SPCA New Zealand

Are you the Special Someone our animals have been waiting for? From 6-21 July, we are waiving adoption fees for long-stay residents for the right home. Look for the ‘Special Love Needed’ tag on our adoption profiles, check you can provide what they need to flourish & apply online. Our usual adoption criteria and processes apply.

Find your match
Report animal cruelty

Report animal cruelty

SPCA Inspectors and Field Officers work on the front line every day, rescuing animals that have been abused, neglected, injured or are vulnerable. Last year we received 13,439 complaints of animal cruelty across New Zealand.

​All cruelty reports should be made by phone to your local SPCA Centre - find all centres with numbers on the map below:

In some areas MPI will take welfare calls about livestock animals. Find out more

If you have an animal welfare emergency during centre opening hours (10am-5pm), please locate and call your local SPCA Centre using the map below.

Outside of opening hours call your nearest after-hours vet clinic.

For non-emergency concerns please browse the options below the map.

Have concerns about an animal?

If you have concerns about an animal being neglected or treated with cruelty, call your local SPCA Centre immediately.

All animals - After hours emergency (between 7pm and 8.30am)

Emergency examples: animal hit by a car, significant injury and / or bleeding, unresponsive, severe vomiting, etc.

Please contact your local after-hours veterinary clinic. If none is available, please contain the animal and keep it warm and safe as best as you can until a veterinary clinic or local SPCA Centre opens.

Of note, all veterinarians have an obligation to address any pain and suffering of an animal when presented with it. This includes any pet animals, native species and birds. The mitigation (or, taking away) of pain and suffering is priority. The clinic or the finder of the animal can contact SPCA during the business hours to discuss transfer of the animal, or payment of the treatment if an agreement exists between SPCA and the clinic (not applicable if the animal is a pest or wildlife species).

If your welfare concern is not an emergency, please contact us via our Welfare form and we will be in touch if we need further information

Found kittens

Kittens are born year-round in New Zealand, with seasonal increases occurring late spring through the summer. Up until 6 weeks of age, kittens are heavily dependent on their mother for feeding, grooming, keeping warm, socialisation, and protection.

Stray Cat with Kittens:

People sometimes mistakenly believe kittens are orphaned but the mother cat may be getting food or hiding while she waits for you to leave. Separating young kittens from their mother poses risks to the kittens’ survival, as these kittens require skilled, round-the-clock care.

  • Allow a few days before intervening if the kittens are recently born and appear healthy
  • If the kittens appear healthy and safe, refrain from moving them
  • Attempt to locate an owner via social media or neighbours
  • Provide water and shelter if necessary, while trying to minimise disruption
  • If they appear sick or injured, contact SPCA immediately
  • If the mother is unsocial/wild, seek advice from SPCA regarding the best time to remove the kittens from her. Talk to SPCA about the possibility of trapping and desexing the mother.

Abandoned/Stray/Sick or Injured Kittens:

If you are concerned that the kittens that have been abandoned, or they appear sick or injured, then call SPCA immediately or take them to a veterinary clinic.

  • Any kittens under 4 weeks old are very vulnerable and still dependant on their mother. If the found kittens are in a litter and they are not in danger, avoid disturbing them, and instead observe them to see if the mother returns. Monitor younger kittens for around two hours before seeking assistance.
  • If the kittens are in immediate danger, for example in an active construction site or within reach of dogs, move them to a nearby location where the mother can still find them.
  • Attempt to locate an owner via social media or neighbours
  • If you find a kitten over 8 weeks old, you can take them to a vet clinic or SPCA to check for a microchip
  • If the kitten is between 8 and 12 weeks old, contact SPCA to discuss bringing into the centre or vet partner clinic
  • If the kitten is over 12 weeks old, SPCA may require the kitten to wear a stray cat collar or “paper collar” for 7 days (as with any healthy stray adult cat). SPCA may require you bring the kitten into the centre or vet partner clinic to fit a collar and can check for a microchip at the same time.

For further information, please see this article.

Healthy, socialised stray cats

Cats are beloved members of our families and in our communities. But SPCA acknowledges that they can also negatively impact our neighbours and wildlife. For an explanation on the distinction between feral, stray, and companion/pet cats, please refer to this article.

