SPCA's new home making life easier

HANNAH MCLEOD
Last updated 15:05 07/02/2014
SPCA
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SPCA Southland operations manager Richard Hay enjoys a cuddle with a kitten not quite ready for adoption.

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SPCA Southland operations manager Richard Hay says despite some teething problems, the brand new facility has "reached all expectations."

The building, which had its public open day at the weekend, has attracted huge numbers of visitors, he said.

"We release kittens ready for adoption every Tuesday. Last week we had 14, and all but two were adopted by 4pm," he said.

The same went for the dogs, all but one had someone wanting to take them home, even the ones that were not quite ready to go to their forever-homes, Mr Hay said.

The new facility really is quite spectacular, as The Eye witnessed when Mr Hay gave us a grand tour.

Complete with underfloor heating, doggy showers, viewing rooms, an education room, and solar power, it's hard to imagine what they have not thought of.

"We have had to sacrifice some things, for example a tarsealed driveway, because we needed the funds for something more immediate," Mr Hay said.

Extra gates were also needed for easy access to the dogs' outdoor areas, he said.

"But we've had an amazing response from the public. Opening the mail, there was one letter with $300 in it," he said.

"The most amazing thing is we're opening debt free."

One of the most exciting developments at the new building is a purpose-built surgery room, allowing the SPCA to have desexing operations performed on-site.

"One thing we have noticed, is there are not as many kittens coming in this season, this could be because the desexing programme is starting to have an effect," Mr Hay said.

SPCA Southland animal welfare inspector Jenny MacDonald said she was loving the new site.

"It's absolutely fantastic. I have my own office now, which is great because I'm often dealing with a sensitive subject and dealing with people in a way that requires a bit of privacy."

Miss MacDonald said this was her third year working at SPCA Southland.

"Last year was the highest number of welfare complaints in the three years I've been here.That doesn't necessarily mean there's more abuse, but could be more awareness," she said.

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