SPCA New Zealand

Halfway there: an update on SPCA's two-year desexing campaign

10 July 2023

In 2022 SPCA announced its two-year desexing campaign with various initiatives to combat the overpopulation of companion animals in New Zealand. Now at the halfway point, we review our results to date.

Halfway there: an update on SPCA's two-year desexing campaign

One year on from our launch, it's a perfect time to reflect on the impact of our ambitious two-year desexing campaign.

Rescue organisations around the country are constantly battling the overwhelming number of companion animals in New Zealand, tasked with providing care and finding homes for thousands of unwanted animals.

The most effective way to improve animal welfare in Aotearoa is to tackle the problem at its source. By prioritising desexing and preventing the births of unwanted animals, we can make a tangible impact on the stresses felt by our own SPCA Centres and other animal rescue organisations, and improve the lives of animals.

We launched our two-year desexing campaign in 2022, which aims to desex 30,000 animals over the two year period. This would prevent over 100,000 unwanted animals being born into a life of neglect. We’re so pleased to announce that we are well on track to hit our target, with 16,850 animals being desexed in the first year.

“We’re so happy with the desexing numbers that we’ve managed to hit so far,” says Rebecca Dobson, SPCA’s National Desexing Programme Manager. “It’s been a large group effort, with hard work being put in from our own teams, our amazing veterinary partners, and the public for recognising the importance of desexing and reaching out to get involved.”

Read on for more information on the progress of our various initiatives.

Snip 'n' Chip

Our ever-popular Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns assist cat owners with the cost of desexing and microchipping. By working with local vet clinics, we’re able to offer these services to cat owners at a fraction of the regular cost. Snip ‘n’ Chip is a great way for cat owners to access these critical services when they may not be able to otherwise afford it, or wouldn't usually consider getting their cat desexed.

Since 1 July 2022, 8,252 cats have now been desexed through our Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns, preventing an estimated 33,008 unwanted kittens being born.

Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns are run in different locations throughout the year, largely determined by vet availability and resources. Booking information can be found over on our desexing website.

Cats Snip 'n' Chip

Veterinary desexing partnerships

SPCA has been able to partner with amazing vet clinics to offer desexing to pet owners in regions where there is great need. With SPCA covering the costs involved, and the vet clinics carrying out the procedures, this team effort allows for maximum efficiency and impact.

  • Kerikeri Highway Vets

The partnership with Kerikeri Highway Vets in Hokianga has so far been a great success. With the partnership beginning in August 2022, SPCA has been funding the desexing and microchipping of cats and dogs in the critically under-served areas of Hokianga, Kaikohe, Ōkaihau and Ōhaeawai. Kerikeri Highway Vets have been carrying out the procedures with animal transport assistance from the local community.

So far a total of 448 desexing surgeries have now been completed, preventing an estimated 1,616 unwanted animals being born.

  • Bay of Islands Veterinary Services/Coast to Coast Cat Rescue

Our most recent partnership is with Bay of Islands Veterinary Services, with SPCA funding the desexing surgeries, microchipping, and vaccinations of 300 dogs and 300 cats. While Bay of Islands Veterinary Services are carrying out the surgeries at their various clinics throughout Northland, Coast to Coast Cat Rescue are also assisting by organising the bookings for cats and transporting pets to and from the clinics where needed. This partnership will run for eight months.

Jorrit Verver, Director and Veterinary Surgeon at Bay of Islands Veterinary Services, says “The desexing initiative has been a real success in Northland. Every day we see the extreme need for desexing and the consequences for the animals if they are not desexed. This is why we are so happy to be a part of this. We’ve been taking large numbers of bookings for Northland and know we’re making an impact.”

Since the partnership began just over one month ago, 97 surgeries have now been completed, preventing an estimated 333 unwanted animals from being born.

We know the Northland region struggles with disproportionately large numbers of stray animals, so desexing efforts in this area are vital to making long-term change.

The team at Bay of Islands Veterinary Services
The team at Bay of Islands Veterinary Services

Mobile desexing

This year we announced our new and improved SPCA Mobile Desexing Clinic, which aims to hit the roads later this year. The new vehicle replaces the much older SPCA Desexing Caravan, which completed thousands of free desexing surgeries in isolated communities, but was decommissioned due to significant mechanical issues.

The Mobile Desexing Clinic is greatly improved, and was purpose-built to provide desexing services to both cats and dogs. This project has been funded by our generous donors, to whom we’re extremely grateful. The vehicle will be visiting rural locations later in the year, bringing desexing services to those small communities that struggle to access veterinary care.

SPCA Mobile Desexing Clinic

The SPCA Desexing Grant

This grant was set up to provide financial assistance to animal rescue organisations throughout the country, and the money can be used to cover the cost of desexing any species of animal, anywhere in New Zealand. The latest round of applications for the SPCA Desexing Grant just closed on 1 July, and we had a great response to this.

Since our two-year campaign began, we have supported the desexing of 1,929 animals of various species through the SPCA Desexing Grant.

This is an excellent result, and we’re happy to be able to help the smaller animal rescue organisations with these often overwhelming costs.

Rescue organisations that are interested in learning more about the grant should visit www.nzcat.org.nz/awards/spca-desexing-grant/ for more information.

Other desexing

We are sometimes able to assist members of the public who need a helping hand with other types of desexing options. We know that many communities have struggled with the rise in the cost of living over the past year, and desexing of pets often falls to the bottom of the priority list for a lot of families.

With this additional assistance, 6,124 desexing surgeries have been completed since our two-year campaign began.

SPCA puppies

The new SPCA desexing website

We have recently launched a dedicated SPCA desexing website, which is a go-to resource for all things desexing.

The website acts as a one-stop-shop for anyone who may be looking for helpful information around desexing. With locations of current Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns, FAQs, and downloadable education materials translated into six languages, this is a highly useful site for anyone considering desexing their pet, or wanting to take advantage of our discounted initiatives.

With the ultimate goal of ending the cycle of animal neglect and improving animal welfare in Aotearoa, we will continue to have a strong focus on desexing initiatives into the future. We want to express our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved with the campaign so far who is helping to make this vision a reality, as it is not a challenge that can be taken on by any one organisation. By working together, we’re achieving real results every day, and we’re deeply grateful for the support received.

We look forward to sharing further updates with you as our campaign progresses.

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