Buzzy Bee, NZ’s most loved children’s toy and a symbol of a Kiwi childhood, has taken on an important new role working with Pet Refuge NZ.  Buzzy Bee is wrapping his wings around the hundreds of Kiwi families and their pets affected by domestic violence each year and will work with the pet charity to raise awareness of the unrelenting need for temporary shelter for pets whose families are affected by domestic violence. His new role will help those families and their pets escape unsafe environments and start life over.

For over 80 years, Buzzy Bee has been a much-loved member of Kiwi households and in that time, he has seen it all, the good, the bad, and everything in between. In the hundreds of families affected by domestic violence every year, it’s often the family pet who is threatened with harm so as to control victims and prevent the family from leaving.

Pet Refuge, provides temporary shelter and care for pets affected by domestic violence, keeping them safe while their owners escape abuse. Domestic violence in NZ is the highest in the developed world and fear for their pet’s safety is a major factor that prevents people from leaving abusive relationships. A Women’s Refuge survey of women whose partners had abused or threatened their pets also found 53% delayed leaving family violence out of fear for their pet’s safety.

CEO and Founder of Pet Refuge, Julie Chapman says, “When Buzzy approached us offering his support, we thought about his legacy and realised very quickly that for over 80 years, Buzzy Bee has seen the impacts of abuse in Kiwi homes and that often, where there has been a scared child, there has also been a beloved toy like Buzzy Bee giving them comfort, so it made sense for him to join us and use his voice for good.”

The need for funds to provide shelter for more pets is relentless and increasing daily.  The shelter is currently full to over-flowing and while the aim is to never have to turn a pet or family away, sadly for the first time since it opened in July 2021, they have had to waitlist nine pets needing refuge. It is heartbreaking to witness the state some pets are in when they arrive, already having already severely suffered physical and mental trauma.

Together Pet Refuge and Buzzy Bee are united for good, standing up against domestic violence. Knowing their pet is safe and sheltered is often the circuit breaker that allows women and men to make that first step towards a safer, happier life and stop the cycle of abuse perpetuating down through generations.

If you would like to help Pet Refuge continue to take care of the precious pets of families affected by domestic violence, please go to or call 09 975 0850.

Images: Pet Refuge NZ.

This is a sponsored article produced in partnership with Pet Refuge NZ.

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