SPCA New Zealand

SPCA's Desexing Caravan teaching animals about safe sex

05 July 2021
SPCA's Desexing Caravan teaching animals about safe sex

Bessie has been a popular figure on the East Coast in recent weeks. But she isn’t a human or an animal, she is a fully outfitted mobile veterinary clinic, run by SPCA.

The special caravan has been based in multiple locations from Tolaga Bay up to Te Araroa for the past seven weeks, welcoming pets and espousing the safe sex message by desexing approximately 600 animals, in particular cats and dogs.

Bessie first hit the road in May and travelled over 500km from SPCA’s Masterton Centre to New Zealand’s East Coast - a region sorely lacking in veterinary services. Bessie has since made her way up the Coast, servicing the communities of Tolaga Bay, Tokomaru Bay, Ruatōria, and Te Araroa, who do not have local access to affordable vet care. The closest SPCA Centre is in Gisborne.

Teams of SPCA veterinarians and veterinary nurses also made the journey from Wellington and Palmerston North on a rostered weekly basis to offer their skills and to stop pets getting hot under the collar and eyeing up potential mates.

As a result, hundreds of animals on the East Coast have been checked over and are no longer breeding behind their owners’ backs, which will prevent thousands of unwanted litters being born.

The campaign has been three years in the making and has come at no cost to pet owners, with the animal welfare organisation offering the veterinary procedures, as well as microchipping and vaccinations, completely free of charge in a bid to reduce the rampant breeding in the region.

“Desexing, microchipping and vaccinating can cost hundreds of dollars and this is just one of the ‘top of the cliff’ initiatives that SPCA has introduced recently to make these important procedures more accessible for pet owners,” SPCA Gisborne Centre Manager Lindy Magee says.

“Many of the animals that come into our care are lost, or born unwanted and are neglected as a result. The sheer number of animals that come to our SPCA Centre in Gisborne, in particular, is huge. Desexing and microchipping is some of the best ways that we can bring down the number of unwanted animals, help reunite lost pets with their owners, and make a difference for animals in our communities.”

“Our team have worked long days and dedicated hundreds of hours to get these vital procedures done, as well as microchipping, offering flea and worm treatment and vaccinating animals on top of that. We are so thankful to the wonderful East Coast community for welcoming us with open arms.”

When SPCA first opened registrations in April, the organisation was inundated with hundreds of texts, calls and messages from pet owners wanting to put a stop to their pets' scandalous escapades, resulting in the venture being extended an additional two weeks due to demand.

“We’re so glad to have been able to come to the East Coast and make a tangible difference for a community who really needs it,” Ms Magee says.

To find out more about desexing, microchipping and vaccinating your animals, click here.

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