Five ways you helped animals in 2022
2022 - what a year it's been. With the year is at its end, we want to take this moment to reflect on the stories and successes throughout this year that have only been possible with New Zealand's support.
Here at SPCA, 2022 was particularly poignant. It marked 150 years since we opened the doors of our very first Centre in Canterbury in 1872. What a milestone.
It's an honour to have been helping animals for so long. Thanks to the support we receive from our communities, we will be here into the future, as long as animals need us.
Whether you have volunteered, donated, fundraised, shopped at one of our Op Shops, shared the animals’ stories, or merely rooted for them along the way – we are only here because you enable us to be.
Read on to look back on some of 2022’s best moments we achieved together…
1. Advocacy in action
We took new strides into the advocacy space in 2022. SPCA has long worked behind the scenes to advance animal welfare, but this year we turned to the New Zealand public to add their voice in a new way.
In July, we asked you to help us 'Break the Chain' and change the law around chaining dogs. More than 20,000 of you raised your voice… and Government heard our call. The Minister of Animal Welfare has since met with SPCA to discuss what this change could look like, with news of next steps to come in the New Year.
In October, we said 'No More Chances' to commercial greyhound racing, and called on you once more. You helped send a strong message to the Government that it should not be tolerated any longer. The Minister for Racing is due to deliver his recommendation to parliament on the future of this industry in early 2022.
Today also marks the end of battery cages for egg-producing hens, following a 10-year phase-out. There is still a long way to go with improving chicken welfare, but this is a great step.
Breathing a sigh of relief, we saw decades of hard work by SPCA and multiple organisations finally realised when the banning the live export of farmed animals by sea became law this year. This will come into effect on 1 April 2023 and we are beyond thrilled to witness this historic moment for animal welfare in New Zealand.
There is strength in numbers, and we are so inspired by the response to this year’s public advocacy movements.
2. Desexing to save lives
Desexing continues to be a key focus for SPCA. In 2022 we announced an ambitious two-year desexing plan that aims to drastically improve animal welfare for generations to come.
Desexing prevents senseless suffering currently endured by stray cats across New Zealand. It is one of the most effective tools in our kit to tackle the issue of unwanted animals born into a life of neglect.
This plan brings together a number of desexing initiatives, from our mobile desexing caravan and Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns, to our SPCA desexing grant for other rescues and partnering with Vets around the country to increase the impact of these services.
3. Fighting for justice
In severe cases of neglect or cruelty, SPCA has the legal power to take animal abusers to court… but it comes at a cost.
Legal prosecutions are expensive, but they are a crucial part of fulfilling the founding purpose of our organisation: giving a voice to those who cannot speak for themselves. It is thanks to the support of New Zealanders that we were able to do this in 2022.
In July, we concluded one of our largest ever prosecutions. This case saw two German Shepherd breeders who kept numerous dogs in appalling conditions found guilty of 32 charges – the most ever laid by SPCA.
Not only was justice served, but dogs like Ivar (pictured) were able to get the second chance they deserve.
4. Helping countless animals
At the end of the day, it all comes back to helping animals who need us. In 2022 - like every year - we saw tens of thousands of animals come through our doors.
We wish we could share every single story with you... because every single animal is as inspiring and deserving as the last. While we aren’t able to tell every one, we do our best to share as many of the amazing animals as we can with you – and there were some crackers this year.
Audrey, a beautiful ginger cat who made an amazing recovery from burn injuries, was the story that struck the biggest chord with you on our social media channels… and it’s not hard to see why!
We shared lots of the animals’ stories in the media too, with 22 pups being one of the biggest stories of 2022. Found dumped by a river, these puppies were all named after Harry Potter characters and given everything they needed to survive and thrive.
5. Kids who care
2022 saw SPCA release its fourth series of storybooks for Kiwi kids. We are able to distribute these to every primary school in the country, at no cost to schools.
These stories use real SPCA animal stories to build on children’s innate curiosity about – and empathy for – animals. The new series of books is just one of the ways our SPCA Education Programme aims to help create a kinder generation, and a brighter future for New Zealand’s animals.
Prevention of cruelty is in our very name, and it will always be a key focus of our work. Nurturing young minds to shape a better tomorrow for animals is just one of the ways your support is doing so much for animals.
It has been quite a year. We couldn’t have done it without you, and we cannot thank you enough for your support throughout 2022 – standing by animals and making these amazing outcomes possible.
Everyone here at Team SPCA – feathered, furred, and human – wish you a very Happy New Year. We will see you in 2023!