SPCA offers half-price adoptions across entire country in a plea to help overflowing shelters
From Saturday 27 May to Friday 2 June, the country’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity will be pleading with kiwi animal lovers to help ‘Clear the Shelters’. SPCA will be offering 50% discount on adoption fees across the entire country in a bid to get as many animals as possible into forever homes.
SPCA currently has 20% more animals in their care than at the same time last year, and Centres are feeling overwhelmed by the numbers needing their help. Kitten season, which would usually be nearing its end by May, shows no sign of slowing down, due to warmer weather conditions.
In the last six months, almost 11,000 kittens came into SPCA’s care nationally. This is more than 1,000 additional kittens compared to the same time last year. Centre Managers across the country are stating they’re still getting newborns and pregnant cats arriving – well into the cooler months, when it is usually expected to tail off.
Other factors contributing to the influx include the compounding of cost of living, lack of desexing and the impact of extreme weather events.
SPCA Interim CEO, Robyn Kiddle, says the charity is caught between a rock and a hard place – with the need for animal care currently outweighing the demand for adoptions, as people are tightening their purse strings and many of those wanting a pet, did so during COVID lockdowns.
“In April, we had 2,585 incoming animals and only 1,823 adoptions, making it incredibly difficult for our Centres to cope,” says Ms Kiddle.“The reality is, we need to free up space as the need out there is just so great. We’re seeing more and more people cry out for help as they struggle to afford their pets and the necessary care that comes with them – and one of the first things to drop off the priority list for those in financial difficulty is desexing. When this happens, the problem escalates quickly and those unwanted litters suffer the consequences.”
“This 50% discount offer is about helping give a push to those people on the fence about bringing a furred or feathered friend into their home. As part of the adoption process, we always address the cost of bringing a pet into your home and outline the care needed, so we know they go to responsible pet owners.”
The charity, which receives only an 8% contribution from the Government for its Inspectorate service, also relies entirely on donations to cover the cost of each of its shelters around the country. Every animal adopted from SPCA is desexed, microchipped and vaccinated.
“We want to help every animal out there, but we just can’t,” continues Ms Kiddle.“We only have so many resources and we can only bring in those vulnerable and injured animals where there is a safe capacity to do so. This is so we don’t unwillingly spread disease and illness – but equally so we don’t overburden our Centre staff and volunteers who are unable to cope with the animals in their care too.
“We’re pleading with those who can open their home to a pet, to do so. The animals need your help!”
All animals available for adoption are listed on the SPCA website: www.spca.nz/adopt
With roughly half of SPCA’s animals out with caring foster families at any point in time, the charity is also always looking for foster families, for those people who cannot adopt a pet permanently. SPCA pays for all the needs associated with temporarily fostering an animal. Sign up to foster here: www.spca.nz/foster