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Pet for life, not Christmas

18-month-old Afri is a desexed female at SPCA in Masterton. PHOTO/EMMA BROWN

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Adopting a pet is a long-term commitment, not just a Christmas gift.

That’s the message from the Masterton centre of The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who want people to consider the responsibilities of owning an animal before making plans to adopt.

Centre manager Rebecca Johnston said although people often had time off around Christmas, the season was often busy and a difficult time of year to add an animal into the mix.

People also needed to consider the financial burden of pet ownership, whether they were allowed a pet on their property, and whether the animal would be the right fit for the household.

“Getting an animal from a rescue centre gives them a second chance,” Johnston said.

But it was better for a family to go to the centre together to get matched with the right animal, as opposed to getting a pet as a “Christmas surprise”.

Animals adopted from SPCA were up to date with all their treatments and were well socialised, Johnston said.

Johnston said the SPCA were desperate for people to foster animals, especially because it was kitten season.

Last week, they had 10 kittens come into the centre that needed to be fostered.

Best pals Elektra and Rawa are seeking adoption together. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

Two other cats at Masterton, Elektra and Rawa, have formed a friendship while waiting to be adopted almost all year.

They arrived separately as kittens.

In the months since, they have formed a close bond.

Now, as the end of the year approaches, Masterton centre staff say they would love to see the pair find a home together in time for Christmas.

Tortoiseshell female Elektra arrived in February as a stray kitten.

Incredibly shy when she first arrived at the centre, Elektra was overlooked by visitors in favour of her more confident peers.

After many months waiting to be adopted, she graduated from her kitten enclosure to the older cat adoption room where SPCA cats have communal space to interact.

It was here she met Rawa, a tabby male who arrived at the centre as a kitten in May, after being found lost and alone at Matarawa railway station.

Close in age and both very shy, the pair “found comfort in each other” and started to play together.

Now, nearly a year since Elektra first came to SPCA, she and Rawa are the best of friends – spending their time playing and cuddling together,” Johnson said.

“We often find them in the same bed together or wrestling on the floor.

“Rawa and Elektra love playing with toys and food puzzles, so a family that has the time to engage with them would be ideal.”

Being a rural centre, she said they often have a wide variety of animals come through the door, including ducks, lambs, and the occasional parakeet.

She said all animals from the centre came with a health guarantee, meaning if people had problems with them, they would offer support.

“The more we can find homes for, the more we can help,” Johnston said.

Anyone wishing to foster or looking to adopt a pet should visit the SPCA and speak to one of the team.

SPCA is open weekdays from noon-4pm and at weekends from 10am-4pm.

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