Kittens found in a pillowcase getting ready for new home
Four kittens found on the side of the road in Hawke's Bay in a pillowcase are being cared for by SPCA before finding their new homes.
Newly-named Merlot, Brut, Shiraz and Sauvignon are spending the festive period ‘aging’ and getting ready for their adoption. But while they’re not available to take home forever just yet – they are in need of a foster home to care for them temporarily and free up space for more vulnerable animals expected to arrive daily.
SPCA Centre Manager for Napier and Hastings, Joy Walker, says these kittens were some of the lucky ones.
“We don’t know the circumstances of these kittens being left in a pillowcase by the road,” says Ms Walker. “But they’re very lucky they were found. So many of the vulnerable animals coming into our care daily have unknown back stories and all we can do is hope we can save them and find them a home.
“During this time of year, we’re desperate for foster families who can take on animals – just temporarily – so we take more animals in that need specialist care.”
Around the country, SPCA has the highest number of animals in care for the period of Nov-Dec in four years. SPCA CEO, Gabby Clezy, says the increased number and pressures surrounding the holidays means the need for foster parents is at an all-time high.
“Since July, we’ve seen our in-care numbers steadily increase,” says Ms Clezy. “This is likely due to many factors such as warmer months meaning kitten season starts much earlier, as well as an overpopulation of dogs around the country following two years of lockdowns and reduced desexing. No doubt cost of living is also playing a part for many families and we’re hearing of more instances where people are struggling to afford animal costs.
“Heading into the summer holiday time, many people who usually foster are wanting to return their animals in order to take a holiday. So, we see both new vulnerable animals enter our care, as well as those who’ve been out in the community coming back to our shelters. We’re pleading with animal lovers who may be able to offer a temporary home during the summer season to a furry friend, to reach out to their local SPCA Centre.”
SPCA provides all food, medication and equipment for foster carers. All that’s needed is time and love. Those who foster also share that the benefits often extend to them – getting a sense of purpose, love, entertainment and learning opportunities.
“Fostering is incredibly rewarding on so many levels,” adds Ms Clezy. “Being in a shelter can be stressful and some of our animals don’t cope as well as others, so spending time in foster care is hugely beneficial. It teaches them social skills and their first experience of what a home environment is like.”
SPCA’s emphasises the fact that fostering is something almost everyone can do. No matter if you work full-time, have kids or pets, share your space with flat mates (with landlord permission) or are only able to commit for a few weeks – the charity is asking people to consider a temporary furry addition to their household.
People who are interested can apply via the SPCA website.