SPCA enlists dogs for street appeal

An SPCA dog (Newshub.)
An SPCA dog (Newshub.)

The SPCA street appeal kicked off, and this year's donations are literally going to the dogs.

The charity has enlisted the help of some furry collectors and Wilhelmina Shrimpton caught up with one of them.

His name is Bullet. He's a basset hound, and not your average SPCA street appeal collector.

This year he's hitting the streets alongside up to 1600 volunteers.

"As soon as we bring dogs into the mix it makes people stop and look," acting SPCA CEO Andrea Midgen says.

But Bullet is more than just a pretty face.

Donning his blue SPCA jacket complete with a payWave terminal, he's ready to collect donations from the cashless on the streets of Auckland. And this weekend he's not the only hound on the job.

"This is a trial we've only got five operating over the weekend to see how it goes, because people just simply don't carry cash anymore," Ms Midgen says.

The SPCA isn't the only charity eyeing up change in the way it collects donations.

"For charities the days of bucket shaking are almost over, so we're certainly working with them on other options," says ASB spokeswoman Shelley Dunmore.

"We are in a cashless society - people just simply don't carry the coins that they used too."

So how does it work?

People pick the amount they want to give and like your normal payWave simply hovering you card close to the terminal is all it takes.

And do not fear, getting up close and personal with these pups won't inadvertently leave you out of pocket.

"If people are brushing against it, it's certainly not going to go off," Ms Dunmore says.

"The card actually has to be held quite close to the terminal for the payment to be processed."

The SPCA wants to raise $500,000 and if these payWave pooches go well, you might be seeing plenty more like bullet in the future.

Because how can you say no to puppy eyes?

"It takes a lot of money to do what we do. We've got a lot of different ways of raising money, but it's always a tough place to be," says Ms Midgen.

So forget everything that you thought you knew about your typical SPCA volunteer, because five of these furry little guys will be out in force over the weekend.