SPCA announces permanent closure of Kawerau Centre
A final decision has been made to permanently close SPCA’s Kawerau Centre, six months after temporarily shutting its doors due to the level four lockdown in August 2021. Although the Centre on Spencer Avenue will close, SPCA is assuring locals that the full range of SPCA services will continue to be offered in the local community.
SPCA Bay of Plenty Area Manager Sue Kinsella says the Centre was in desperate need of costly urgent repairs and upgrades and that the layout does not allow for social distancing in the Covid-19 pandemic, making it almost impossible to operate effectively.
“We know that some will find it upsetting that our Centre in Kawerau will no longer be open to the public, however it was in dire need of an overhaul to be fit for purpose, with extensive repairs and upgrades needed to meet the Code of Temporary Housing for Companion Animals.”
“Having a fully equipped SPCA Centre just down the road in Whakatane has allowed us to change our delivery model to the region, and it has proven extremely successful over the past six months,” she says.
The building will be repurposed as a holding area/supply base for both SPCA Inspectorate supplies (such as food and kennels) and Civil Defence supplies for the region. The animal welfare charity would also use the premises as a pop-up desexing clinic for the Kawerau community.
“We’re confident we can do more for the animals if we don’t have to carry the cost of running and maintaining the building in Kawerau when it is so close to our larger and better equipped Centre in Whakatane. We will be able to put more investment into initiatives like community desexing that will have a more lasting impact and help combat the problem of unwanted animals in the Kawerau community.”
Ms Kinsella says the Kawerau community should be very proud that the number of animals needing SPCA help has reduced in the area, thanks in part to the amazing team of former SPCA volunteers, who have worked tirelessly over the years to communicate the importance of desexing.
She said that although the ‘bricks and mortar’ Centre is closing to the public, animal lovers and those passionate about animal welfare in the region will not be forgotten.
SPCA will offer on-site pop-up desexing clinics in the next few months for cats and kittens, free of charge. And in March, SPCA’s desexing and microchipping campaign Snip ‘n’ Chip will be rolled out to local residents.
“We are acutely aware of the generosity of the Kawerau community and we are pleased to say that none of our services will be reducing. We are just offering them in a different way, which is in the best interests of the animals we are tasked with caring for.”
On average, SPCA receives one welfare concern call about an animal in Kawerau each month, and SPCA Inspectors are just 20 minutes away. Prospective adoptive families are encouraged to visit the SPCA website where all animals in the Eastern Bay of Plenty who are ready for adoption are available to view.
“The animals of Kawerau will continue to be looked after and cared for and the services for the Kawerau community, such as adoption and fostering, will still continue. SPCA’s ongoing work on preventing cruelty, educating the public and advocating for animal welfare will also remain the same,” says Ms Kinsella.
SPCA’s Inspectorate coverage will also be unaffected by the Centre’s closure.