its founding in 2001

From rescuing animals from volatile family violence situations to advocating for better animal welfare laws to working to heal wombats and koalas after Australia’s devastating bushfires, HUHA takes an integrated and collaborative approach to helping animals. Together with our HUHA community, we can - and do – change so many lives. 

If you’d like to support animals in need, there are so many ways to help.

Man in a singlet holding the face of a white furred ram as it looks up at him through the fenceline & two women looking after an injured kangaroo Man in a singlet holding the face of a white furred ram as it looks up at him through the fenceline & two women looking after an injured kangaroo Man in a singlet holding the face of a white furred ram as it looks up at him through the fenceline & two women looking after an injured kangaroo
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Disaster Deployment and Response
When animals are at risk, HUHA mobilises to support communities and save lives.

Over the years, HUHA has recruited, trained and now stands ready to deploy an experienced disaster response team across the country should the need arise. Learn more about some of our major disaster response rescue missions.

Major weather events in Northland, Auckland, Hawkes Bay, Southland and Westland

Animal Rehoming New Zealand Dog Shelter Wellington Animal Rescue New Zealand
Set up temporary evacuation centres for the people of Westport evacuated from their homes during major storms in July 2021 and February 2022. Assisted local animal rescues and provided food support to dozens of animals during Southland and Northland flood events in 2020. Provided emergency food, temporary relocation of at-risk animals and access to veterinary care during Auckland’s 2023 floods and Cyclone Gabrielle emergency.

Covid-19 pandemic

Animal Adoptions New Zealand Cat Rescue Wellington Animal Shelter Wellington
Provided food support to hundreds of animals and dozens of communities across the country during the pandemic with the highest need during the initial lockdown in 2020.

Australian bushfires of 2020

Adopt a Rescue Pet New Zealand Animal Abuse Shelter Wellington Animal Welfare New Zealand
HUHA volunteers spent several months in Australia at the time of the devastating Australian bushfires. We set up three wildlife veterinary triage centres, and rescued and gave veterinary care to countless wombats, kangaroos and koalas (amongst other suffering creatures); rebuilt enclosures and facilities on three animal carers’ fire-affected properties; and established a rehabilitation centre that will see the 1,500 km territory of the New South Wales’ Snowy mountains LAOKO wildlife rescue team resourced for long-term wildlife burn care.

Nelson bushfires of 2019

Volunteer Positions at Animal Shelter Wellington Rescue Dogs for Adoption New Zealand Cat Adoption Wellington
HUHA traveled to Nelson as the bushfires took hold and established a make-shift, temporary shelter within 24 hours of arrival. HUHA stayed there for 4 weeks until the last of the 950 animals that were sheltered there through that terrible time had been able to return home.

Major earthquakes – Kaikoura in 2016 and Christchurch in 2011

Dog Rescue New Zealand
Provided a helicopter to transport SPCA NRU and engaged Rimutaka prisoners to make hundreds of stress-relieving swaddles to comfort affected dogs in Kaikoura. In Christchurch, organised water supply for trapped horses and relocated and reunited or rehomed over 160 lost animals including dogs, cats, chickens and turtles during and after the earthquake event.
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Animal Rescue, Rehabilitation and Rehoming or Release
HUHA has been rescuing multitudes of homeless, abandoned and injured animals for decades.

Every year, HUHA is called on to help rescue thousands of animals. The entire team of volunteers and staff then work tirelessley to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome or release animals in need so they can have a brighter future.

Attempted rescue of baby orca Toa in 2021

Farm Animal Rescue New Zealand Horse Rescue New Zealand
It was such an honour to try and help Toa while he was parted from his mum. Alongside Dr. Ingrid Visser, Christa, Wendy, Floppy, Ben, Theo, Mike and Mandy we gave our best to help baby Toa. We didn't get much sleep and smelled of fish, but we were proud to play our part caring for Toa around the clock. HUHA founder Carolyn's clever thinking helped fill Toa's belly by creating a teat out of the cut leg of her wetsuit. Thank goodness WETA came to the party and took the design to the next level. We are so incredibly sad to say that Toa passed after 10 days and was not reunited with his mother and pod. Every day he showed so much strength and resilience, so every day we dug deep and supported him every way we could.

The 191 Christchurch Cow rescue 2020-21

HUHA was called in to rescue 191 emaciated cows that the Ministry of Primary Industries said must be taken off the properties or euthanised. This was one of the hardest missions for HUHA as it took a huge financial and emotional toll on the organisation, staff and volunteers. Bulls had been left to run with cows so the herd had grown and, in many cases, had become dangerously malnourished. Before rehoming could take place, the cows had to be fed and nourished back to health, castrated, dehorned, vaccinated, drenched and tested for mbovis and TB and allocated NAIT numbers. This rescue was difficult and traumatic for all involved. It required a massive rehabilitation, transportation and re-homing effort and saw cows placed in forever pet homes all across the country. 

