About Us


Concerned, angered and painfully tired of seeing dogs lined up to be destroyed, Graham and Theresa Elizabeth Fitzpatrick took a brave step and founded the Dog Protection Society in 1973. Etched in the society’s constitution since then are 4 critical objectives:

  • To promote and maintain, within New Zealand, an educated and humane public opinion on all matters relating to the welfare of dogs and to encourage people, including children, by means of instruction and education, to be kind and compassionate to dogs.
  • To establish, equip and operate within New Zealand sanctuaries, havens, kennels and hospitals for dogs, and other animals, which are sick, injured, abandoned, homeless or unwanted.
  • To foster and uphold the rights of conscientious dog owners in New Zealand.
  • To promote the humane treatment of animals.

Furthermore, no dog being sheltered by us, in good all-round health, will be destroyed. They will remain well sheltered, warm and clean, have good nutrition, exercised and have access to necessary veterinary attention.

We subscribe to the 5 freedoms of animals and extend this to include human companionship as a right.


A beautiful area covering 6 acres of semi-rural land in the heart of Coatesville is what we have called home since 1978. It’s also been a temporary home for thousands of dogs over the past 4 decades.

Our History

The Dog Protection Society was founded in 1973 by Graham and Theresa Elizabeth Fitzpatrick. The objective for establishing the Society remains true today – to provide a temporary home for homeless dogs with no time limit on how long they stay before they find a new forever home – after all, finding the right home for a dog can take time.

Our location is the ideal place for dogs to live and enjoy life until they find a new home.

What we do?

In addition to rescuing and looking after homeless dogs, we also provide private boarding facilities and doggy day care services for dogs. This commercial element of our organisation provides much-needed funds for our charitable work – every cent earned through our facility benefits the society and the work it does.