SPCA New Zealand

Calling all dog lovers – SPCA holds national half-price adoption campaign on canines

18 September 2023

From 23 September until 1 October, SPCA is holding a national half price adoption campaign for dogs, after noticing an increasing trend that canines are spending longer in care than usual.

Calling all dog lovers – SPCA holds national half-price adoption campaign on canines

Winter has always been a tough season to find homes for dogs, but 2023 has been more challenging than usual.

SPCA’s General Manager of Animal Services, Dr Corey-Regnerus Kell says on average, dogs are staying at Centres roughly 20 days more than they did the same time last year.

“This has a real knock-on effect on how many animals we can bring into our care as well as an impact on animal wellbeing. We know longer times in shelter environments can lead to higher stress and anxiety levels, a higher risk of contracting illnesses – and in some cases, reduced likelihood of adoption,” Dr Regnerus-Kell says.

Other factors contributing to longer staying times include the compounding of cost of living, lack of desexing and the impact of extreme weather events on New Zealanders.

“As we approach the incredibly busy kitten season, we need to ensure our Centres have capacity for incoming animals. This 50% discount offer is about helping give a push to those people on the fence about bringing a dog into their home. As part of the adoption process, we always address the cost and commitment of bringing a pet into your home, so we know they go to responsible pet owners.”

One of the many dogs waiting for a home for more than a year now is two-year old Lola, who is currently based at SPCA’s Greymouth Centre and has been in care since March 2022.

Lola was originally based at the Renwick Centre, but due to little interest she was transferred to Greymouth with high hopes that she might find her forever home – but she’s still waiting.

“It is heart breaking to see these beautiful companions with us for so long. Our teams do such wonderful jobs caring for dogs like Lola, but we know a shelter environment is not a place where dogs thrive,” Dr Regnerus Kell says.

A Companion Animals New Zealand survey* conducted in 2020 showed that 59% of New Zealanders who do not have companion animals would like to get one, which is around 375,000 households, or one fifth of kiwis – a very similar figure to 2015.

The main barriers to this group having companion animals are their home or lifestyle not being suitable (37%), the landlord or property where people live not allowing animals (33%), cost (32%), and responsibility (26%).

"We hope that this campaign will inspire those who have been contemplating bringing a dog into their lives to take the leap and welcome a canine companion into their homes,” adds Dr Regnerus Kell.

“Adopting a dog is a long-term commitment that requires thoughtful consideration, irrespective of the season. However, if you're prepared to embrace the love and companionship of a new furry friend, Spring presents an opportune moment. With the improving weather, it allows for increased outdoor activities, exploration, and socialisation. We recognise that New Zealanders view their pets as cherished family members, and we absolutely love seeing these animals get a second chance at life."

For more information on dogs available for adoption, visit SPCA’s website or contact your nearest Centre to book an appointment.

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