Six month update on SPCA's two-year desexing campaign
Six months ago, SPCA announced its two-year desexing campaign aimed at tackling the overpopulation crisis, which sees thousands of animals neglected and abandoned each year. Half a year down the line, we reflect on how we are tracking.
SPCA and rescues around the country have been feeling the pressure with overwhelming numbers of animals coming into our care.
Throughout kitten season, the number of abandoned animals has spiked again - the rising costs of living is thought to have played a significant role in this, as many families have been simply unable to afford the cost of desexing their pets.
SPCA National Desexing Programme Manager Rebecca Dobson acknowledges that desexing is absolutely critical in improving animal welfare in New Zealand.
“Desexing is and will remain a top priority at SPCA, and we’re so pleased with the progress that has been made since our two-year campaign began,” Ms Dobson says.
“By bringing down the rates of breeding, we’re already making a substantial difference in reducing the number of unwanted litters, which may have been born into a life of neglect, or ended up at one of our Centres.”
With the campaign aiming to prevent more than 100,000 unwanted animals being born over the two-year period, it’s no mean feat – but now just over the six-month mark, we can reflect on the progress that’s already been made.
Snip 'N' Chip
Snip ‘n’ Chip campaigns allow cat owners who need a helping hand the chance to desex their pets for a fraction of the standard cost. Cat owners can receive a voucher which enables them to take their cat to one of our participating vet clinics who will then carry out the desexing surgery, as well as the ever-important microchipping, for just $30.
Since our campaign began, 4,757 desexing surgeries have been carried out on cats through Snip ‘n’ Chip. This will have prevented an estimated 19,028 animals being born in one year.
New Snip ‘n’ Chip dates will be announced and more vouchers available in the coming weeks, so be sure to keep an eye on your local SPCA Facebook page for updates. For members of the public who are wanting to desex their pets immediately, we recommend reaching out to your local vet to explore options in your area.
From August through to November 2022, the SPCA Desexing Caravan travelled around the rural towns of the East Coast, including Ruatoria, Te Araroa, Waihau Bay, Te Kaha, Ōpōtiki, Tokomaru and Tolaga Bay, where there is a disproportionately high number of stray and un-neutered animals.
These isolated towns were targeted as pet owners in these areas don’t have easy access to veterinary services, with the nearest vet being a two-hour drive away in Gisborne. For just a koha donation, pet owners were able to get their cats and dogs desexed, as well as microchipped, vaccinated and treated for worms.
The team running the Desexing Caravan managed to complete 378 desexing surgeries (266 cats and 112 dogs). This will have prevented an estimated 1,344 animals being born in one year.
SPCA was pleased to be able to partner with Kerikeri Highway Vets in Hokianga, funding the desexing and microchipping of cats and dogs in the critically under-served areas of Hokianga, Kaikohe, Ōkaihau and Ōhaeawai.
With SPCA covering the costs of desexing and microchipping, Kerikeri Highway Vets has been carrying out the procedures. Local rescue groups including Coast to Coast Cat Rescue and volunteers have been assisting pet owners with transport. It’s been an incredible team effort, and one we’re proud to be a part of.
So far the North Hokianga partnership has completed 253 desexing surgeries. This will have prevented an estimated 876 animals being born in one year.
We are able to assist members of the public who need a helping hand with other types of desexing options. We know that the rising costs of living have hit our communities hard, and desexing of pets often falls to the bottom of the priority list for many families.
With this additional assistance, 2,739 desexing surgeries have been completed. This will have prevented an estimated 8,936 animals being born in one year.
SPCA Desexing Grant
With various other animal rescue organisations struggling with the influx of animals, SPCA is committed to helping these rescues to desex the animals that come into their care. The SPCA Desexing Grant was established to provide financial support to other rescues around the country, by funding the costs of desexing.
The grant can be used to desex any species of animal, in any location in New Zealand.
From the July 2022 round of approved grant applications, this including approved desexing funding for a total of 812 cats, 180 dogs, and 30 rabbits, guinea pigs and rats. Once these surgeries have all been completed by the rescue organisations, this is estimated to have prevented 3,698 animals being born in one year.
Since our campaign began, we have desexed a total of 9,149 animals, which will have prevented an estimated 33,882 animals being born over the course of just one year. This shows that we’re well on track to reach our goal of preventing 100,000 unwanted animals over the two-year period.
By making desexing a top priority, we know that we can continue to make a significant impact in reducing the number of unwanted animals in New Zealand. We look forward to sharing further updates later in the year.