SPCA New Zealand

SPCA’s COVID-19 updates

13 May 2020
SPCA’s COVID-19 updates

May 11 2020

The Government have announced we will be moving to Alert Level 2 from this Thursday 14 May.

Important information on how SPCA will operate under Alert Level 2:

  • Centres: At Alert Level 2, SPCA centres will reopen but by appointment only and only for foster appointments or collection of animals adopted via the website. Strict physical distancing and health and safety measures will be enforced, including contact tracing. Members of the public cannot visit centres to view animals at Level 2..
  • Op shops: Under Alert Level 2, the larger of our Op shops will be open as they are safely able to put physical distancing measures in place. There will also be contact tracing information we need to gather for everyone who comes into our shops. SPCA Op shops which need to stay closed under Alert Level 2 will remain shut until we can adequately manage the safety of our people and customers. The Op shops which are open will be accepting donations.
  • Donations: Unfortunately, with the centres closed to the general public, we will not be accepting donations at this time. If you’d like to make a cash donation, please visit our Donate page for more details. If you have goods that you would like to donate, please drop these to one of our larger Op Shops that will be open during Alert Level 2 or hang on to them until Alert Level 1.
  • Inspectors: SPCA inspectors and ambulance drivers have been an essential service through Alert Levels 4 and 3. Along with SPCA field officers, they will resume their proactive work in the community and attending animal welfare call-outs in Alert Level 2. Their important work will continue by maintaining physical distancing and health and safety measures.
  • Volunteering and fostering: New foster and volunteer applications will re-open for some centres, depending on resource and vacancies. Please check on our website here. If there are no live application forms for your centre, please check back at a later date. For current volunteer and foster parents – please check in with your local SPCA team for more details.

For full contactless adoption details, please see below or visit our adopt page here: www.spca.nz/adopt

April 27 2020

ANIMAL ADOPTIONS AT ALERT LEVEL 3 – What you need to know

Under Alert Level 3, animals can be adopted from SPCA centres around New Zealand. All adoptions will be facilitated with contactless procedures in place as all centre buildings remain closed to the public. Please note that out-of-region adoptions are not possible under Level 3.

Adoption fees will include a secure box or collar and lead to safely transport your animal.

For individuals or families interested in adopting an animal, the following procedures apply:

  1. Individual animal profiles can be viewed on our website at www.spca.nz/adopt. If there are no adoption profiles uploaded on the website of your local centre, there are no animals available. Check back regularly for updates.
  2. To enquire about an animal, click the ‘Questions about me’ button on their profile and fill in the form with as much detail as you can. Alternatively, call the centre where the animals is located.
  3. Our friendly animal team will be in touch to help you choose the pet that’s right for your family – it might not be me after all. They will discuss your lifestyle, experience level and what you’re looking for. Phone interviews and photos will be used to find an animal that is right for you and your lifestyle. There may be delays depending on the level of interest in adoptions that the centre is experiencing.
  4. If we find a suitable match, the team will email through an adoption form and a link to the adoption fee payment page. Alternatively, there will be an option to pay contactless on pick up at some centres.
  5. Once payment is received, the SPCA team will be in touch to arrange a date and time for contactless pick-up of the animal.
Please note, no members of the public are permitted to enter SPCA Centre buildings, so adopters will not be able to view, pick up or drop off animals inside the buildings. After making an appointment, adopters will then be advised of the process to collect their animal which includes contactless collection at the centre.

April 7 2020

GETTING THE HELP AND SUPPORT YOU NEED FOR YOUR PETS

We know that with the COVID-19 crisis still unfolding many New Zealanders will be feeling uncertain about what the future holds.

For pet owners, the added responsibility of caring for furry friends may too be causing further anxiety - so here are a few quick facts about what assistance is on offer for those of us caring for our animals.

  • While you may be aware that there is financial assistance available for food and other essential goods, what you might not know is that this does include pet food. So, if you have lost your job or income, you can still provide for your pet – find more information here: https://workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html
  • If you need extra help to access the things you need during self-isolation, you can contact your local Civil Defence and Emergency Group (CDEM) for help. This service is intended for people and whanau who don’t have any other options available to them, and will help get urgent supplies to you – including pet food.
  • Veterinary services are still available during level 4 lockdown, however safety precautions must be observed. You MUST contact your veterinarian BEFORE visiting them, or going to the veterinary clinic for product. You MUST identify if you are self-isolating or otherwise higher risk. This applies to everyone (pet owners and farmers), even if your animal is being presented by someone else. NZ Veterinary Association has COVID-19 information at www.nzva.org.nz including how to manage animals when in self-isolation.
  • If you’re concerned about an animal’s welfare phone the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) on 0800 008 333 or your local SPCA – find contact details for your nearest centre here: https://www.spca.nz/contact

March 31 2020

FAQ'S:

  • Can you catch the COVID-19 virus from touching/stroking an animal (i.e. can it be carried on a dog or cats coat)?

