SPCA inspectorate services will be restored to the Wairarapa district from today.

"If someone rings up with a complaint, the sheriff is back in town", says Wellington SPCA chief executive Steve Glassey.

Any animal welfare complaints will be taken and dispatched from Wellington SPCA's contact centre, which operates 24 hours a day.

From January 11 the Wellington SPCA will be administrating the Wairarapa branch, which was in financial strife and collapsed last year after its committee resigned.

Advertisement

Mr Glassey spoke to the Times-Age on Wednesday, when he and his leadership team were in Masterton visiting the SPCA Op Shop and Masterton's SPCA centre.

"The key thing people can take away is from Monday the inspector is back in town, the shelter is closed and there's [going to be] more community engagement."

The Ngaumutawa Rd centre would be used by inspectors, and at times by the Emergency Reserve, as an office only.

"In terms of the shelter, the reality is operating it was a financial burden which landed us here. If the community gets behind the new model we can always review things -- but we're not going to repeat mistakes of the past."

Mr Glassey said the SPCA's core role "is the investigation of cruelty because no one else can do it".

"We're the only organisation outside of government that is able to enforce the Animal Welfare Act."

This would be the priority for the Wellington team, which was "taking a leap of faith" in restoring services to Wairarapa.

"Our exercise over the next six months is to restore community trust, and to get the community behind us so we can expand services. It's now about Wairarapa fronting up."

Mr Glassey said his team would work with Wairarapa people and community groups to reinvigorate Wairarapa SPCA.

His team would be contacting former volunteers and fosterers in the district to see if they wanted to get back on board.

An Emergency Reserve would be set up, which is a volunteer group that responds to injured, sick and unowned animals after-hours.

Mr Glassey said the SPCA's increased community engagement would be through talks to interested groups and schools, and regular off-site adoptions and microchipping events.

Wellington SPCA animal care and adoption manager Nick Taylor said they were aiming for an adoption day this month and a pet microchipping event in February.

Both would be held in a community hall or church.

Mr Taylor said, without the centre in operation, fostering animals would be a good way for people to help.

He said with an animal shelter, where there was a concentrated area of animals, there was a high risk of disease and animals' stress levels went up.

"Even at our centre in Wellington we try to make sure [the animals] are only there if they're waiting to be adopted or for medical reasons."

It was better to have fewer animals in one space as stress was related to behavioural issues and an animal being cared for in a home would receive more care and attention.

"We don't want them stuck in a cage, we want them in a home. And if they can't have a permanent home then a foster home is fantastic."

Mr Taylor said the SPCA was not a drop-off centre for people who had grown bored of their pets.

"People need to take responsibility for their pets."

When asked if an inspector would be allocated specifically to cover Wairarapa Mr Glassey said "not at this stage".

He said nationally it was a "huge challenge" to recruit inspectors.

There were six inspectors overseeing the Wellington region and they would now be called on for Wairarapa emergencies.

The website www.wairarapa spca.org.nz is back up and running, and through it people could donate to the NGO.

As long as people clearly stated donations were for Wairarapa SPCA, the money would be held for Wairarapa purposes.