SPCA announces permanent closure of Waipukurau facility
SPCA has decided to permanently close its Waipukurau Centre, and will be entering into a vet partnership with a local clinic to ensure animals in the region remain cared for.
The facility temporarily closed its doors at the beginning of May, due to staff shortages. Despite extensive efforts to find an appropriate part-time Centre Team Lead, including multiple job advertisements, a suitable candidate was not found.
This prompted further discussions around the future of the Centre and, after looking at the national SPCA strategy, it was established the Centre was no longer financially viable to run. With so few animals coming through the Centre, the cost of keeping it running was unsustainable for the charity, which relies on donations to operate its 32 Centres nationwide.
Between May 2021 and May 2022, the Centre’s incoming numbers of animals were 40% down on the previous year. Factors contributing to this include desexing campaigns that have been undertaken in the area in the past two years, which will continue in the community.
SPCA Area Manager Bruce Wills says the organisation’s full range of services will continue to be available through a new partnership with Vet Services Waipukurau.
“Animals across the Waipukurau region will be better cared for through this new partnership, with Vet Services providing extended opening hours and emergency care when required,” says Mr Wills. “Animals can then be transported from the vet clinic to SPCA’s Hasting’s Centre, where they can receive the best possible care.
Mr Wills said SPCA was currently in the process of hiring a full-time Field Officer to help service the community. This will enhance SPCA’s ability to attend emergencies, assist with community de-sexing, and provide assistance to the inspectorate team when it comes to welfare concerns.
“As a charity, we have a responsibility to use the donations entrusted to us by generous members of the public to deliver the best possible outcomes for the animals we care for – across New Zealand. We cannot rationalise the cost of keeping the Waipukurau Centre open when we have a national network that can serve the animals in this region, and the money it would have taken to bring the Centre up to standard could be better spent elsewhere.”
SPCA’s Waipukurau Centre was open with limited hours before the pandemic and it had rudimentary infrastructures in place. SPCA felt that the animals in the region would be better served in larger Centres such as Hastings, where the facilities are better resourced to meet the welfare needs of animals, which is SPCA’s main priority.
"We're confident we can do more for the animals by putting more investment into other areas such as community desexing, which will have a more lasting impact by helping to solve the problem of unwanted and abandoned animals in the community," continues Mr Wills.
“We’d like to thank the Central Hawke’s Bay community for their hard work and dedication to the Centre over the years, and understand that community members will be saddened by the closure. But we’d like to reassure them that SPCA still very much services the Central Hawke’s Bay area and will be caring for the animals.”
The land and assets were handed over to SPCA in 2017 by the Central Hawke’s Bay Committee as part of the move to one SPCA across New Zealand. As Central Hawke’s Bay District Council also uses the building, SPCA will have open discussions with the Council regarding its future use.
The Waipukurau SPCA Op Shop will remain open, with all proceeds going towards the ongoing needs of animals in SPCA Centres locally and across New Zealand.