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Gifts in Wills Month - celebrating our SPCA Giving Hearts members

05 September 2022

September is Gifts in Wills Month, a chance to highlight a very special group of people - our SPCA Giving Hearts members. These are compassionate animal lovers who have made the incredible act of kindness of leaving a gift in their Will to SPCA. .

Gifts in Wills Month - celebrating our SPCA Giving Hearts members

With less than 5% Government funding, SPCA relies on the amazing generosity of our Giving Hearts members to support animals through the precious gift they leave in their Will.

What many people don’t know is that gifts left in Wills to SPCA actually fund about a quarter of all of our animal welfare work and are critical to ensuring that SPCA can help the thousands of vulnerable animals that need us every year. Their support will be felt for years to come and help countless animals.

This month we’d like to celebrate these kind people, delve into why they have dedicated so much of their lives to helping animals, and the incredible impact they will have.

Lynda Trenberth is one of those people, whose heartfelt support has given and will continue to give generations of animals a brighter future.

Lynda Trenberth

Lynda has over 25 years of experience volunteering with SPCA, first signing up at the Wellington Centre back in 1990.

“I saw an advert in the paper that said they needed volunteers at the SPCA, so I went! I was really chuffed – so happy to be there, and get straight into it.”

Lynda started by helping out in the puppy run, but it wasn’t long before she became actively involved in many areas of the Centre. From animal care to cleaning and admin, Lynda became the friendly face around the Centre that everyone knew.

Later, when the team needed somebody to take charge of the rosters, organising the shifts for the volunteers, of course Lynda put her hand up. “It’s not an easy job! Some days there weren’t enough volunteers, so I’d just stay on myself for the whole day.”

Fostering became a huge part of Lynda’s involvement with SPCA, along with husband Murray. “We fostered a lot of pups - we must’ve fostered at least 150 of them over the years.”

There was a particular dog, Jenny the Boxer, who will always hold a special place in Lynda and Murray’s hearts. Jenny was rescued by an SPCA Inspector after being found at the local tip, in a very poor state of health. Not long after arriving in the Centre, Jenny gave birth to a litter of puppies – five of which survived. The very next day, both Jenny and her pups were in Lynda and Murray’s foster care. Jenny was weak and emaciated, so Lynda and Murray provided round-the-clock bottle-feeding to her pups while she recovered.

When the puppies were around nine weeks old, they were returned to the Centre and adopted into their forever homes. Jenny stayed in Lynda’s care for around three months. Unfortunately due to their situation with their existing dog, they were unable to permanently adopt her.

“I was a basket case, and so was Murray. But she got adopted by a lovely family from Eketāhuna, who drove all the way down to Wellington for her,” she said.

“Fostering these dogs – they mean the world to you. They start to learn that there is a life for them. You put your heart and soul into these dogs.”

For Lynda, loving animals has always come naturally. As a child, Lynda’s family wasn’t able to have family pets – her father served in the RAF, and they moved fairly frequently. “I’ve always loved animals though, and so did my parents. If I saw someone walking a dog in the street, I’d have to stop them so I could hug the dog!’ she laughed.

Other than her love of animals, Lynda says it’s the people at SPCA that she feels so connected with. “The reason SPCA feels like a close-knit family is because unless you become involved, nobody can truly know how it feels, with the time and the emotion you invest. It’s really a love for animals that is never-ending.”

When asked why she decided to become a Giving Hearts member by leaving a gift to SPCA in her Will, Lynda said the decision was an easy one.

“I want to leave something behind for the animals. I know that if I leave it to SPCA, then all the animals that come along after I’ve gone will benefit from that. It’s knowing that I can do something to help, even when I’m no longer here…I know I’ll be helping them.”

We can’t thank Lynda enough for the dedication she has shown to helping animals over the years. The kindness and commitment shown by Lynda and Murray has impacted countless animals, and given them a brighter future.

Learn how you can leave a gift in your Will to the animals

The reality is, we couldn’t continue to operate if it weren’t for the generosity of our supporters who have remembered us in their Wills. Many people may think that they can’t contribute enough to make a difference, but even the most humble gift can make a huge difference in the life of a vulnerable animal.

Lynda’s message to anyone who is considering leaving a gift in their Will is a simple one. “If you love animals, and you want to do something really worthwhile – something that is going to seriously save lives – then this is the best way to do it.”

If you would like to know more about leaving a gift to SPCA in your Will, you can email givinghearts@spca.nz and request a free information pack, or learn more on our website. You can also call our Supporter Care team on 0800 888 444. We’d love to hear from you, and answer any questions you may have.

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