• The woman claims that the dog was "kept in a small enclosure"
  • She scaled the fence of the multi-million dollar mansion to "rescue" the dog
  • Mansion owners say they feel unsafe after the intrusion

A woman in Auckland scaled the fence of a multimillion-dollar mansion to “rescue” a dog she alleges was mistreated. The owners, however, said they are shocked by the incident and feel unsafe in their own house.

Rebecca Henwood, who walks her dogs near the high-end mansion, said she watched the dog for over a year and was concerned over its physical condition. She said that the dog appeared to suffer from a skin condition, was enclosed in a small kennel, and was extremely thin, NZ Herald reported.

Henwood said that she decided to take matters into her own hands after a failed attempt to rescue the dog through a complaint made to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found no breach of animal welfare laws.

She told the Herald that she went inside the property to take photographs of the dog, named Paul, but changed her mind after she saw it. She said that she saw cars outside the mansion and did not want to interrupt “the party being held by the owners.”

"It just all happened," the woman said, adding: "When I climbed the fence to his enclosure he was so happy to see me and wagging his tail and jumped up for pats… "I had no plan but I could not leave him there.”

Pet adoptions -- especially for dogs -- are said to have risen last year in several countries as people went into isolation due to the pandemic. With successful vaccination drives across the globe and offices reopening, many owners are now finding the pet experience “overwhelming” and an increasing number of shelters are reporting returns. First-time owners or owners without other pets are facing difficulties taking care of their furry friends.

"Pet owners need to work through possible separation anxiety issues, prepare pets for time alone, and look into hiring a dog walker if the dog needs to go out during the day. It was common to have pets and full-time jobs before the pandemic, so there’s no reason people going back to work can't successfully keep their pets, with some adjustments and planning," Eric Rayvid from Best Friends Animal Society told USA Today.

"Our pets have been there for us and provided companionship and comfort through an extremely difficult year, and we should honor the commitment we made to them through adoption," Rayvid added.

Rescued dogs are pictured at the Woof N' Wags shelter
Rescued dogs are pictured at the Woof N' Wags shelter AFP / JOSEPH EID