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Intergenites at large in the community (warning: cute puppies ahead)

This week six Intergenites made use of their community service leave day to head out to Otaki, get our gumboots on and help the non-profit organisation, HUHA. Helping you help animals is committed to providing shelter to homeless animals and works to teach people animal empathy in the community.  

At work in the office, Intergen’s Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG) is that Everyone, every day is touched positively by the things we do. It was great to be able to apply our BHAG and make a real difference outside the office, in a completely different way.

In the space of a day, between us we walked nearly 30 dogs a total of nine kilometres, per person, in the stunning setting of the Otaki race course. But it wasn’t all a walk in the park (or race course) – there were some less desirable (and less sanitary) jobs, too, but feeding and weighing six-week old puppies, cuddling a Kaimanawa foal, brushing retired horses and playing with the pooches more than made up for it!

Having the opportunity to work in the community with a great team of people from Intergen was a feel-good experience. Many hands make light work, and we made a big difference to the day-to-day running of an animal shelter. I'd love to see Intergen do it again next year with a few blokes and power tools involved, too – there's always a fence to be fixed or a tap requiring a new washer!

The highlight of my day was working with the Kaimanawa horses, in particular Niko, a very young foal. I have a bit of a background volunteering at HUHA – and my favourite place is out in the paddock (where there is plenty of “cleaning up” to be done). These once wild horses watch you patiently, and if you wait, and if you’re lucky, they might just trust you enough for a gentle pat.

Hopefully the next trip can be to HUHA's Kaitoki sanctuary where they now have five Capuchin monkeys

Here’s what some of our other Intergenite volunteers had to say about their HUHA experience.


Lucy Bentley

As an animal lover, it’s great to help the guys out who are passionate about helping you help animals.  The sanctuary was so clean and the animals were not distressed in any way – just far too excited! 

We all mucked in, which included poop scooping, washing up and, of course, dog walking for hours.  Yes, it was very cute cuddling and weighing the more than eight (I lost count) two-week old puppies but sad that homes need to be found for all of them as the pregnant mother was abandoned.  Wellingtonians, check HUHA out in Otaki and Kaitoke, and thank you Intergen for allowing Community Service Leave for Intergenites. We felt we made a difference and as I result I’m sure most of us will continue with some form of volunteering.


Jen van der Zwet

It was such a great and humbling day. A huge thanks to  Intergen for the opportunity to  do something out of the workday norm. I suspect that HUHA and I will now form a long and abiding bond!


Cushla O’Neill

I was so impressed by the care and love that the animals receive at HUHA and how healthy they all look.  Every personality is catered to and the amount of work that goes into that is astounding.

It was such a joy to spend time with so many beautiful dogs and very hard not to put them all in my car and take them home!  I will tell everyone I know to get any animals they can from HUHA and as soon as we fix our fence and are on holidays this year we plan on coming to adopt a dog.

I fell completely in love with Penny and although we can’t manage a big dog just yet (otherwise my cat will seek alternative accommodation…) I truly hope she goes to wonderful owners.  And if that doesn’t happen in the near future then I plan on coming to get her! I hope to get up there again soon and help again wherever I can.


Sarai Hemara

I was very humbled by the experience at HUHA. It is an amazing organisation – like a hotel for dogs – and I will make sure I rave about it to anyone who will listen. The animals are extremely well looked after, and through HUHA’s hard work and dedication these dogs have a second chance at life. My highlight of the day was seeing big old Xena and the king of the courtyard Max – what well-mannered and loving dogs they are. Keep up the fantastic work and I hope to be back at HUHA mucking in again soon.


A great team building day for a wonderful charity. If you’re an animal lover, make sure you check out the cause – there are lots of ways you can help. And you can find more photos in our Facebook Photo Album.

Posted by: Tamzin Mackley, Graphic Designer | 04 October 2013

Tags: Community, HUHA

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