SPCA Napier Centre animal attendant Rachel Sumner is part of a large team devoted to the welfare of animals. In this weekly column, Rachel talks about some of the pets which have passed through the centre and those still waiting to find their 'forever home'.
Since the upheaval of lockdown, SPCA centres around the country have introduced new ways of working.
The most significant change to the way we operate has been to our adoption process, which is now by appointment. This is because a lot of our animals available for adoption are currently in our communities in foster care.
Research has shown that there are far better outcomes in animal welfare with them being looked after in homes with families, rather than in centres. This is one reason our new process has been so successful, with more than 2600 animals being adopted since the end of April.
Prior to Covid-19, you could pop into the centre for a cuddle any time during opening hours, which created quite a lot of pressure and stress for the animals during busy times.
While our cats still love having people to snuggle and play with them, keeping the volume of visitors to manageable levels is proving beneficial to humans and felines alike. It gives our cats the downtime they need, and it gives potential adopters space to really get to know our cats, so they can make the best choice for their family.
We love providing our community with contact time to get their feline fix and we also love being able to balance that with the needs of our animals and ensure the best animal welfare outcomes.
For dog adoptions, we are finding the new appointment-based meet and greet model so beneficial to every canine staying with us. Instead of going to our dog yards, we now bring the selected dog or puppy out to get to know prospective families in our reception area, which gives you valuable one-on-one time and it prevents unnecessary stress for other dogs, giving every hound a more harmonious stay.
It is amazing how much noise a yard full of dogs can make when someone new steps outside!
If you're keen to make an appointment to view our cats or would like a meet and greet with a specific dog let us know.
To help in your decision making you can view all our available animals, or read more about our adoption process, on our website www.spca.nz/adopt
■ SPCA Napier Centre is located at 31 Mersey St, Pandora and is open Monday to Saturday, 10am-2.30pm. All animals ready for adoption are desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, have had flea and worm treatment, and a vet check. Kittens cost $200 to adopt, adult cats $125, puppies $300 and dogs $250.