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Keep your pets safe this spring

271135 charlie final 11 smallerThis warmer weather is great for pets and their owners alike, but it's also a timely reminder to check your house and garden for anything that may hurt your pet.

Thanks to their curious nature, both dogs and cats can sniff, lick and chew their way into trouble. Spring can also be a time when we see pets suffering allergies and itchy skin due to pollen or grass.

With the help of our friends at Southern Cross Pet Insurance, this is our list of tips to help keep your pet safe and happy this spring.

  • Compost: Keep your compost free of human foods that are toxic to pets.
  • Fertiliser: Use fertiliser that is free of toxins, and make sure pets are indoors when you’re spraying.
  • Slug, snail and rat bait: Keep snail bait out of reach and in a pet proof container. You can use salt instead or buy pet-friendly baits.
  • Garden tools: Many gardening tools, like rakes, are sharp and can easily cause puncture wounds, then the cuts can cause tetanus. Make sure garden tools are locked away, or at least not hiding in tall grass.
  • Poisonous plants: Plant poisoning is fairly common for pets and plants found in many Kiwi gardens such as aloe vera, daffodils and even tomato plants can be toxic for your animals.

Check out more harmful plants here and make sure to keep them out of reach of your pets.

Despite your most careful attention, pets can still get up to a bit of mischief and sometimes need unexpected visits to the vet. We recommend that all pet owners take out pet insurance to help ensure you can afford the care your animals rely on you for.

Always remember - if you have any concerns about your pets' health or behaviour contact your vet for advice.

Visit www.southerncrosspet.co.nz for a quote to insure your pets' health or call 0800 800 836.

Dog tied up until chain deeply embedded in neck

SkyeA Waikato man who kept a dog tied up for weeks with a too-small chain embedded in a deep, festering wound around her neck was sentenced today.

Instead of seeking treatment for the dog, he tied her up in a different part of his yard so his kids wouldn’t be upset by her horrific injuries.

Vincent Mark of Pukemoremore, west of Hamilton, was convicted today in the Hamilton District Court for failing to ensure the injured dog received treatment to alleviate any unreasonable or unnecessary pain or distress being suffered by the animal.

He was sentenced to 160 hours of community work, disqualified from owning any animals for 3 years, and ordered to pay reparations of $541.50 and legal costs of $150.00.

The story began on 13 April 2016 when Animal Control Officers visited the defendant’s property in Kahui Avenue, Pukemoremore seeking compliance from an owner concerning an unregistered dog at the property.

They found a young dog, named ‘Skye’ tied up with a chain deeply embedded into her neck. They immediately seized the dog and transported her to Waikato SPCA for treatment.

Veterinary examination revealed that the chain was embedded below the skin level around approximately 80% of the dog’s neck. In one location the muscle and skin had healed through a chain link, which requiring surgical cutting to remove it.

Removal of the chain with bolt cutters revealed pus-filled, smelly wounds up to 7cm wide and 4cm deep around the dog’s neck. The wounds had copious red granulation tissue suggesting they had been there a long time.

The veterinarian concluded that the chain had been placed around Skye’s neck when she was a puppy and as she grew larger it had become deeply embedded. This process would have taken at least eight weeks to occur, during which time the large wounds would have been obvious to anyone.

“This is an abhorrent case of long-term neglect resulting in horrendous pain and suffering – and it was all entirely preventable,” says Andrea Midgen, SPCA New Zealand CEO (Acting).

“The defendant in this case admitted to SPCA Inspectors that he not only saw the wounds but could smell them as well – and yet he did nothing to relieve the dog’s suffering. Any reasonable person would have cut the chain from the dog’s neck and taken her to the vet.

“Instead, the defendant tied the dog up in a different part of his yard so his children wouldn’t be upset by her terrible wounds. This kind of cruel neglect is simply beyond belief.”

The defendant surrendered ownership of Skye to the SPCA. In the care of the SPCA, Skye made a full recovery and was adopted by a new loving family.

SPCA launches Learn-to-Read Storybooks in New Zealand Primary Schools

The SPCA has today launched a series of original storybooks into schools with the aim of helping Kiwi kids to both improve their reading skills and learn to care for and respect animals.ALL 6 BOOKS 1

The six books in the series cater to different ages and reading levels. Each story is based on a real-life animal rescue from the SPCA, and contains messages about animal care, animal welfare, and tips for families on how to be responsible pet owners.

“Research tells us that the best way to achieve behavioural change is by reaching out to children between 7 and 12 years old. By educating the next generation of animal owners, we can help ensure a better future for all animals,” says SPCA New Zealand CEO Andrea Midgen.