Currently, there is no evidence that companion animals, such as cats and dogs, can infect humans with COVID-19 virus. This includes transmission via the skin or fur of pets. However, since animals can spread other diseases to people, we encourage all companion animal owners to interact with your pets as normal but continue good hygiene practices including washing hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after touching them, their food, toys and bedding.

If you are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19, arrange for another person to care for your companion animal, if possible. If you are unable to do this then, as a precaution, you should avoid contact with animals in your household, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food.

  • Has the virus been transmitted from a human to an animal (there were some media reports of it being transmitted to a dog I believe)?

Two dogs in Hong Kong have tested a weak positive for the COVID-19 virus, which means there were a small number of virus particles present. However, neither dogs showed any symptoms and it is hard to say at this point what this means. There have been no other similar cases reported in the rest of the world. There is no research to support human to animal spread at this time.

The current spread of COVID-19 is a result of human to human transmission. The World Health Organisation, Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, World Organisation for Animal Health and the NZ Ministry of Health all agree that there is no evidence that companion animals, such as cats and dogs, can infect humans with COVID-19 virus.

  • If I become sick or am under medical attention for COVID-19, should I put plans in place for my pets?

Your pets may be impacted if you or members of your family test positive for the virus. The worst time to try and make arrangements for your pet’s care is when you’re already sick. SPCA encourages all owners to plan for the care for their pets and if you are sick, arrange for another person to care for your pet if possible. If you are unable to do this, as a precaution you should avoid contact with your pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food with them.

  • Should I be keeping my companion animals inside during the nationwide lockdown?

If your cat normally goes outdoors, it’s advised to keep them indoors for people who are self-isolating because:

  • You, or someone in your household, has a confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • You or someone in your household, has known exposure to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • You or someone in your household is in an at-risk group (i.e. over 70 years old or with a pre-existing health condition such as chronic respiratory disease - including severe asthma, bronchiectasis and COPD - and those who are immunocompromised)

SPCA has lots of great advice on keeping cats happy and healthy as ‘stay at home’ felines here.

You can still take your dog for walks but avoid places where social contact is likely, maintain a 2m distance from other people, don’t let people pet your dog and follow good hygiene practices (avoid touching your face and wash your hands after your walk).

  • Is SPCA considered an essential service?

SPCA has been classed as an ‘Essential Service’ and will continue to care for animals during the COVID-19 lockdown.

  • Will SPCA Inspectors still be on the road helping animals?

SPCA Inspectors will continue to respond to emergency calls and urgent animal welfare complaints during the national lockdown on a restricted basis, and SPCA centres will still be able to take sick and vulnerable animals into their care.If you discover an animal who needs help from SPCA, please call your local centre for guidance.

  • Will SPCA still be doing adoptions during the nationwide lockdown?

All of our centres are now closed to the public for adoptions, in light of the COVID-19 nationwide lockdown. The animals will remain in the dedicated care of our staff until we are able to open up to the public again safely.

  • What will happen to SPCA Op Shops?

Our SPCA ops shops in the area will also be closing for the foreseeable future.

  • Does SPCA still need foster parents?

We have been incredibly touched by the many messages from our supporters offering their help to provide foster homes to SPCA animals during the lockdown. Thank you to everyone who has messaged us with words of kindness and offers of assistance. For the time being, we are unable to take any more applications for fostering as our team try and work through the high level of applications we have already received, and put plans in place. In the meantime, please keep an eye on our website and Facebook pages for any updates.

  • Will SPCA still be running the Inspector Internship programme?

This year's SPCA Inspector Internship programme has unfortunately been cancelled due to the impact of COVID-19. We are simply unable to complete training and recruiting using the required methods at this time during the nationwide lockdown. For those interested in applying to be an Inspector, please keep our webpage here bookmarked. We will update this when our next course comes available - however please note at this stage we cannot confirm when that will be.

March 25 2020

ADOPTION UPDATE:

We have been incredibly touched by the many messages from our supporters offering their help to provide foster homes to SPCA animals during the lockdown. Thank you to everyone who has messaged us with words of kindness and offers of assistance.

At this time, SPCA is still working to develop a process for fostering following the implementation of Alert Level 4. For the time being we are unable to take anymore applications for fostering as our team try and work through the high level of applications we have received, and put plans in place.

Once we have determined how we can do this safely, Kiwis who can foster animals during the lockdown will be highly sought after. All foster families are provided with food, bedding, equipment (such as litter trays) and medical expenses are covered for the animals in their care.

Thank you once again to all our amazing supporters who have offered their assistance - we are so grateful to you for thinking of us at this time.

