Locked up and lonely: Kiwis band together to save Rangi the dog

A Kiwi rescue group are going to incredible lengths to help an elderly Rottweiler enjoy his twilight years in comfort.

They're trying to fly the homeless pup from Singapore, where he currently lives, all the way to New Zealand.

Rottweilers usually only live between eight to 12 years, so nine-year-old Rangi is definitely getting on.

But he's spent the last year in a pound in Singapore, after being dropped off by his owners.

Singapore has incredibly strict laws regarding Rottweilers and other "dangerous" dog breeds, so for his best shot at happiness, rescue group Rottweiler Rescue and Rehoming NZ decided to bring him here.

Founder Tracey Hayes told Newshub it's not something they'd normally do - in fact, when someone first asked them to help six months ago, she turned them down.

"We've got enough with the dogs that we've got here. So to try and take on a dog from overseas is a big ask," she said.

"Given his age and story and everything, I thought we had to do something to help."

And it's a heartbreaking story.

Rangi, a purebred, was originally imported into Singapore from Serbia. He was shown under the name Rangi Kao Bumbarin.

But last year, his owners decided to downsize their property, dropping him off at a pound.

Rangi the Rottweiler wearing his muzzle in Singapore (supplied)
Rangi wearing his muzzle in Singapore (supplied)

Ms Hayes said Rangi was "destined to spend the rest of his life in the kennel" and that's when she decided to step in.

"And with a name like Rangi, he should be in New Zealand, right?" she said.

She and her rescue are fundraising on Givealittle to be able to fly Rangi over, including funding the requiring quarantine and vet checks.

It's a lot of money and funding to be spent on one dog, especially considering how many dogs are homeless in New Zealand as is; Ms Hayes said their group has rehomed more than 100 Rottweilers or mixes in the last 18 months alone.

But Rangi's a special case.

"We'd love to be able to get him to New Zealand, so he doesn't have to wear a muzzle and he doesn't have to live in that concrete confine anymore. No dog should live their life like that."

Once he arrives, he's set to be fostered by Ms Hayes. She says due to the breed's reputation, the rescue group has a very strict adoption policy.

Rangi will have to go through all sorts of behavioural tests and training, before a potential owner can apply.

"I've already got a lot of interest in him, to be honest, which is fantastic," Ms Hayes said.

"I don't think we'll have any problem [finding Rangi a forever home]."

For Rangi, it's an opportunity to spend his last few years in the company of someone who loves him, rather than alone in a pound.