Animal ID: #165898
A little bit about me
I didn't have the best start in life. Could you give me a second chance?
What's special about meHello, my name is Lucy. I was rescued from my sad past life, and after spending time in foster care am well on my way to learning to trust again. I have been a great mum to my 5 babies (spitting images of me!) and now they have flown the nest I can't wait to find a forever family to spoil me for the rest of my days. I can be a little shy at first, and am not yet used to being cuddled heaps, but go slowly with me and I will grow to be your best friend. Come and say hi!
1. Can you care for a companion animal for their whole life?
- The average lifespan of dogs and cats is around 12 years but some dogs and cats can live even 20 years or more!
- If you want to adopt a companion animal for your children, consider that children can tire quickly of the routine of caring for the animal. Parents often quickly become the animal’s primary caregiver and need to be OK with that. Therefore, adding a new animal family member must be a family decision and a family responsibility.
- If you are planning to move to another country or travel in the future, it might not be the right time to adopt an animal. However, it is possible to move country with your animal, and also to manage travel so that your animal is well cared for when you are away. Moving and travel are situations that can be managed, but this can be expensive and needs careful consideration and planning.
2. Can you afford to have the companion animal you are considering adopting?
All animals available for adoption from the SPCA have been health checked, desexed, vaccinated, and microchipped (for details see each adoption listing, as the exact details can vary by species); all of these are included in the adoption fee. However, there are also ongoing costs associated with having a companion animal.
These may include the following:
- Quality food and treats
- Worm and flea treatments
- Items such as leashes, toys, collars, housing, bedding, kennel, crates, enclosures
- Annual health check and vaccinations
- Veterinary visits and treatments due to illness or accidents, and preventative care
- Fees for boarding or home care for your animal if you need to go away
- Doggy Day care fees if you have to be away from your dog for long periods
- Training classes for puppies and dogs
- Annual registration fees for dogs (this is a legal requirement)
- Grooming expenses
- The cost of things that your animal might damage or that might suffer wear and tear, such as shoes, TV remote controls, books, couches, carpets, etc.
To help you get an idea of the cost of keeping a companion animal, the NZ Companion Animal Council has published data showing that companion animal owners spend on average the following amounts per year:
- $670 on their cat
- $1200 on their dog (larger dogs can be more expensive)
- $785 on their horse
- $310 on their rabbit
However, depending on an animal’s individual needs these costs could be significantly higher.
3. Are you able to care for the companion animal you are considering adopting?
- It is your responsibility to know how to properly care for your animals; the Animal Welfare Act 1999 states that “the owner of an animal, and every person in charge of an animal, must ensure that the physical, health, and behavioural needs of the animal are met in a manner that is in accordance with both good practice and scientific knowledge.”
- We can give advice on how to care for companion animals and help with any questions you might have. Your veterinarian is another source of credible and helpful information about caring for animals.
- Doing your research before you decide to adopt an animal will help you to make a good and informed choice about whether you can care for an animal and what animal would be most suitable.
- It is important that you are able to set aside adequate time to feed, exercise, groom, and interact with/play with your companion animal for their entire lifetime.
4. Is your home suitable for the companion animal you are considering adopting?
- The size of your home and garden and the location of your home are significant factors that determine how suitable your home is for a particular animal. For example, dogs need a safe fenced section, shelter, shade, and enough space outside in which to exercise, explore, and play. If you are thinking of adopting a cat and letting the cat outside, then you need to consider that cats can get injured on roads or affect local wildlife. Rabbits and guinea pigs need space inside, or a fenced area outside, in which to exercise, explore, and play.
- Some landlords do not allow their tenants to have animals. This means that having a companion animal can affect how easy it is to find a rental property and is something that you should consider if you are renting.
- If you already have companion animals, it is very important that you consider them, and how they will adapt to a new arrival, when thinking of adding another animal to your family.
5. Will a companion animal fit into your lifestyle?
- Long working hours, a busy social life, and regular trips away are all factors that will influence whether your lifestyle is suitable to share with a companion animal, and also what kind of animal might be best suited to you. It is important to consider these factors before deciding to adopt.
- All companion animals need human company and if you don’t spend enough time with them this can make them unhappy and seriously affect their quality of life.
- You should not adopt a companion animal unless you are:
- home often enough to keep your animal company (or have someone else at home to keep the animal company)
- prepared to walk your dog every day (if you are thinking of adopting a dog)
- able to give your animal the basic training they need
- able to arrange suitable care for your animal when you are away
If you have carefully thought through all of the questions above and your answer to all of the questions is ‘YES’, then you are ready to adopt!
If you said ‘no’ to any of the questions above or are unsure, please consider what you would need to do to ensure you are well prepared to become a responsible companion animal owner.
Visit our Advice and Welfare section for more detailed information about caring for specific animals .
Contact your local SPCA centre if you have any queries regarding animal ownership.
How to adopt Lucy
1. Come and meet me in person
Come and meet me and my friends at our animal centre during opening hours. Bring the whole family, have a look around our adoption area and chat to the team.
Please bring a photo of you rabbit hutch and run so the team can see where I will live. If you are a renter, please also bring proof from either your landlord or property manager that they give permission to have an animal (or an additional pet) on the property.
If you like you can download and complete the first page of the application form below before you come to the centre - we will use the information to learn more about you and your household so we can find the best match for your family.
2. Talk to our SPCA animal experts
Our friendly animal team will help you choose the pet that’s right for you – it might not be me after all. They will discuss your lifestyle, experience level and what you’re looking for. They’ll check you tick all the boxes for adoption and introduce you to some of the animals that are right for you and your lifestyle. Bring everyone who lives in the house (especially any children) to come and meet the animals to ensure the best match for your family.
Please come in well before the centre closes and allow plenty of time for your visit. And don’t feel down hearted if you are unable to find your ‘perfect match’ straight away. It may take several visits before you find the right animal for you, but don’t give up – your forever companion will be well worth the wait!
3. Fill in the paperwork and pay the adoption fee
It’s time to make it official. Once you’ve found the pet for you, you’ll need to complete an application form and get one of the team to review and approve the adoption. You then pay the adoption fee and get ready to bring your new family member home.
We have a pet supplies store, selling everything you need for your new companion. Before you leave the SPCA, make sure you pop in. All profits help us protect New Zealand’s animals.