SPCA launches new Mobile Desexing Clinic to reduce pet overpopulation
Thanks to the generosity of a small group of very passionate supporters, SPCA New Zealand is proud to announce the launch of our new Mobile Desexing Clinic. The purpose-built vehicle will provide free desexing services in remote communities, addressing the root causes of pet overpopulation and creating a better future for pets.
The previous SPCA desexing caravan was decommissioned due to significant mechanical issues and completed her final journey around the East Coast last year. The brand new Mobile Desexing Clinic - fondly called ‘Snippy’ by SPCA staff - has been in the works since mid-2021.
The vehicle will be getting the full test run in Auckland’s SPCA Māngere Centre during the coming weeks before making its debut appearance in Northland in late September, when pet owners in several rural communities will be able to have their companion dog or cat desexed free of charge. The vehicle's first tour aims to desex 500 animals in Northland, preventing an estimated 1,850 animals from being born the following year into a potential life of suffering.
National Desexing Programme Manager, Rebecca Dobson says by offering free desexing services, SPCA is addressing the root causes of overpopulation and reducing the burden on local animal shelters.
“Our new SPCA Mobile Desexing Clinic is specifically designed to reach remote areas where access to veterinary care is limited,” says Ms Dobson. “We are committed to closing the gap and ensuring that all pets, regardless of their location, have the opportunity to receive essential services.
“The vehicle will assist in preventing the birth of thousands and thousands of unwanted animals. It is the sad reality that unwanted litters contribute to the cycle of animal homelessness, abandonment, and suffering. Our mobile service will play a crucial role in breaking this cycle by providing a safe, accessible, and cost-free solution for pet owners who may otherwise be unable to afford or access these services.
“This initiative wouldn't be possible without the incredible support from the Dog Protection Society, Walter and Adrianne Titchener of the Walter and Adrianne Titchener Foundation, Giltrap Group and Ms Lillian Combes."
The Volkswagen Crafter vehicle, donated by the Giltrap Group, was designed and skillfully fitted out by the Wade Group, New Zealand’s leading specialist in crafting high-end equine transportation, ambulances for public and private organisations and law enforcement vehicles. The cutting-edge unit has specific features and technologies to operate, including climate control, surgical equipment, waste management, data management and appropriate safety and security. With strict regulations and requirements to meet, it was essential to get the build and fit out right.
“We are so grateful to the Wade Group who built the unit and made the whole process as seamless as possible. They consistently went above and beyond to ensure it was going to be fit-for-purpose for those animals who’ll undergo surgical procedures within it,” Ms Dobson adds.
The Mobile Desexing Clinic will join current desexing efforts already taking place in Northland, with SPCA funding other community desexing initiatives, including a partnership with Bay of Islands Vets and Coast to Coast Rescue to desex 600 animals. Northland is one of many areas where veterinary care is sparse and where the cost of that care is simply unattainable for many. Consequently, Northland has a disproportionately high number of cats and dogs that are not desexed.
A full schedule of locations and dates for the Northland tour will soon be confirmed.
On a wider national level, SPCA is mid-way through a national campaign which aims to desex 30,000 animals in the community in two years, preventing a total of 100,000 unwanted kittens and puppies. One year in, the campaign is well on track to hit target, with 16,850 animals having been desexed.