The 170 Christchurch duck rescue of 2021

A Canterbury duck rescue became overwhelmed and had to move and downsize. HUHA rescued and worked to rehome approximately 170 mixed breed domestic ducks across New Zealand.

Ongoing animal rescues

HUHA has rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed tens of thousands of abandoned, homeless or injured native, wild and community animals in need - including companion and rural animals. Additionally, HUHA is regularly called to help rescue, de-sex and home orphaned baby animals whose mothers have been killed in traps or by hunters. HUHA provides a permanent sanctuary to around 150 animals not suitable for rehoming including those with special needs such as our monkeys and wallabies from a closed zoo or our blind or permanently injured animals who need ongoing veterinary attention and purpose-built homes.

Ongoing bird rescues

Since HUHA began, we’ve rehabilitated and released hundreds of native birds injured in windowstrike and other accidents and helped rehabilitate and release 300 fairy prions exhausted after a storm. Additionally, we regularly patrol local Wellington waterways during summer to rescue birds from toxic algae (botulism).

Ongoing veterinary outreach and care

HUHA has a small but experienced vet team who are passionate about community outreach and help educate the public and provide access to desexing, microchipping, vaccination and mange treatement. HUHA has recently helped with parvo and mange rescue campaigns in the Wellington area. HUHA vets works to treat and nurture hundreds of injured and abandoned animals back to health so they can be successfully rehomed or released.
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Advocacy and Welfare Reform 
Together with our community, HUHA has improved and saved lives of thousands of animals through advocacy campaigns and activities.

  • HUHA proudly collaborates with organisations such as Be Cruelty Free, New Zealand Anti-Vivisection Society (NZAVS) and World Animal Protection to ban animal testing
  • Assisted Whanganui District Council and community to disestablish euthanasia-by-gas facility and shift to a compassionate method via contract with a local veterinary surgeon. HUHA mediated and facilitated round-the-table discussions to find a better outcome for animals. Additionally, HUHA brought some death row dogs back to our sanctuaries.
  • Successfully petitioned Parliament to leave animals out of legal high testing 
  • Co-led ‘Out of the Labs’ campaign to make re-homing of ex-laboratory animals compulsory
  • Led Stop Breeding Puppies to Death campaign to expose the cruel practices of puppy mills and encourage adoption as an alternative
  • Liberation of Piggy Sue for the Mike King Factory Farmed Pig Campaign on TV3’s Sunday

Working against animal exploitation
HUHA works tirelessly to prevent animal cruelty and exploitation in all of its forms. Here are some highlights from our work over the years.

  • Thousands of battery hens liberated from factory farms
  • Hundreds of pigs, rabbits, horses, bobby calves and lambs liberated from factory farms and/or saved from slaughter
  • More than one hundred horses and dozens of greyhounds rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed from the racing industry
  • Thirty-eight Kaimanawa horses (many captive bred) rescued from slaughter 
  • Thirty beagles rescued, rehabilitated and rehomed from an animal-testing facility
  • Dozens of animals retired from animal research, testing and teaching facilities
  • Re-homed 15 elderly greyhounds from a closed racing facility.
  • Eight wallabies and four monkeys rescued after a zoo closure
  • Six donkeys rescued from slaughter after the family of their deceased owner sent them to the yards for dog food.
  • Three ex-circus monkeys rescued and given permanent sanctuary
  • Liberation of Piggy Sue for the Mike King Factory Farmed Pig Campaign on TV3’s Sunday

Community education
HUHA believes we can create better, more sustainable outcomes for animals by connecting and strengthening communities and teaching empathy. 
Here are some highlights of HUHA’s work in the community.

  • Over a hundred thousand people visit HUHA’s website annually to learn about animal care, adoption opportunities and to support HUHA campaigns 
  • Eighty thousand people follow HUHA on Facebook or Instagram and engage with us in our work to save lives
  • Hundreds of community volunteers regularly support HUHA at our shelters, Op Shops, Vet Clinic and at events such as our annual Street Appeal or animal welfare events
  • Our team regularly conduct visits with school and community groups to educate about animal empathy and care
  • HUHA encourages regular visits to HUHA Vets from students studying animal care, veterinary and vet nursing who want to get hands on volunteer experience
  • Annual participation in the Gateway Programme to offer senior students structured workplace learning opportunities related to all aspects of animal care as a path to future workplace opportunities or Tertiary study
  • Partnered with WINZ and the Community Max Scheme to provide work experience, training and upskilling for 22 young people in 2009

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