As New Zealand enters a minimum of four weeks in lockdown on Thursday morning, veterinary and animal health services will operate in some way as an essential service.

Most animal services in Whanganui will remain open in some capacity, although many have changes to protocol and hours.

Whanganui SPCA

Whanganui SPCA has closed the public to adoptions, but remains open to taking applications for short-term foster homes of animals.

Manager of Whanganui SPCA Francie Slif said adoptions picked up over the last few days as people gear towards lockdown.

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"We only have three adult cats left for adoption."

Slif said they are will be taking applications throughout the lockdown for short term foster homes of animals, hoping to ease the burden on the system. Op shops in the area will also be closed for the foreseeable future.

"Now is a great time to have a pet around the house with the whole family around."

Whilst it is a stressful time for everyone, Slif urged owners take extra care of their pets too.

The best way to contact the SPCA is via email at whanganui.info@spca.nz which will checked regularly. Only in an emergency, call 06 345 3369.

Vets On Carlton

Vet On Carlton is still remaining open for emergency services only. Its door will be locked.

"We must limit our physical contact to others."

Normal routines such as nail trims, worming, fleaing and vaccinations will not be available. Vets On Carlton insist on ringing first to reserve an appointment.

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Clinic hours will be 8am to 5pm until Monday March 30.

Food and medications are still all available, just ring ahead of time so it can be organised.

Vets On Carlton's clinic number is 06 345 5672, and emergency number is 06 349 0486.

Animates

Animates stores are expected to remain open with strict in-store processes, and are shortening their store hours to 11am-5pm.

Online ordering and Click and Collect services are currently suspended due to overwhelming demand, however these are expected to resume over the coming days.

Dog Pound

Operations Compliance Manager Warrick Zander said the dog pound is closed to the public.

Staff will still attend to the dogs in the pound as per normal, and have prepared accordingly with stocks of food, cleaning supplies and basic health supplies.

Zander said animal management officers will be available for priority incidents where there is immediate threat to any person or property, such as a dog attack.

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