Fostering heals kittens
It's kitten season again and the SPCA is desperately appealing for help with its overflowing cattery.
Temporary foster homes are being sought for cats and kittens while they grow big and healthy enough to be adopted.
And with up to 150 animals coming through the doors of the Animal Village in Mangere every day, foster homes can't be found soon enough.
Totara Heights resident Carol MacDonald has been fostering kittens for the SPCA for the past 20 years and says it's an easy way to make a difference.
"The good thing about the SPCA is they supply absolutely everything," she says.
"I just need to give my time and a bit of love and attention - that's all they need."
Ms MacDonald has fostered hundreds of kittens over the years and says it's hugely rewarding.
"The best thing is seeing them come in and they're small and sometimes really quiet and really shy, then seeing them go out and they're healthy and bubbly."
Foster carers provide temporary homes for animals recovering from surgery or illness or for animals that need to put on weight before they're able to be desexed and adopted.
SPCA foster co-ordinator Karyn Sage says summer is the busiest time of the year for the organisation and any public help is greatly appreciated.
"Foster homes provide a lifeline for the animals. Our foster parents literally help save lives."
The SPCA supplies all food, litter, litter trays, carry cage, toys, bedding and medication if required.
Foster carers need to have a secure area - such as a spare bedroom, laundry or bathroom - to keep the animals safe and contained for the duration of their stay, which is generally around three to five weeks.
They also need to have their own transport to pick up and drop off the cats and kittens at the Animal Village in Mangere.
First-time foster parents receive training and the SPCA foster team provides support and guidance if you have any questions or concerns.
To find out more go to spca.org.nz, call SPCA 256 2525 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.