The Wellington Lions can expect their home crowd to bark plenty of orders, literally, when they host Canterbury at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.
That’s because Wellington Rugby and their official Match Day Charity Partner, the Wellington SPCA, are inviting Lions fans to bring their dogs to the game in what will be a historic Mitre 10 Cup moment.
The unique event will allow fans to bring their beloved hounds along to share the experience and help them support their favourite team.
Wellington Lions captain Brad Shields, a dog owner himself, said the team were happy to help.
“A lot of the guys own dogs or have had dogs in their families so it’s easy to relate to the SPCA’s cause. It’s usually the captain or the referee barking the orders on game day, but I guess they won’t be the only ones on Sunday.”
SPCA collectors will be accepting donations on the day to help support their work in protecting and caring for abused, neglected and vulnerable animals in the community.
Wellington SPCA Marketing and Fundraising Leader Vicky Hale said it was a great opportunity to raise awareness of the organisation’s work.
“Every year, the SPCA protects over 46,000 animals across the country and we’re thrilled the Lions have got in behind our cause.”
Hale urged owners to make good decisions before deciding to bring their dog to the event.
“The animal needs to be social with other dogs and people and be comfortable in a busy environment. Most owners will have a good feel as to whether a busy stadium will suit their dog.”
Dogs and their owners will have a dedicated entry point at aisles (14 & 15) and will have to sign a waiver to gain entry to the dog zone.
Wellington Animal Services staff will be on site to monitor animal and owner behaviour with entry restricted to one dog per owner.
Wellington Rugby Commercial and Marketing Manager Shane Binnie said the unique event wouldn’t have been possible without the co-operation of Westpac Stadium management.
“It was a big idea and the Stadium has been great! Together we have created a unique opportunity that is going to be a fun for everyone involved.”
Westpac Stadium chief executive Shane Harmon said he was looking forward to watching the day unfold.
“We really admire the innovation from the Wellington Lions and we are happy to support this initiative. It should be a fun day for the fans.”
Dog owners wanting to bring their “best friend” to the match will need to purchase a valid ticket to the match or hold a Wellington Lions membership.
CONDITIONS OF ENTRY into the Dog zone:
- * Dog owners and anyone wishing to enter the dog zone will be required to sign and submit a waiver at the gate entry.
- * One dog per person.
- * Dog owners must be over the age of 18.
- * Dogs must have current registration tags to gain entry to the stadium.
- * Dogs must be kept on a lead and under control of the owner at all times.
- * Dogs and owners will be seated in the special dog zone (aisles 14 &15) on the Western side of the stadium. General admission will remain on the Eastern side.
- * Dog owners wanting to bring their “best friends” to the match will need to keep them on a leash at all times.