UPDATE ABOUT FOSTERING:

To anyone who has already applied online on our website, thank you so much – please bear with us as our team work as quickly as they can to process these applications. We’ll be in touch as soon as can and have more information but this make take a few days.

March 24 2020

MEDIA RELEASE:

SPCA has been classed as an ‘Essential Service’ and will continue to care for animals during the COVID-19 lockdown and want to advise kiwis on what to do if they discover an animal who needs help.

Some SPCA Centres are open until the end of Wednesday, 25 March and will be adopting animals out. Adopting an animal will allow centres to continue to provide excellent care and comfort for animals in need.

SPCA asks the public to only come into a centre if they are sincerely adopting an animal. Staff will be managing the flow of the public through the centres and maintaining strict hygiene protocols and social distancing.

There are still animals looking for their forever homes across the country, including kittens, puppies, cats, dogs, horses, chickens, goats, rabbits, and guinea pigs. All adoption fees have been reduced.

Kiwis who can foster animals during the lockdown are highly sought after. All foster families are provided with food, bedding, equipment (such as litter trays) and medical expenses are covered for the animals in their care.

The organisation is still working to develop a process for fostering following the implementation of Alert Level 4. Members of the public who want to help can register their interest by phoning their local SPCA centre.

When SPCA Centres close to the public, all animals will remain in the dedicated care of staff until they are able to open again to the public. SPCA Op Shops will be closed until further notice.

If a member of the public discovers an animal who needs help from SPCA, please call your local centre for guidance. You may be asked to care for the animal until SPCA is able to assist - SPCA centres will still be able to take sick and vulnerable animals into their care.

SPCA Inspectors will continue to respond to emergency calls and urgent animal welfare complaints during the national lockdown on a restricted basis.

March 24 2020

ADOPTION UPDATE:

We were incredibly touched by the response to our recent adoption call-out and are so happy to share with you that we found 828 animals from across the country a home. Such fantastic news and a tale of hope during these challenging times we face.

Thank you so much to everyone who visited an SPCA Centre and gave one of our animals the loving family they deserve, and of course to everyone who helped spread the word.

Some of our centres are closed to the public from tomorrow and some will remain open for adoptions until the end of Wednesday. Any animals not adopted will remain in the dedicated care of our staff until we are able to open up to the public again safely.

The centres CLOSED FOR ADOPTIONS FROM TOMORROW (Wednesday) are:

  • Auckland Mangere
  • Christchurch
  • Wellington
  • Westport
  • Hokitika
  • Renwick
  • Gore
  • Alexandra
  • Motueka
  • Ashburton
  • Oamaru
  • Waihi
  • Kawerau
  • Tokoroa
  • Hawera
  • Taumarunui
  • Waikanae
  • Levin
  • New Plymouth
  • Whangunui

Thank you so much to our wonderful communities for your support!

March 24 2020

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO OUR COMMUNITIES:

In light of the recent Government announcements during this uncertain time COVID-19 presents us with, all of our centres will be closed to the public for adoptions after Wednesday.

Lots of our centres are open today and have animals available for adoption. Please check the individual Facebook pages for more information - but normal centre opening hours apply today. We have moved some animals from our smaller centres to our larger centres where there is more resource.

After Wednesday all our centres will close to the public and the animals will remain in the dedicated care of our staff until we are able to open up to the public again safely. Please note, our ops shops in the area will also be closing for the foreseeable future.

Please spread the word to anyone who is looking to adopt an animal to visit their local centre today to help us find animals in need loving homes. We will be practicing social distancing so please be prepared to wait if we have too many people in the centre at any one time.

March 20 2020

SPCA COVID-19 Response: Urgent Adoption Callout

SPCA is calling on animal-loving Kiwis to help animals in need by adopting a new furry friend.

Currently, SPCA has 921 animals available across their 38 SPCA Centres who are looking for their forever home. From Saturday March 21, SPCA are reducing adoption fees for all animals across the country:

  • Puppies and kittens have a $99 adoption fee,
  • Adult dogs and cats have a $50 adoption fee,
  • Small animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits have a $25 adoption fee,
  • Adoption fees for other animals are available on request.

Adopting an animal will allow centres to continue to provide excellent care and comfort for animals in need, while helping SPCA during this uncertain time.

“Now is an ideal time to adopt, as many families will be spending time at home. That means lots of quality time to spend with your new furry family member. Kiwis who adopt an animal give them a second chance and a loving home for life,” says Andrea Midgen, SPCA CEO.

This time together is essential for getting to know your newly adopted pet, by bedding in good routines, and enjoying the presence of a new pet which will be a welcome distraction for many families.

Currently there is no evidence that companion animals can infect humans with COVID-19, and SPCA urges pet owners not to abandon their pets.