Cats will commonly roam around a neighbourhood, or even further afield. If the cat looks in good health, then it is likely owned or being cared for. To confirm whether the cat is owned ask the neighbours, search and post lost notices online and on social media, take into your local vets to have them scan for a microchip and affix a paper collar. Please do not provide food for unknown cats as this will encourage them to remain with you, rather than returning home.

For further information, or to download a paper collar, please see this article.

If you determine this cat does not have an owner, contact us for advice on desexing, microchipping, and rehoming. Please see our Desexing webpage for more information.

If the animal is injured, sick or vulnerable, please complete this form or call your local SPCA

Cats causing a nuisance

It is common practice in New Zealand to allow cats to roam freely from home. However, roaming cats are at a higher risk of being injured or killed from traffic or other animals, disease transmission, wildlife predation and becoming a community nuisance. Consider talking to your neighbours if their cat is making unwelcome visits to your property. Many cat owners underestimate how far their cat will roam from home. Sometimes a friendly conversation to alert an owner about their cat’s travels can encourage cat owners to be more responsible.

Please see this article for advice on how to deter cats from your property.

Feral cats and unsocial strays

Cats are beloved members of our families and in our communities. But SPCA acknowledges that they can also negatively impact our neighbours and wildlife. For an explanation on the distinction between feral cats and unsocial strays, please refer to this article.

SPCA does not accept cats that are feral or unsocial solely for euthanasia purposes and will only consider accepting these animals if they are suffering from pain and / or severe distress. If you believe a feral or unsocial animal needs veterinary care, please contact SPCA who can determine whether this animal needs to be taken in for assessment and / or treatment. Please note that if the animal is treatable, we may ask you to return the animal to where you found it.

Cat colonies

If there is a problem with a local cat colony (a group of stray cats living together) then please call us. Examples include if the cats are sick, injured or vulnerable – pregnant, very old or very young.

Please make sure you:

  • Don’t feed the animals unless you have been doing so and they rely on you for food
  • Continue to monitor the animals for sickness or injuries or are otherwise vulnerable such as pregnant, very old or very young, and call us if or where this occurs
  • Desex these cats to prevent unplanned litters of kittens.

For information desexing please visit our Desexing webpage. You can also call SPCA for:

  • Advice on trapping and desexing
  • Advice on rehoming
  • Advice on monitoring the colony and responsibilities as a person in charge

Dog in car

It is not illegal for people to have or to leave an animal in their car, provided that its welfare is not compromised. If the weather is hot or if the circumstances or location of the vehicle mean that it is hot inside the vehicle, check (if possible) how long has the animal been there.

Is the vehicle in the shade? Is the animal responsive and barking? Is a window open and water available? If so then it may be ok.

If the vehicle is in direct sun or hot, the animal is quiet and unresponsive or demonstrating shade seeking behaviour (e.g. moving into the footwell), panting, drooling, or hyperventilating, and you know it has been there for some time, then the animal could be in significant trouble. In that case, please call us immediately.

If you would like to share your concerns about a dog that was in a car, but this has now been removed, please complete the webform (preferably with the registration number of the vehicle) and we will be in touch if we need any further information.

Injured or sick wildlife

If you find sick, injured or dead native wildlife (i.e. a beached whale, an injured seal or native reptile and birds) but not a black-backed gull, paradise shelduck, or pukeko, please contact the Department of Conservation on 0800 DOC HOT (0200 362 468) or MPI on 0800 80 99 66.

If you are unsure whether the animal is a native, please still call either DoC, MPI, or SPCA for advice.

If you are certain the species is non-native, or a black-backed gull, paradise shelduck, or pukeko, please call SPCA or a local wildlife rehabilitator.

If you find multiple game birds (three or more) that are sick, injured or dead (e.g. botulism outbreak, illegal hunting) of the following bird species, then contact your Fish and Game Council.

  • Ducks (Mallard, Grey duck, Australasian shoveler, Paradise shelduck)
  • Black swans
  • Pukeko
  • Pheasants
  • Partridges
  • Peafowl
  • Chukar
  • Quail

If you are unable to reach any of the above, please contact your local veterinary clinic or after-hours clinic for advice.

