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SPCA adoption drive ends

As SPCA centres nationwide become increasingly crowded due to the rapidly rising number of lost and abandoned animals, today is the last day to help give a needy Masterton pet a forever home – at a discount.

Masterton SPCA has joined centres across New Zealand in a national adoption drive that’s seen the normal adoption fee of $125 cut in half to $62.50 for the past week.

Masterton SPCA centre manager Rebecca Johnston said this week the organisation nationwide had more than 4500 animals in its care, with 1173 waiting for adoption.

The number of animals brought into centres this year is about 20 per cent more than the same time last year, which the organisation attributes partly to the cost of living crisis.

“The number of abandoned animals is increasing. We get calls every week from members of the public asking for support,” Johnston said.

Between November 2022 and April 2023, 9433 animals came through SPCA across New Zealand. Between November 2021 and April 2022, there were 8102.

Johnston said the rising cost of living is a factor affecting people’s decision to bring a pet into their home – or give them up.

“There are several different reasons why people feel they must give up their pets, whether it be they can no longer afford to care for them financially, or whether they have a change in personal circumstances – for example, moving to a rental that doesn’t accommodate pets.

“What we would say here, is we try at all costs to keep them in a home or help pet owners rehome them – as we need to keep our space free for sick, injured, and vulnerable animals rather than healthy animals needing to be rehomed.

“Animals do much better in a home, not a shelter, so we try to give advice and support to keep them in home environments.”

Of the 137 animals currently at the Masterton centre, 37 are available for adoption; two rats, four rabbits, five dogs, 11 cats, and 15 kittens.

With the large influx of animals compared to last year, Johnston said many centres are feeling overwhelmed by the numbers needing their help.

Kitten season, which would usually be nearing its end by May, also shows no sign of slowing down, due to warmer weather conditions.

Johnston said if people can’t adopt, they can still consider fostering, which is another important way to help.

Adoptions can be arranged by applying online through the SPCA website, or by telephoning the centre on 06 377 1912 to make an appointment.

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