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 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 five key ways:
Prevent Cruelty & Educate
SPCA believes that engaging, educating and building relationships with our communities 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.
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.
To advance animal welfare and prevent cruelty.
To create a New Zealand community where all animals are treated with compassion and respect.
To create a better life for New Zealand's animals.
Compassion, Unity, Trust, Integrity.
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.
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).