Frequently Asked Questions:
If the question you want answered has not already been answered and listed in this section – please send it to us!
Whether it’s for an inspector, veterinarian or one of our animal team members, we’ll pass it on to the right expert here at SPCA to answer for you.
The most common animals we get at SPCA are cats, dogs, rabbits, and guinea pigs, though we often also have goats, chickens, pigs, sheep, and horses. SPCA occasionally has birds, mice, rats, reptiles, and cows as well!
Animal cruelty is when someone hurts an animal or does not care for an animal responsibly, like not giving a dog or cat food or water. It is against the law to be cruel to or harm animals - this includes all animals. It's also called animal abuse, or neglect.
Animal welfare refers to the humane treatment and well-being of an animal while animal rights refers to animals living free of human exploitation and deserving the same rights as people.
When someone fosters an animal for SPCA, they are providing that animal with a temporary home.
Many of the animals that come into SPCA need additional care, treatment, and socialization before finding their forever home. Volunteer foster families help these animals recover from surgery, give them medicine, or work with them to improve their behaviour. Sometimes animals need additional care for several weeks or a couple of months depending on their circumstances.
Once a foster animal has made a full recovery and are ready for their forever homes, foster families return them to SPCA where they are put up for adoption.
When someone adopts an animal from SPCA, they are bringing that animal into their family and providing them with a loving, forever home. This means they are committing to being a responsible animal guardian (owner) for the rest of that animal's life. Adopting an animal from SPCA also requires an adoption fee.
To give you an idea about some of the costs associated with caring for SPCA animals, take a look at the list below:
Eva and Charlotte, Milford School
Yes, sometimes people find themselves in the very unfortunate position of their animal adoption not working out. Sometimes, at no fault of anybody involved, it just isn’t the right match.
Sometimes, people don’t think carefully about all the factors that come with owning a pet e.g. the cost, the time and attention needed to be given to the animal, such as feeding, bathing, flea and worm treatments, grooming, exercising, playing, vet checks etc. This is when a pet may end up being given away, ignored or neglected.
An unsuccessful adoption is very upsetting for all of those involved, this is why SPCA staff work very hard to avoid people making spontaneous pet adoptions and do their best to educate people to ensure they fully understand all that is involved in owning a pet.
Remember: At the first sign of any behavioural issues or settling in problems - it is vital that your family seeks advice from the SPCA centre they adopted your pet from. If you did not adopt from an SPCA centre, contact your veterinarian for advice.
Talia, Gabriella, Mila, Tayla, Ben and Isaac, Glendowie Primary School
The idea of asking for help for animals is nothing new. Even pre-Internet, SPCA mailed out pleas for help and utilized the telephone and word-of-mouth to find volunteers, foster homes, and adopters.
What sets social media apart from other forms of media is exactly how it got its name in the first place: the social component. The journey a message takes through a social network begins with a single Facebook update, Twitter tweet, or YouTube video upload.
From the point of view of the SPCA making the post, it really isn't that different from publishing something on a website. But for the people reading the message, it's completely different. They're not passive readers, but active supporters who participate in social media for the specific purpose of keeping up with the people and causes in which they have an interest. And because information-sharing is the currency of social media; people are there to let other people know what they're doing and thinking, and also what they believe in. Someone who believes in you and cares about your message will make sure to re-broadcast it to their own subscribers, who may do the same in turn.
That might be of limited use if it just bounced around the Internet to a closed circle of people in the animal shelter and rescue community. That's what happens on sites that are focused exclusively on a single issue; it becomes something of an echo chamber. But social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are made up of people with all kinds of diverse interests and points of connection.
Eva and Charlotte, Milford School
Many of the animals that come to SPCA are sick or injured, so it can take a while for them to start recovering and begin feeling better.
A shelter environment is never an ideal place for any animal – any new environment is often frightening for an animal, unfamiliar noises, smells, people and other animals can be very scary and stressful. But, for most animals this environment is still a lot better than where they have come from.
SPCA staff and volunteers try very hard to reduce as much stress and fear as possible and keep every animal’s environment as safe and calm as possible, whilst ensuring all animals receive the love and understanding that they deserve.
Many of the animals that come into the SPCA need a little extra time, care and love before finding their new forever home. Our wonderful foster families provide a temporary home for these animals as they recover from surgery or illness, or simply put on a little more weight before being spayed or neutered.
No, sometimes there are not photos of all the animals available for adoption on our websites. As we have animals transferring into adoptions every day, it can take us a few days to get their details onto the internet. It is best to call or come in and visit your local SPCA shelter and talk to the adoptions staff, who can inform you of any suitable animals.
Amelie, Saint Thomas School
Yes, most definitely!
Research supporting animal sentience (the ability to feel, perceive, or be conscious, or to experience subjectivity) is strong and rapidly growing.
Scientists know that individuals from a wide variety of species experience emotions ranging from joy and happiness to deep sadness, grief, and post-traumatic stress disorder, along with empathy, jealousy and resentment - for example, mice, rats, and chickens display empathy and countless other "surprises" are rapidly emerging!
A large amount of really interesting information about animal sentience can be found at: http://www.worldanimalprotection.org/animalwelfare-education-and-sentience/animal-sentience
The SPCA Blue Tick is run by the Royal New Zealand SPCA. The programme is about certifying animal products that are farmed to our high welfare standards.
For more information about SPCA Blue Tick check out our SPCA Blue Tick website at: spcabluetick.org.nz