SPCA Makes Desperate Call for Foster Families
SPCA is making a nationwide call for more foster families to look after vulnerable kittens, cats and sick animals as kitten season continues to push SPCA resources to the limit.
SPCA Centres around the country are almost full to capacity with more than 4,000 animals currently in care as of last week. Seventy-five per cent of animals are cats and kittens. The call for foster families comes as research shows that staying in a home environment helps animals better recover from sickness or injury, and it helps with confidence and socialisation.
SPCA’s General Manager of Operations Sam Powell says the country’s largest animal welfare charity does not adopt kittens until they are strong and healthy, and old enough to have been desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and received flea and worm treatment, hence the need for foster families.
“We have thousands of kittens who need care in homes throughout New Zealand, at least until they reach the stage where we can prepare them for adoption. This is why we need to expand our network of foster families because we are overwhelmed at the moment.”
Annual ‘kitten season’ usually stretches into autumn and this year is no different, with many SPCA Centre’s feeling the pressure. And it’s not just kittens who are needing foster families for a four to six-week period including the Easter break.
“In both Hobsonville and Mangere Centre’s alone we need foster parents for cats and rabbits as well. A lot of people don’t know that SPCA will provide all of the food, equipment, treatment and training that is required, so the cost to foster families is negligible. We think it’s a win-win for families and animals.”
“We’d love anyone that comes on board to stay on as a foster parent and to continue to foster for us in the future.”
The call is echoed in Wellington, Napier, Hastings, Whakatane, Rotorua, Kerikeri, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Timaru, Renwick, Gisborne, Christchurch, Kerikeri and Greymouth with Centre’s full to the brim with animals.
Wellington’s Volunteer Programme Support Archie Pararasasingham says SPCA Centre’s always need more foster families to join their team of devoted foster parents.
“We would love some extra hands to help ensure animals in SPCA care integrate into home life easier, and move into their forever home faster.”
“Not only does fostering help free up space for other animals needing help, but it’s also beneficial for those that are too young or sick to be adopted, and need a warm, safe place in which to grow and develop.”
“A Centre environment can be stressful for some animals, so being in a home environment will help them develop and recover much faster.”
SPCA Chief Executive Andrea Midgen says SPCA could not operate without the thousands of dedicated volunteers who give up hundreds of hours of their time each year to help the animals.
“We have almost 5,000 volunteers who give selflessly to SPCA. They do an incredible job for us, and our network of foster families is invaluable – we simply could not care for the number of animals we do without their support.
“We know a large number of people will be away for the Easter break, but if there are people staying home, who would like to offer a temporary home to an animal or animals, we would be extremely grateful,” MsMidgen says.