Creating Change — Amanda Fraser-Jones, Chained Dog

Stephen Johnson

November 27, 2020

Creating Change

Here at Chive, we are on a mission to empower Kiwis to find and donate to causes they care about. There are some incredible charities doing important work, but at the heart of these organisation’s are inspirational, committed humans.

So we welcome you to our first edition of Creating Change, a series we are running to tell the stories of inspirational leaders here in Aotearoa. We hope to inspire you to see the change you can make in your community from these authentic, honest and well… human stories.

Our series begins with Amanda Fraser-Jones, Trustee and Founder of Chained Dog, a dog rehabilitation & rehoming charity based in Auckland — Tāmaki Makaurau.

Can you share a little bit about yourself and your journey to date?

I’m currently in Auckland however come from Te Puke in the Bay of Plenty. I have always loved animals, having grown up on a farm. After having my daughter at 18 my focus became supporting her, and I was too busy to have dogs. My jobs ranged from a Bailiff at the courts, Enforcement for council, to Sales and Marketing and website building. I’m a big believer in forging your own destiny and making change when you need to, which is how I went from Tauranga to Hamilton to now Auckland.

I’m passionate about making REAL change in the world, in whatever form that takes. I love animals (obviously lol), and my secret passion is writing, which I find cathartic, even if I’m not that great at it.

Takes us back a step to the moment you realised you needed to create your charity.

When my daughter was in her teens she really wanted a dog, a chihuahua to be exact. I wasn’t exactly rich so it was out of my league. Then by pure coincidence I met chihuahua breeders and they said they had an ex breeding dog who had come back to them and they were willing to sell her cheap. I didn’t know about backyard breeding at this time but I was about to get a sharp lesson on it! I turned up to meet her and this fat, sad, timid wee dog with no tail came round the corner. She had fur missing, and just had a sadness in her eyes I’ll never forget. I was told she may not come near me as she was not socialised. She looked around and then walked to me, lay down at my feet and went to sleep. I knew at that moment she was mine.

I asked what her story was and it left me horrified. They had bred and sold her to another breeder who let her have her first litter at 7 months old. After her 3rd litter before the age of 3 she was at the vets having an emergency cesarean and the vet had to desex her. Upon finding out that her money maker was closed for business the “breeder” left her at the vets uttering “well she’s no use to me anymore”.

I swore never to let her down again, and find some way of helping others like her.

Life got busy and I was unable to do anything other than donate to different causes, until years later I started volunteering in rescue. Over the proceeding years I learned a great deal and wanted to give it a shot myself. Thankfully there was an amazing team of humans wanting to come on board, and the rest shall they say is history!

So tell us about Chained Dog — What is it you do and how do you create change?

We are based in Auckland, however can help nationwide. Our vision is to empower dog owners to be the best they can be, by providing the tools and guidance to do so.

We do this in many ways. We work with owners of life chained dogs to help understand why the dog is life chained and how we can change this. We also work with council shelters around the country rehoming any dogs that need help. And we rehome any dogs who need to find a new home. Everything we do comes from a place of non-judgment, and a desire to really make a difference.

We have a huge focus on behaviour and ensuring that all the dogs needs are met — physically and mentally — before rehoming, and providing support to all our adopters for the life of the dog they adopt.

Another huge part of what we do is the “big picture”. It’s great to help dogs as we can, but there needs to be bigger change in society, with legislation and education being a major part of this, so we lobby MP’s and work with local government and SPCA to see how this can be achieved.

We are amazed by what you are achieving. What is next for you and Chained Dog?

We want to just keep growing, and bringing about change. We will continue doing what we do, and focussing more heavily on the education and legislation so that we can see some real change in NZ Society and their view on what it is to own dogs.

Simply an incredible human. We are so grateful to know Amanda and have Chained Dog as part of the Chive community. We hope this story left you moved, touched and inspired. If you are a change-maker or want to make a change in your community, reach out to us —

All the love, Stephen & Alice

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