Like you, SPCA wants everyone in New Zealand to know how to look after their animals and give them the love and respect they deserve.
You can click the sections below to learn more about the work of SPCA and find out what they do in their community to help all of their citizens – especially the furry, woolly, feathered and scaly ones. But first, check out our Introduction to SPCA powerpoint.
SPCA helps protect approximately 60,000 animals in New Zealand every year. Animals who are sick, injured, lost, abused or simply abandoned. We are the only charity with the power to protect all animals including prosecuting people under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.
The letters SPCA represent the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
SPCA works with the community to help protect animals in six key ways:
SPCA works with the community to prevent cruelty and encourage the humane treatment of all animals.
SPCA Inspectors work on the front line rescuing animals who have been in an accident, abused or abandoned
The SPCA is the only charity with legal power under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to help animals in need.
In an SPCA hospital and/or supporting veterinary clinic animals receive everything from routine health checks and vaccinations, to life-saving surgery.
Shelter and Re-home
SPCA provides a safe haven for animals that have nowhere else to go. SPCA gives them love, care and a roof over their heads.
SPCA’s education program teaches compassion and responsible behaviour towards animals to improve the lives of all animals.
To encourage the humane treatment of all animals and to prevent cruelty being inflicted upon them.
The SPCA began in England in the 19th century at a time of great animal use - and abuse. Animals were used to provide motive power (e.g. pit ponies and transport), farming and blood sports such as bull-baiting and cockfighting were common.
The first law to protect animals was passed in 1822 after a long struggle by several people, including William Wilberforce and Richard Martin.
In 1824 Rev Arthur Broome formed the SPCA in London. These three men, with others, proceeded to make many prosecutions for breaches of the new Act. The Society received royal patronage in 1840.
The early settlers brought many of the laws of England to New Zealand. The English Protection of Animals Act 1835 became part of our laws.
This Act was replaced in 1878 by the first New Zealand Act protecting animals - by then the settlers had time to think of other things besides establishing the necessities of life.
In 1872 SPCA Canterbury was formed. This was quickly followed in the other main centres, Otago in 1882, Auckland in 1884, and Wellington 1885. Gradually smaller communities established their own SPCAs. Today there are around 45 SPCAs throughout New Zealand.
As a charity, SPCA receives only 1% of its funding from the New Zealand government, with this funding allocated for rural cases only - those involving animals on farms around the country. As a result, SPCA relies almost entirely on the generosity of the public to carry out their life-saving work. The majority of this income comes from donations, bequests, sponsorship and their own fundraising efforts.
Facilities vary throughout the country from very large complexes to a few enclosures in someone’s backyard. Even where large complexes exist, the society relies heavily on the work and assistance of volunteers.
The Act which controls animal welfare in New Zealand is known as the ‘Animal Welfare Act 1999’. It is a wide ranging Act and deals with offences in the handling and management of animals (including birds).