Found birds and fledglings

If you can get close to the bird to assess it then please do so, but make sure not to endanger yourself or the bird. If you find the bird is injured or shows obvious signs of sickness, such as any of the below:

  • Blood on its body or an open wound
  • Its beak is damaged
  • It has oil on its feathers
  • It is caught in a trap, fishing line, or string, or caught by a cat
  • It is having difficulty breathing (beak open).

Then please contact your local veterinary clinic or, alternatively, call SPCA for advice or additional information. If you have assessed the situation and you have decided that there is a need to rescue the bird immediately, call SPCA, or your local bird rescue for advice on how to contain the bird and for further information, or check out this article.

Fledglings (young birds):

It's common in spring and summer to see young birds (fledglings) sitting on the ground or hopping about without any sign of their parents. If the fledgling is in a safe area and appears healthy, there's no need to worry. The chicks of most common garden birds leave their nest once they are fully feathered, but before they can fly.

Fledglings are unlikely to be abandoned by their parents. Just because you cannot see a parent, it does not mean that they are not there. They may have been frightened away from their chick by your presence and are waiting to come back once you leave.

If you have any doubts on whether the fledgling is unwell or it needs help, please call SPCA. If we are unavailable, or this is outside our business hours, please contact your local veterinary clinic or bird rescue.

For further information, please see this infographic.

Livestock animals 11+ of one species, or 31+ poultry

SPCA and Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) share welfare calls in relation to abused, injured or neglected livestock animals (including cattle, deer, sheep, pigs, goats, llama/alpaca, emu/ostriches). SPCA can assist with concerns of animal groups of 10 or less of the same species, and MPI will action concerns with larger groups of 11+ animals of the same species.

If there are 11 or more livestock animals, or 31 or more poultry birds on the property (of the same species), please contact MPI directly on 0800 00 83 33, or fill out their webform here: www.mpi.govt.nz/contact-us/report-animal-welfare-concern

Queries still not answered?

If your concern is urgent, please call your local SPCA Centre immediately.
If your concern is not urgent, you can report it using our Report Welfare Concern form.

Report welfare concern

What reports does SPCA investigate?

We investigate a wide variety of reports involving many types of animals. The most common are in relation to the failure of someone to meet their obligations as an owner or person in charge of an animal. This can mean that a person does not provide adequate food, water, veterinary treatment or shelter, or behaves in a way that is not permissible, such as physically abusing or ill-treating an animal.

The Animal Welfare Act 1999 defines the physical, health and behavioural needs of animals as:

  1. Proper and sufficient food
  2. Proper and sufficient water
  3. Adequate shelter
  4. Opportunity to display normal patterns of behaviour
  5. Physical handling in a manner which minimises the likelihood of unreasonable and unnecessary pain or distress
  6. Protection from, and rapid diagnosis of, any significant injury or disease
The Act defines ill-treatment of an animal as: ‘causing the animal to suffer, by any act or omission, pain or distress that in its kind or degree, or in its object, or in the circumstances in which it is inflicted, is unreasonable or unnecessary’.

SPCA investigates alleged breaches of the Animal Welfare Act 1999 in relation to these obligations and/or conduct.

Priorities and limited resources

Last year we received thousands of reports and attended over 13,700 callouts. We received many more calls for help than this, but due to our limited resources we must prioritise cases based on urgency and seriousness.

When you call us we will ask you a series of questions so your call can be prioritised according to its urgency. We cannot always immediately attend all cases and we can’t always respond as quickly as we’d like to. Please be patient and if the situation is worsening please call us again and tell us.

Restricted legal powers

SPCA inspectors are empowered under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to investigate reports of abuse, neglect and abandonment. SPCA is the only charity with the legal powers to help animals in need, and bring animal offenders to justice.

However, our legal powers are limited and some situations that may appear distressing are actually not against the law. Some situations may be meeting an acceptable minimum standard but may not be best practice. Whilst our inspectors will always encourage best practice, they can only enforce minimum standards.

Hello! Choose your nearest SPCA Centre and see content specific to your location:
Hit enter to submit