SPCA New Zealand

SPCA’s Oamaru Centre to close its doors

21 December 2023

SPCA has announced the permanent closure of its Oamaru Centre, with the charity instead utilising a veterinary partnership with local clinic Vetlife, and introducing a new SPCA Field Officer role to ensure vulnerable animals in the community continue to receive care.

SPCA’s Oamaru Centre to close its doors

The Centre, which accommodated cats only, will close its doors to the public on 23 December 2023, with animals continuing to be cared for until adoptions can be processed. Any incoming animals requiring care from this date will be transferred to nearby SPCA Centres in Dunedin and Timaru.

The decision to permanently close the feline-only Centre comes as the charity explores alternative means of supporting communities with their regional animal welfare challenges, in order to maximise the impact felt on the ground.

SPCA General Manager, Animal Services Dr Corey Regnerus- Kell acknowledges news of the Centre’s permanent closure will be disappointing to some members of the community, but assures them that the new support model will have a greater impact for all animals in the region.

“With increasing costs and a declining number of animals needing care at the Centre, it was no longer financially sensible to keep the facility running,” says Dr Regnerus- Kell. “Instead, we’ll be introducing a new Field Officer and Community Support role to ensure locals have continued contact with our services. Our valued veterinary partnership with Vetlife Oamaru will also mean more animals have access to care, as the clinic can offer extended operating hours. Animals needing more support can then be transported to SPCA’s other nearby Centres, which have larger facilities.

“I am confident this new model will allow us to service the local community, while optimising our resources. SPCA receives no government funding for the operation of our Centres, and the cost of keeping these open is covered by generous donors. We have a responsibility to put these kindly generated funds to the best use to help animals in need,” says Dr Regnerus-Kell.

SPCA’s Inspectorate service will remain present in the region to investigate animal welfare concerns, and the charity’s foster network will continue to remain active in the community.

“By closing the Centre, we’re confident we can have a greater impact on all animals in the region by streamlining funding into other crucial initiatives such as desexing programmes, which will have a long-lasting impact by reducing the number of unwanted animals,” says Dr Regnerus-Kell.

Members of the Oamaru Community who require assistance with abandoned, abused or neglected animals are encouraged to contact SPCA’s Dunedin Centre on 03 473 8252 or the Timaru Centre on 03 688 2234.

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