Pet cares

SPCA calls for community approach to fight animal cruelty

The SPCA is calling on New Zealanders to come together to help end cruelty to animals, as the charity continues to see a disturbing number of reports of neglected, abused and abandoned animals.

Each year, the SPCA receives approximately 14,000 public concern calls regarding allegations of cruelty and other welfare issues. With April being Animal Cruelty Prevention Month, New Zealand’s largest animal welfare charity hopes to shine a light on the problem and encourage communities to take a stand against cruelty and neglect.

“It shouldn’t be necessary to have a month devoted to highlighting the fact that cruelty to animals is still happening in 2022, but unfortunately the reality is that some people continue to treat animals appallingly,” says the SPCA Executive Director, Andrea Midgen. “We will do whatever it takes to end cruelty to animals, but this is a challenge we cannot meet alone. Animal welfare is a community issue and we need every Kiwi to play their part in being responsible pet owners and ending cruelty.

The SPCA is asking people to get in touch if they see anything that isn’t quite right, and if they have any animal welfare concerns to report it as soon as possible so that competent authorities can intervene to help.

“For the past 150 years, the SPCA has been the voice of New Zealand’s vulnerable animals and we ask Kiwis, who we know love animals as much as we do, to help us be their voice as well,” says Ms. Midgen. “We so often see heartbreaking cases where animals have been abused or neglected for a period of time, but no one has spoken. If you see anything concerning, please report it so we can take action before it’s too late.

SPCA National Inspectorate Director Alan Wilson says cruelty and neglect is something his team continues to see daily across the country, and it’s never been easier to be part of it. witness.

“Unfortunately, in the past year we’ve seen everything from emaciated and starving animals to dogs left chained up for so long they can’t exercise, take shelter or even go to the bathroom in an area. separated,” says Wilson. “Then there are the cases where deliberate acts of violence are inflicted on innocent animals, and it’s frankly sickening to see this still happening. It’s absolutely awful for the animals and upsetting for our staff who have to deal.

As the SPCA continues to see instances of willful animal cruelty, inspectors also frequently investigate instances where people may unintentionally neglect their animal’s welfare due to a change in personal circumstances or a simple lack of animal care education.

“This is where our inspectors work hard to create long-term change by working alongside pet owners to educate them about responsible pet care and ensuring they have the tools to make better decisions for their animals in the future,” says Wilson. “With this approach, we have seen incremental improvements in the way many animals are cared for, as their owners become more aware of what an animal needs. Of course, where appropriate, we will also continue to hold people to account through lawsuits. »

The SPCA is the only animal welfare charity in New Zealand that has the power to enforce animal welfare law, but receives only a small part of the annual government funding to do so (2.5 million of dollars). As a result, the SPCA must rely almost entirely on donations from the public not only to operate its inspection service, but also to care for the 35,000 animals that pass through its doors each year.

“Unfortunately, despite rising inflation and other costs, the government has not committed to increasing SPCA funding for our inspection service,” says Midgen. “We hope to see increased funding in the May budget, but in the meantime, we would like to thank all the animal-loving Kiwis who generously donate to the SPCA and allow us to do what we do for animals.”

People can support the SPCA by:

Donate money, pet items to their local center or items to sell at their local SPCA operating store

· Volunteer for their local SPCA center

Become a SPCA host family

· Shopping at the Op stores of the SPCA

Raising funds for the SPCA through SPCA fundraising events

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