SPCA New Zealand

Working as one for the animals

30 May 2022

Five years ago was a significant turning point in SPCA’s history, where the momentous decision was made to unify independent SPCA Centres and create a future-focused national entity. Since then, we have been ‘One SPCA’ in New Zealand, with our SPCA Centres, our teams, and everything we do working in unison and towards one common goal - advancing animal welfare in our communities.

Working as one for the animals

By sharing our resources across the country to support SPCA Centre’s that were once struggling, providing specialist care and treatment to animals regardless of location, and transporting animals across Aotearoa to find their perfect match, we are saving more animal lives.

Keep reading to meet some of the animals who have thrived through SPCA’s collaborative approach between Centre’s, and read about the dedicated people who made it possible.

Working together to get vulnerable animals the special treatment they need

Jak's story

Jak was originally found in Palmerston North, with no mum or littermates in sight, and with a severe injury to his paw. It was red, raw, swollen and exposed and while we don’t know how Jak sustained such awful wounds, we suspect he may have got his paw crushed underneath something.

It was clear that Jak needed specialist treatment, so our team arranged for this little dude to get transferred from our Palmerston North Centre to our Hospital unit in Wellington.

By working as One SPCA, animals like Jak are no longer bound by their geographical location and they can get the specialist treatment they need regardless of where they’re based.

Since then, it has only been onwards and upwards for Jak. After a few weeks, his paw made massive improvements, the swelling went down, and he’s as lively as ever.

Jak in SPCA Wellington
Jak in SPCA Wellington

Stu's story

It’s hard not to grimace when you see Stu’s injuries. When he first arrived in our Masterton Centre’s care, Stu had a large firm abscess over his shoulder and wounds around his mouth and lower jaw. This sweet boy was in a lot of pain, but despite it all, he remained stoic and a total smooch!

Stu was transferred to SPCA's hospital unit and what was initially suspected to be injuries from a car crash, turned out to be something a lot more sinister. Upon inspecting his shoulder, our veterinary team found fragments of air rifle pellets. Poor Stu had been shot and the pellet had scattered throughout his shoulder, festering and infecting it.

After weeks of treatment, rehabilitation and time in foster care, our team determined the best option for Stu was leg amputation. While the abscess had been drained and Stu looked normal, he wasn't able to jump and play like a normal cat should. Further examination determined the fragments had caused irreversible damage and Stu's shoulder was unstable, so his right leg and his shoulder blade were removed to prevent further implications down the track.

Fast forward to today and Stu has flourished! He was adopted by foster parent Caity who cared for him during his recovery, and he's since been renamed Joey. "Joey is settling in amazingly. We have such a special bond; he comes sprinting to my call, smooches me constantly, and prefers to ride around on my shoulders rather than walking beside me. We are truly best friends and I am obsessed with him."

What a fantastic outcome for a stoic boy, and all made possible by SPCA Centre’s working together.

Stu in SPCA's hospital unit
Stu in SPCA's hospital unit

Working together to get animals in need the second chance they deserve

Cruise's story

Cruise has had quite the venture with SPCA. When his owners moved away and could no longer care for him, Cruise was surrendered into SPCA’s care in Whanganui so our team could find him a family that could give this curious chap all the cuddles he deserves. Yet… after months in their care Cruise was no closer to finding a family. We just couldn’t understand why this sweet boy was being overlooked!

Teamwork makes the dream work and SPCA Centres work closely together across Aotearoa to get the right outcomes for the animals that need us.

Animals are regularly transferred between SPCA Centres to receive specialist treatment in our hospital unit, or to give them another shot at finding a family. In Cruise’s case, he made a 200km journey from SPCA Whanganui to Wellington where he was doted on by everyone at while he waited for his perfect match... which we are to delighted was recently found!

Cruise while he was patiently awaiting adoption
Cruise while he was patiently awaiting adoption

Queen's story

Queen first arrived at SPCA’s Gisborne Centre severely underweight and riddled with mange. She had spent her whole life on a chain and we were determined to give her a second chance at happiness.

However, after months waiting at our SPCA Centre in Gisborne, Queen still hadn’t found her perfect match. The decision was made to transfer her to our neighbouring SPCA Centre in Napier, in the hopes a potential family would see her and fall in love at first sight.

After months in our care, Queen was recently adopted and is living the life she deserves – one filled with love and happiness. Here is what her new mum Kelly has to say about Queen joining their family:

“As soon as I met Queen, she was the most affectionate girl showing me she had so much love to give. I couldn't believe it when I saw what state she was in when SPCA got her. She looked like a completely different dog.

We bonded straight away and we love snuggling up together. She adores the kids and is cheeky and steals their soft toys. After a month we got her a little sister - who is also from SPCA - who she loves playing with, having snuggles and playing mum.

We couldn't ask for a better dog she fits into our family perfectly.”

Queen in her happy forever home
Queen in her happy forever home

One of the volunteers who makes it all possible

Colin's story

Behind the wheel of a car, Colin makes a profound difference for animals across the country. He’s one of our volunteer drivers in Whanganui, and a vital asset to the team, helping our Whanganui Op Shop, picking up Whanganui Centre deliveries and donations, and transporting animals in need around the central North Island.

Since SPCA became one organisation this has meant that animals are no longer bound to their geographical location. They can get specialised care and find a loving home regardless of their location, with volunteers like Colin making this possible.

In almost three years volunteering at SPCA, Colin has travelled tens of thousands of kilometres (we estimate over 40,000!) and helped transport hundreds of animals from regions across New Zealand. Because of Colin, so many animals have been transferred to neighbouring SPCA Centres to get the specialised care they need, and those animals struggling to find homes have been given another chance to find a forever family in another region. Colin is a key player in making this possible, chauffeuring animals to a better life.

What once was a way to ‘keep him off the couch’ has grown into a huge passion for Colin, and he has fallen in love with the animals and the people. We want to give a massive shout out to Colin and all our other volunteers who make a difference for Aotearoa’s most vulnerable animals. Thank you!

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