SPCA New Zealand

Snip ‘n’ Chip continues to make an impact

06 March 2024

With more vouchers being made available by SPCA this month, cat owners are able to get their pets desexed for a fraction of the normal price. We hope to provide over 10,000 Snip ‘n’ Chip vouchers throughout 2024, which will help to prevent countless animals being born into lives of neglect.

Snip ‘n’ Chip continues to make an impact

We’re excited to launch more Snip ‘n’ Chip vouchers today, which are available now to cat owners in Kerikeri, Whangārei, Kaitaia, Napier, Hastings, Gisborne, and surrounding areas with Auckland to follow in the coming weeks.

Snip ‘n’ Chip is SPCA’s primary desexing and microchipping programme. We work with amazing local vet clinics around the country to offer these services to cat owners at a fraction of the regular cost.

Why does desexing remain a key priority for SPCA? Prevention of cruelty is in our name – and through desexing as many animals as possible, we’re able to bring down the incredibly high numbers of unwanted and neglected companion animals in New Zealand. By reducing the number of litters being born unwanted, Snip ‘n’ Chip allows us to have a tangible impact on animal welfare in our communities.

SPCA’s National Desexing Programme Manager Rebecca Dobson shared how widespread the overpopulation issue is.

“SPCA is just one of the organisations that struggle with the sheer volume of animals coming into our care. Animal shelters around the country are constantly battling to create space for thousands of animals that need our help every year,” Ms Dobson said.

“By making desexing more accessible to pet owners who may be struggling, we hope to bring down these numbers substantially, so we’re very pleased to be able to offer these vouchers.”

Over 10,000 Snip ‘n’ Chip vouchers will be provided over 2024, with more locations being added as they become available on our desexing website.

What are some of the other benefits of desexing cats?

Aside from bringing down the rates of breeding, desexing has many health and behavioural benefits for your cat. Desexed cats can live longer, healthier, happier lives due to various health benefits, including:

  • Less chance of developing certain kinds of cancers
  • Eliminates the chance of common uterine infections (in females)
  • Reduces fighting and aggressive behaviours which reduces risk of contracting infectious disease spread by fighting
  • Eliminates “heat” cycles in females, which is often inconvenient for owners
  • Reduced roaming activity (in search of mates) - meaning they are also less likely to get lost, be hit by a car, or come into contact with infectious diseases and parasites
  • Reduces unwanted cats being attracted to your property by females in heat
  • Reduces urine and scent marking behaviour.

Snip ‘n’ Chip is also a great opportunity for cat owners who do not currently have a local vet to get to know one in their area.

It's a team effort

A question that we’re often asked is why we’re unable to offer free desexing or Snip ‘n’ Chip vouchers year-round.

One of the key reasons is the cost involved. As a charity, SPCA only receives 10% Government funding – which is dedicated to our Inspectorate services. That means that we rely on donations to cover the other 90% of our expenses, including all desexing initiatives.

Another barrier to offering continuous Snip ‘n’ Chip vouchers is the ongoing vet shortage in New Zealand. We are very grateful to all participating Vet Clinics across the country.

With SPCA able to provide a set number of Snip ‘n’ Chip vouchers each year, one thing we have struggled with is the redemption rate.

That is, only around 70% of people who get a voucher actually end up using it.

While we hope to continue making an impact with our desexing initiatives, we equally rely on the public to follow through and complete the appointments for their cats.

This is why we urge anyone who is thinking of getting a voucher to only do so if they are absolutely certain they will be using it. For every voucher that is not used, this prevents another cat owner from accessing this service.

If all 10,000 Snip ‘n’ Chip vouchers for 2024 were used, this would result in the prevention of approximately 41,000 unwanted offspring being born over the first year alone – which would make a huge difference to our Centres (and other animal rescues) struggling with capacity.

How you can get a Snip 'n' Chip voucher

You can check if your area has a current Snip ‘n’ Chip campaign and book online by visiting www.spcadesexing.nz. There are also helpful FAQs, and further information on desexing.

While Snip ‘n’ Chip is currently only available for cats, we are working on several desexing projects that also tackle the desexing of dogs, to support our communities to be part of the solution. These projects include our SPCA Mobile Desexing Clinic, and various desexing partnerships with vet clinics – our most recent being in Kaitaia. If you are struggling financially and need help desexing your dog, rabbit or other type of animal, please contact your local Centre.

Donations from the generous public are what allow us to continue offering these important desexing initiatives, and we’re incredibly grateful for this support.

If you would like to donate towards desexing, you can do this over on our website.

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