Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: shining a light on SPCA’s fight against animal cruelty
SPCA works year-round to prevent cruelty to animals across Aotearoa New Zealand, but April is a unique month to shine a spotlight on this work. Known as Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month, the next four weeks are an opportunity to highlight the vital work SPCA does for the animals, and how that is made possible with the support of kind-hearted Kiwis.
Prevention of cruelty to animals is in our name and it's the core reason SPCA exists. By preventing animal cruelty at its cause and breaking the cycle in our communities, we will achieve better outcomes for the animals we serve.
Like you, we want every animal to receive the love and respect they deserve. However, there is no easy fix to achieving this, nor a one-size-fits-all approach to making this possible. No single case our Inspectors come across is black and white. Our team operates within delicate, complex situations but the animals’ welfare remains our top priority.
Preventing animal cruelty is multi-faceted and challenging work. There are many tools in the kit that our teams utilise across the country to get the best outcomes for the animals we are entrusted to protect, including...
Collaborating with our communities
SPCA works towards long-term change for the animals, not short-term solutions that result in reoffending. For low-level offending, a compassionate and collaborative approach that offers support, guidance and information often leads to long-term behaviour change. It gets the best outcome for animals and their owners and ultimately prevents cruelty down the track.
In some cases, a collaborative approach is not always possible or appropriate. In a number of cases, our Inspectorate will thoroughly investigate and hold animal abusers accountable for their actions in court.
Educating our tamaraki
Every year, thousands of abused, neglected, and injured animals arrive in SPCA’s care. To break this cycle of abuse, we need to educate the next generation of animal owners. Our team has developed a free education programme for schools and people working with children, designed to change the hearts and minds of young Kiwis, benefitting countless future generations of animals.
Breaking the cycle of unwanted litters
Desexing is one of the most effective ways to address the cause of unwanted animals being born abused and neglected. By stopping unwanted litters of animals, SPCA can intervene before a problem has even arisen. Accomplishing this means SPCA can refocus its efforts on proactive protection of animal welfare, rather than reactive responses where cruelty or neglect has already occurred. It’s why we have invested in a focused desexing strategy to really make an impact. In the last year, we desexed almost 28,000 animals in SPCA Centres and in regions across the country, preventing the birth of thousands more into harsh realities.
Being a voice for the voiceless
Engaging with stakeholders and building relationships with Government is key to achieving legislative change and improving animal welfare. Our dedicated team of scientists advocate at every opportunity for the animals. In the past year, 25 submissions were made to relevant authorities, we attended 304 stakeholder meetings to advance animal welfare, and we were part of 13 advisory groups and committees.
Over the next month, we will be shining a light on how SPCA is living up to its name in preventing cruelty, the animals you’ve helped save, and the people and Inspectors behind the badge. Keep an eye out for the orange ribbon – the international sign of this important month – for stories we’re sharing to talk about this important work. Stay tuned, Aotearoa!