SPCA New Zealand

Desexing partnership prevents hundreds of unwanted litters

15 July 2020
Desexing partnership prevents hundreds of unwanted litters

139 cats and kittens have been desexed, preventing hundreds of unwanted litters and thousands of unwanted animals being born in South Canterbury.

This is thanks to a collaboration between SPCA and cat rescue group Street Cats South Canterbury, which started earlier this year when Street Cats South Canterbury programme director Karen Soleresponded to SPCA’scall out to rescue groups.

“Like many charities across New Zealand, we’ve really felt the impact of COVID-19 on our ability to fundraise, and I reached out to SPCA wanting advice on raising much-needed funds to desex animals in our care,” Sole says.

A female kitten can fall pregnant at just 16-20 weeks old and can have 12 kittens in one year on average.

If the cycle continues and her offspring reproduces, 2107 kittens would be born over a period of four years. Desexing is the best way to prevent unwanted litters of animals.

SPCA came to Street Cats South Canterbury’s aid and helped secure a grant from Aoraki Animal Welfare Charitable Trust to desex the cats and kittens in their care. SPCA covered the cost for microchipping and registration of each animal.

Sole says 139 cats and kittens have since secured these vital procedures as a result, preventing over 280,000 unwanted animals being born over a four-year period.

“We are able to desex more animals than we initially thought and this will make a huge difference in breaking the cycle of unwanted litters in South Canterbury,” Sole says.

“Not only that, but many of our animals have since gone on to be adopted, which is fantastic.”

Some of these cats and kittens include Pete, Pearl, Peg Leg and Shiver Me Timbers- four kittens who were found lost in a hedge at just two-weeks-old, crying for their mum.

“They were supposed to go to the vet on the day New Zealand went into lockdown to get desexed, vaccinated and microchipped so they could be adopted. Instead, they stayed with a foster family throughout Alert Level 4, and were the first kittens in our care to benefit from our collaboration with SPCA,” Sole says.

All four kittens have now been adopted into loving families and 133 Street Cats South Canterburyanimals out of the 139 have since been adopted.

These are happy endings that SPCA Area Manager for West Coast and Rural Canterbury, Rebecca Dobson, is proud to be part of.

“It has been great to work with Karen and Street Cats South Canterbury to achieve such wonderful outcomes for the animals in her care,” Dobson says.

“Desexing is really important and one of the key ways we can make a difference for animals across New Zealand. With mating season around the corner, we really encourage anyone with pets that aren’t desexed or microchipped to reach out to your local vets and look at getting these important surgeries done.”

To find out more about desexing, visit our advice and welfare section.

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