With spring here the Rotorua SPCA is gearing up for a busy breeding season, and wishes to share key messages around its role in the community and how people can help out.
There are 39 SPCA centres in New Zealand and about 41,000 animals come through the doors each year. And the SPCA is not seeing a decline in demand for its services.
Geoff Rudsdale, Rotorua SPCA community engagement and education manager, says the SPCA works with the community to protect animals in five key ways.
These are - prevent cruelty and educate, animal rescue, rehabilitation, shelter, rehome and reunite, and to seek justice for animals that have been mistreated.
"The main role is to encourage the humane treatment of all animals, right down to little hedgehogs and small lizards.
"The fact we are a charity organisation is important because sometimes the public forgets this."
He says because the SPCA is a charity and receives less than 1 per cent government funding, it relies heavily on the generosity of the community.
"We are always grateful for any help we can get from the public. A lot of schools fundraise and we love getting that interaction with the schools."
He says there are many ways members of the community can help out, such as volunteering time at the shelter or shops, dog walking, and donating the likes of newspaper and blankets.
"There's always something that needs to be done."
Rotorua SPCA centre manager Sue Kinsella says people can help the SPCA by making sure to spay, neuter and microchip their pets, helping with fundraising, donating items, and fostering.
She says that at this time of year, during spring and summer, the phone rings constantly because it is breeding season - "the first litters are starting to come in now".
She says the area the Rotorua SPCA covers is huge.
"We have critical demand for our services within the Rotorua boundaries which is disappointing."
However, sometimes financial situations can prevent pet owners from doing what they want to do, she says.
"We find in a community like Rotorua a lot of people want to do the right things."
Therefore, it has been rewarding to be able to bring the Snip 'n' Chip desexing and microchipping campaign in Rotorua throughout September, she says, which offered heavily discounted prices.
Through this campaign they had desexed and microchipped just under 100 cats by the end of September, she says.
She says a misconception is that people often think the SPCA has a vet on site or will provide emergency surgery for owned pets which is not the case.
She says the SPCA has to pay for vet services and it is one of the biggest costs every year.
Because the SPCA is a charity with limited resources it has to focus its efforts where they are needed most, which is on sick, injured, abandoned and abused animals.
• There is a portal for all teachers and children with educational resources which can be accessed through the SPCA website.