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Hundreds of cats on waitlist for entry as SPCA stretched by Covid-19 backlog

29 April 2021
Hundreds of cats on waitlist for entry as SPCA stretched by Covid-19 backlog

SPCA’s Māngere Centre is facing what’s thought to be its largest ever waitlist for adoptable cats and kittens, as it struggles to clear a huge backlog following multiple Covid-19 lockdowns in Auckland.

There are currently more than 400 adoptable cats and kittens waiting to be accepted into the Centre for veterinary care, including crucial de-sexing, de-worming, vaccinations and flea treatments, before they can potentially be fostered or adopted out.

The huge backlog stems from multiple Covid-19 lockdowns in Auckland over the last year, combined with a longer than usual kitten season which is pushing the Centre’s resources to the limit. Each time the city went into alert level three or four SPCA was only able to accept sick or injured animals, meaning any stray cats that were otherwise deemed healthy were unable to be taken in.

If a Centre is unable to take a vulnerable cats straight away, SPCA does its best to provide food for the animal and advice to the person who’s reported it. SPCA also works closely with other rescue groups to ensure the best outcome and care for the animal.

SPCA Auckland Area Manager Margaret Rawiri says while it’s normal to have a waitlist during kitten season, this is the worst she’s ever seen it.

“We’re used to being pushed to the limit during kitten season, but not like this. During each lockdown any healthy cats and kittens that we would normally take in for vet care and potentially adopt out, we weren’t able to, so we had to put them on a waitlist and it just keeps growing.”

There are currently more than 400 cats and kittens receiving care at SPCA’s Māngere Centre, including 283 kittens who’ve come through the doors this month alone.

SPCA Chief Executive Andrea Midgen says this year’s kitten season has lasted far longer than usual, partly due to warmer weather. An extended season and a drop off in the number of adoptions means the Centre’s cattery is full to the brim.

“Usually, kitten season begins to slow down in March, but we’re still seeing dozens of kittens and pregnant cats come through our doors,” says Ms Midgen. “Our Māngere Centre now has so many felines in its care that we’ve almost run out of cages and have no space to take in any more.”

In order to help clear the backlog, SPCA is urging people who are thinking about adopting a cat or kitten to check out those available at our Māngere Centre.

“We really need the public’s help to find some of the cats and kittens in our care their forever homes, so we can create more space for other animals who need our care,” says Ms Midgen. “If you’re considering adopting, we have so many wonderful cats and kittens with a wide range of personalities, colours and traits waiting to find their forever home.”

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