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 on 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 video:
SPCA helps protect approximately 45,300 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 Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
SPCA works with the community to help protect animals in six key ways:
SPCA believes that engaging, educating, and building relationships with our communities and government is key to improving animal welfare in New Zealand. Like you, we want everyone to know how to look after their animals and give them the love and respect they deserve.
Educate & Engage
Every year thousands of abused, neglected, and injured animals arrive in SPCA's care. SPCA wants to make a real difference and break this trend of abuse, so our team developed a free education programme for schools and people working with children, to help change the hearts and minds of the future generation.
Our SPCA Inspectors, Field Officers and rescue teams work on the front line every day, rescuing animals who have been in an accident, abused, neglected, abandoned or caught up in natural disaster. Last year our teams responded to over 15,000 reports to animals in difficulty across New Zealand.
Our SPCA Centres, animal hospitals and co-operating vet clinics are the first stop for all animals that come into SPCA care. Here we provide essential care and medical treatment to animals that are sick and injured, as well as routine health checks, vaccinations, microchips and desexing.
Shelter, Rehome & Reunite
We provide a safe haven for sick, injured, abandoned and abused animals. We give them love, care and a roof over their heads until we can find them a new forever home.
SPCA is the only charity with the legal powers to help animals in need and bring animal offenders to justice. Our Inspectors are appointed under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 which provides powers to investigate cruelty, abuse, neglect and abandonment.
Our Mission/Our Purpose
To advance animal welfare and prevent cruelty.
All animal lives matter in our communities.
We are One, We are Kind, We are Brave, We Thrive, We Serve.
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 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.
In the past, SPCA Centres throughout New Zealand were independent of each other, handling their own affairs and finances. In June 2017, a vote was passed for each centre to join together to form one united national organisation, that would work together to advance animal welfare and prevent cruelty. Since 1 November, 2017, we have been One SPCA in New Zealand.
SPCA now has 39 SPCA Centres throughout the country with 480 employees, 77 warranted Inspectors, and 4,500 volunteers.
SPCA is a charity, also called a non-profit or not-for-profit organization. As such, SPCA relies almost entirely on the generosity of the public to help carry out their life-saving work. Each year, SPCA needs to raise approximately $47 million each year to provide their services. The majority of this comes from donations, bequests, sponsorship and their own fundraising efforts.
The government funding that SPCA receives ($2.5 million) is allocated to run SPCA’s Inspectorate service, however this service costs $10 million a year to operate. This means that SPCA receives virtually no government funding.
All money raised goes directly to helping animals in need.
Prior to becoming One, all SPCAs were run independently with their own finances, polices, records, etc. – due to this, each Centres’ facilities and resources have varied throughout the country from very large complexes to a few enclosures.
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’. The Animal Welfare Act 1999 (The Act) sets out how people should take care of and act towards animals, and is jointly enforced by SPCA, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and the Police.
The Act is a clear statement to New Zealanders – and to the rest of the world – that animals are sentient and that in New Zealand they have a right to proper and sufficient care.
You can learn more here.