“We ask Kiwis to visit our website to read the animal profiles of those available for adoption, and only come into the centre if you are considering adopting. This allows for easier flow through our centres and it helps our staff managing visitors on site” says Andrea.

All SPCA animals ready for adoption are healthy and prepared for their new home. They have been desexed, vaccinated, microchipped, and have received up-to-date flea and worm treatment. SPCA’s expert animal staff are on hand to match families with the perfect pet for their lifestyle.

Kiwis can rest assured that increased cleaning and hygiene protocols are in place at all SPCA Centres and staff are ensuring visitors wash their hands or sanitise between touching animals. Centres will be practicing social distancing, which may mean visitors could be asked to wait in their vehicles before being welcomed into their local centre.

SPCA is also encouraging Kiwis to consider fostering an animal in need during this time. Not only does this provide essential support to SPCA animals but having an animal companion at home can beat boredom. Increasing our fostering network enables SPCA to maintain excellent animal care, even if staff and volunteer numbers are reduced.

To see all SPCA animals available for adoption, visit HERE, or contact your local SPCA centre DETAILS HERE.

March 19 2020

SPCA wants to reassure Kiwi pet owners how best to care for their companion animals during this uncertain time.

Currently there is no evidence that companion animals can infect humans with COVID-19 virus, and SPCA urges owners not abandon their pets. If you haven’t tested positive or are self-isolating, then continue to interact with your pets as normal but wash hands thoroughly before and after touching them, their food, toys, and bedding.

Your pets may be impacted if you or members of your family test positive for the virus or need to self-isolate. The worst time to try and make arrangements for your pet’s care is when you’re already sick.

SPCA encourages all owners to plan for the care for their pets. This includes:

  • Setting up an arrangement with a friend or family member, pet sitter or boarding facility to provide care should you or someone in your household become ill.
  • Making sure your pet is up to date on their vaccinations, in the event boarding becomes necessary.
  • Ensuring all your pet’s medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions, and a 30-day supply. Including a prescription from your veterinarian is also helpful.
  • Ensuring all pets have identification including a collar with their current identification tags and a registered microchip (check to make sure your contact details are up to date!)
  • Creating a list of useful contact details such as your vet and pet insurance provider.
  • Having two weeks’ worth of food, crates and extra supplies on hand. If you’re not able to go to the supermarket or vet, ask a friend or neighbour if they can collect items for you, or call and see if delivery options are available.

Caring for pets during self-isolation

If you are sick or under medical attention for COVID-19, arrange for another person to care for your pet if possible. If you are unable to do this, as a precaution you should avoid contact with your pets, including petting, snuggling, being kissed or licked, and sharing food with them.

If your cat normally goes outdoors, it’s advised to keep them indoors for people who are self-isolating because:

  • They, or someone in their household, has a confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • They or someone in their household, has known exposure to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • They or someone in their household is in an at-risk group (i.e. over 70 years old or with a pre-existing health condition such as chronic respiratory disease - including severe asthma, bronchiectasis and COPD - and those who are immunocompromised)

SPCA has lots of great advice on keeping cats happy and healthy as ‘stay at home’ felines here.

If you are voluntarily self-isolating, you can still take your dog for walks but avoid places where social contact is likely, maintain a 2m distance from other people, don’t let people pet your dog and follow good hygiene practices (avoid touching your face and wash your hands after your walk). You can replace your dog’s usual exercise with other activities such as:

  • Introducing food puzzles to make meal times more interesting
  • Playing fetch or tug with your dog
  • Teaching them a new trick
  • Hide treats around the garden or around the house and send them off in search of them.
  • If you have any worries about your pet’s health during self-isolation give your vet a call for advice, but don’t visit the surgery in person.

How can I help SPCA?

With many people working from home, there has never been a better time to foster an animal. Not only does this provide essential support to SPCA animals, but having a furry friend can beat boredom. Increasing our fostering network enables SPCA to maintain excellent animal care, even if staff numbers are reduced.

If you are thinking of adopting, now is the perfect time! This will not only bring joy to you and your family it will help SPCA to continue to provide excellent care to the animals in our centres.

Volunteering helps SPCA in a number of ways, and eases the burden if staff shortages occur. Contact your local centre to find out how you can help.

If you’re not in a position to foster, adopt, or volunteer, but still want to help SPCA animals in this challenging time, please consider donating to SPCA. In times of crisis, we really appreciate your support.

What SPCA is doing to ensure animal and staff safety

Our commitment to providing care to vulnerable animals remains as strong as ever. As such, SPCA is taking steps to ensure the animals under our care continue to receive the best quality care. During this time, we are increasing the number of animals in foster and limiting intakes to emergencies to provide care for all of our animals. We have also introduced new cleaning and hygiene protocols at our centres.

Centres are still open for adoptions and we encourage all visitors to wash their hands or sanitise between touching animals.

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