An enduring legacy of love for animals
September is Gifts in Wills Month, and we’re taking time to recognise our SPCA Giving Hearts members. These generous people have made the decision to leave a gift in their Will to SPCA, ensuring that we can continue to support animals into the future. Meet Andi Cossar, one of our Giving Hearts members.
What does it mean to be an SPCA Giving Hearts member? These are the kind supporters who have committed to leaving a gift in their Will to SPCA, knowing that their contribution will be used to directly help the vulnerable animals that come into our care.
With very little Government funding, it is widely known that SPCA relies heavily on the generosity and dedication of animal-lovers in order to continue operating across New Zealand. We receive less than 5% Government funding, which is earmarked specifically for our Inspectorate service. Without the commitment of our supporters who have remembered SPCA in their Will, we simply would not be able to care for the many animals who desperately need us - providing veterinary treatment and medical care, animal rehabilitation, prosecutions to bring offenders to justice, or the day-to-day running of our Centres around the country.
This is why we are so grateful to our generous supporters, like Andi Cossar, whose love of animals will continue to make a positive impact for many years to come.
Andi’s is a name that is well known to many here at SPCA. She became involved with SPCA over 25 years ago, making her first donation all the way back in 1996. Since then, Andi has been contributing in various ways, assisting different Centres with volunteering and fostering.
Andi has said that it wasn’t a difficult decision to get involved with SPCA.
“I love animals, always have and always will. Once I learned what SPCA was all about, I was in,” she said. “It’s a place of eternal hope, no matter how dire the situation for the animal.”
Andi’s love of animals started from a young age, with her family living on a variety of small farms. “Growing up we had dogs, cats, geese, horses, pigs, cows, chickens, sheep…I definitely had an animal-centric childhood.”
For Andi, like many animal-lovers, she felt a special connection with these animals.
“The animals were always my sanctuary during hard times growing up,” she said. “I think they were instrumental in saving me – I owe them, and for this I’ll always support animals.”
Andi has been heavily involved with fostering over the years, which she began in Wellington. When it comes to cats, Andi is quite the expert; she’s opened up her home to all, from the smallest kittens to the oldest cats, and everything in between. Cats that needed socialisation as well as those that were suffering with ringworm have all found sanctuary in Andi’s care.
Due to its contagiousness, cats with ringworm can be more challenging to foster and often need more experienced caregivers. Andi has been one of these fosterers, with a wealth of knowledge on how to properly care for these animals.
As well as spending time volunteering with Wellington and Waihi SPCA, Andi has been heavily involved with the Christchurch Centre, particularly with both of their isolation units - one of which is specifically set up for cats with ringworm.
Helping these vulnerable animals and seeing their rehabilitation first-hand is one of the things Andi treasures most about her time working with SPCA.
“My favourite part is helping an animal recover from an illness and grow into their best selves, and then seeing them be adopted into a loving forever home. After 25 years of being involved, I still get a real feeling of joy each time I see an animal that I’ve helped go to their loving new home.”
SPCA Feline Isolation Attendant Shelley is one of our Christchurch team members who work closely with Andi, and knows that her commitment to the wellbeing of animals knows no bounds.
“There is no stopping Andi when it comes to helping any animal in need. She is one of the biggest animal advocates I know, and has dedicated any free moment in her busy life to the love, attention and care of animals,” Shelley says.
“She is dedicated, generous, hardworking, and just has such a positive presence about her.”
It’s clear that Andi’s presence is a wonderful comfort to those that she works with, and her commitment is felt deeply across the SPCA family. With her years of support through donations and volunteering, she has improved the lives of numerous animals around the country and is still doing so to this day.
Leave a gift in your Will to help the animals who need it most
As an SPCA Giving Hearts member, Andi has made the generous decision to leave a gift in her Will to SPCA – we asked what prompted her to make this commitment.
“I want the excellent work saving animals to continue, giving them their best chance at life, and to help prevent needless suffering. It’s the least I can do to help ensure this work continues long after I’ve left the planet.”
“These are caring, sentient beings that need our help and support. We, as humans, owe it to them.”
Leaving a gift in your Will to the animals is a very special last act of kindness that will make a positive difference to the future of animal welfare in New Zealand. These gifts ensure that SPCA can continue to operate for years to come.
If you are interested in learning more, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and request a free information pack, or visit our website. You can also call our Supporter Care team on 0800 888 444, who would be happy to answer any questions you may have.