Positive impact felt from the SPCA Desexing Grant
The Animal Sanctuary is just one of the recipients of the SPCA Desexing Grant, which was created to offer financial assistance to other animal rescues around New Zealand.
The SPCA Desexing Grant was introduced to support the desexing work of other rescue organisations around the country. This is an important part of SPCA’s two-year desexing initiative to tackle the overpopulation of unwanted animals in New Zealand.
Every year, we’re faced with the heart-breaking consequences that come from a lack of desexing in New Zealand. Countless litters of unwanted kittens and puppies born each year end up in shelters, pounds and rescues that are overflowing.
It’s an endless battle for our SPCA staff and volunteers to keep up with the numbers and fight for every animal to recover, and be adopted into a loving forever home.
This is why desexing is an absolutely critical step towards improving animal welfare. By reducing the number of unwanted litters being born, it’s a preventative initiative that targets the problem at the source. We know that this will have a long-term impact by bringing down the number of innocent animals being born into a life of neglect. As well as helping to stop pet overpopulation, there are many other benefits – such as health, behavioral and cost benefits – associated with desexing cats and dogs.
To ensure impartiality and transparency with the awarding of the funding, SPCA has partnered with Companion Animals Trust New Zealand to administer the grants.
The Animal Sanctuary
It has been wonderful hearing from recipients of the grant who have been able to desex various species of animals, not only cats and dogs. Shawn Bishop from The Animal Sanctuary was able to tell us about the large number of rabbits they desexed using the grant.
“We’ve been working in partnership with Auckland Cavy Care to rescue huge numbers of rabbits from an Auckland hoarder. We’ve had 319 rabbits from that property – desexing just 100 rabbits is $12,000. There was just no way we could afford all the spaying and neutering, or adopt out rabbits who could keep breeding. Well, SPCA came to our rescue,” Ms Bishop said.
“The SPCA Desexing Grant gave us a large grant specifically to desex these rabbits, and microchip and register them. The funds went straight to our vets for the surgeries. The relief was overwhelming, and we’re so incredibly grateful.”
We know the importance of having funds set aside specifically for desexing, as this means the rescue organisations can use its regular donations from the public for other important expenses. Desexing costs are high, so this can easily eat away at donations quickly.
“Donations could then be used for vaccinations for every rabbit, plus food, hay, hutches, and other medical treatments which some of the rabbits needed,” Ms Bishop said.
The Animal Sanctuary was also able to desex a number of Arapawa sheep.
A family that had initially rescued the sheep was now planning to move – and the sheep were going to be killed before The Animal Sanctuary stepped in.
“We took them for rehoming, and none of them had been desexed. This meant that it was only breeders who wanted to adopt uncastrated males, and produce more,” Ms Bishop explained.
“We were able to neuter all of the males because of this grant. Immediately, wonderful lifestyle homes opened up where the sheep would continue to be beloved companion animals, and not commodities.”
Alongside the Desexing Grant, SPCA is tackling the overpopulation of companion animals by funding regular Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns, which are held with participating vet clinics throughout the country. Cat owners are able to get vouchers for desexing at a cost of only $20.
The SPCA Desexing Caravan has also been travelling to rural locations to offer free desexing for companion animals, in communities where the need is high and access to veterinary services is difficult.
We’re so pleased to be able to work with other amazing rescue organisations around the country with a shared vision of improving the lives of animals, and being able to tackle such critical problems together as one. It’s extremely rewarding being able to see the effects of initiatives like these, and we look forward to hearing more feedback from the recipients of next year’s grants.