The SPCA Learn-to-Read Storybooks are skilfully written to enable teachers to integrate them straight into their classroom literacy programmes. The intention of each story is to teach core animal welfare messages, while also supporting the development of children’s reading skills and strategies.

All 2,127 primary and intermediate schools in New Zealand have received six sets of each book completely free, thanks to help from Sunshine Books and SPCA supporters.

“Our SPCA Storybooks feature fun and engaging characters that kids will identify with and want to read about, all while earning important lessons about compassion and empathy towards people and animals,” says Ms Midgen.

“For example, one of the stories features two children who help an abandoned cat that lives under their school’s sports shed. The story ends with an SPCA Inspector rescuing the cat from a drainpipe and giving a bravery award to the children.”

The SPCA’s aim is for every child to grow up to respect animals and be a responsible pet owner. By doing so, the SPCA hopes to break the cycle of animal cruelty in New Zealand communities and reduce the number of abused and neglected animals that need the SPCA’s help each year.

“Already the response from schools has been overwhelmingly positive. We’ve had teachers and principals write to us and thank us for providing free resources that promote their key classroom values: being kind and compassionate, and caring for each other,” says Ms Midgen.

The SPCA Storybooks are the latest addition to the SPCA Education programme launched in July 2016. SPCA Education is an evidence-based programme for New Zealand schools that aligns with the Curriculum and teaches animal welfare in a real-life, meaningful context.


The SPCA Learn-to-Read Storybooks are:

The Smooth Movers’ Club
A boy and his father want their move to the city to go smoothly for their cat Noah. It does, until Muscles, the fearsome neighbourhood tomcat, turns up.

Sam and Charlie Love Pudding
When the abandoned cat who lives under the sports shed at their school gets into trouble, Sam and Charlie have to act.

The Problem with Sione’s Spaghetti
Sione’s pet rabbit has a problem. Sione’s solution involves a pack of raging rhinos, but will it work?

Storm Gets A New family
Storm used to spend his days chained to kennel till his life was changed by a bolt of lightning and a girl with friendly eyes.

Pumpkin Pie and Pavlova
Mrs Melling likes pumpkin pie and pavlova much more than she likes Mr Watkins or his hens. Will Mr Watkins find a way to change that?

The Mouse at the Mall
A girl and her mother go to the mall to buy shoes. They leave with a shoebox with a toilet roll and a mouse inside. What will happen next?

 

The SPCA Learn-to-Read Storybooks are available for purchase by schools and our supporters. Visit our online shop here. 

A plea to New Zealand

Tuesday 4 October, 2016

Ginny letter mailchimp2

An open letter to all New Zealanders: please don't make this mistake.

Dear animal lovers,

I'm Ginny, a member of the SPCA team in Auckland. I'm writing to you today after I read the Government's proposed action plan for dogs in New Zealand last week.

A couple of years ago I worked in an animal shelter in the UK. Every Thursday, an enforcement agency would come into the shelter and round up all the dogs they thought looked like a pit bull type and order them to be euthanised.

I know the heartbreak that breed-specific legislation causes, because I've seen it first hand.

Saying goodbye to innocent dogs and knowing we were powerless to help them is something that will stay with me for life.

The scary thing is, this is the future for our dogs if they look a certain way.

So I'm urging you all - act now while you still can.

The UK introduced breed-specific legislation 25 years ago, and it has not led to a reduction in dog bites. The casualties of this law are the thousands of innocent dogs who were denied a chance to grow up, and have a family, and learn how wonderful the world can be for a dog.

All because of the way they looked.

Studies from the UK show us that breed-specific legislation does not work and we need to do everything possible to ensure New Zealand doesn't make the same mistake. Our focus should be on responsible dog ownership and public education.

The good news is there's still time to make a difference for the lives of dogs in New Zealand. Right now we're setting up meetings with important decision makers to get our voice heard.

But we can't do it without you. Please sign our petition and share it with everyone you can.

Thanks for your support,

Ginny

SPCA has grave concerns about Government’s action plan to reduce dog bites

Friday, 23 September, 2016

SPCA New Zealand is expressing its grave concerns about the Government’s action plan announced yesterday in an attempt to reduce dog bites.

The SPCA recognises that dog attacks are a major societal problem that requires a serious and effective long term solution.

However, we are absolutely appalled that part of the action includes tighter restrictions around certain breeds, including preventing them from being rehomed by animal shelters. This has been categorically proven to not reduce dog bites.

“The most worrying part of this new action plan is the restriction on animal shelters, like the SPCA, preventing us from re-homing these dogs. What is going to happen to all the dogs that are guilty of nothing else than their visual appearance?” says SPCA New Zealand CEO Andrea Midgen.

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