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Advice for animal owners during severe weather


Advice on caring for your pet during severe weather:

 If you need to evacuate:

If you have animals contained near water ways that have the potential to flood, move animals to higher ground if it is safe to do so. If you are required to evacuate, take your pets with you.

If you come in contact with an animal that has been in flood waters, ensure you change out of contaminated clothing and wash your hands thoroughly.

Caring for your pet(s) and/or livestock:

Your local veterinarian is on standby to assess your animals. Contact your veterinarian if you have any concerns relating to your animal’s health.

If you need assistance with animal welfare contact your local SPCA for further information.

Stray animals:

If you find an animal that you do not own and it needs immediate medical attention please take small animals to your local veterinarian or contact your local SPCA. For large animals contact MPI on 0800 00 83 33.

Lost and found animals

If you have lost or found a pet, you can advertise at or read through our tips here.

Additional information for Rural / lifestyle block owners/horse owners:

Flood Water

It is important to get animals off contaminated or inundated pasture so that they can be fed, watered and contained, and to ensure that adequate feed supplies are available until animals can be returned to pasture.

When animals are left in flood waters for an extended period several issues can occur.  Due to contact with contaminated water, skin can be prone to bacterial infections and chemical burns causing skin to sluff off. To reduce to risk of such injuries remove animals out of flood water as soon as it is safe to do so.  Additionally, decontamination of the skin/coat can be achieved by hosing the animal with non-contaminated water.

Other injuries

Animals will run in various directions to escape from raising water.  They will run or swim through fences or other obstacles in their way.  Do a visual assessment of your animals looking for penetrating wounds which may just look like a small hole or tear. Contact your local veterinarian if you have any concerns about injuries to your animals.

Containment and Identification

As fences may have been washed away, stock containment could be an issue along with identifying animals through ear tags (as they may have torn off).  If you find a large animal and are unsure about the ownership please contact MPI 0800 number, animal control or the SPCA for advice. If you need assistance to reinstate fencing for stock containment farmers please contact Rural Support Trust 0800 787 254.

Feed and Water

Pasture and stored feed may be soiled.  You may therefore need to purchase supplemental feed for your stock.   

Do not allow animals to drink flood waters as it can be contaminated with biological waste and chemicals.  If stock water is compromised a contingency plan for stock water access will need to be developed.


Your pet survival kit should include:

  • Pet carrier or crate for each animal with your name and mobile number on it
  • Pet collar, lead and/or harness for each dog
  • Muzzle for each dog, even if they are friendly (emergency workers may need to handle your animal)
  • Towels and blankets
  • A spare set of pet identification documents - a collar and tag with your contact details (if your pet is not microchipped)
  • Vaccination, veterinary records and photos of your pet
  • Enough food, treats and bottled water for three days
  • Medication (if needed) for three days
  • Food/water bowls
  • Familiar toys
  • A tin opener
  • Emergency contact list for your local authorities and vet
  • Litter tray and cat litter
  • Plastic bags/doggie bags
  • Newspaper
  • Cleaning solution
  • Container to carry everything
  • A first-aid kit for animals 


SPCA Dog Training Survey


Attention all dog owners! patch small

The SPCA and the New Zealand Companion Animal Council are launching a survey for all dog owners in New Zealand to investigate how Kiwi dogs are being trained.

There are currently no published studies on what dog training methods are being commonly used in New Zealand. We want to find out whether dogs are receiving formal training, and what kind of training methods are being used by their owners and trainers.

Please fill out the anonymous survey at and share with your friends and family who have dogs at home.

Keeping your dog out of your car during warm weather


While it is still warm, it is incredibly important NOT to leave your dog in your car.

Avoiding the risk of giving your canine heat stress can be as simple as preparation and awareness.

At the height of summer, make sure you're planning trips so you're not going to be in a situation where your dog has to stay in the hot car while you're running an errand.

It can take only 6 minutes for a dog to die in a hot car so don't risk it! Pets can dangerously overheat even when the windows are down or the car is in the shade.

The car can heat up to dangerously high temperatures very quickly, rapidly reaching more than double the outside temperature even on mild days. Please NEVER leave your dog in the car and risk him/her overheating and dying.

If you find a dog in distress from a hot car they should be taken to a vet straight away! Emergency treatment while you are getting to the vet should aim to bring the dog's body temperature down at a steady but not rapid rate. You can spray cool water onto the dog’s body and direct moving air from a fan onto them. Please do not se ice or ice-cold water, as this can cool the dog too rapidly and cause more problems.

The early symptoms of heat stress include panting, drooling and restlessness. As the situation worsens the animal becomes weak and they may stagger and vomit and have diarrhoea or seizures.

The story of Madison the blind puppy


maddison blind pup 10Sarah, an SPCA canine team member wrote a letter about Madison, a small 3 week old puppy who was found in desperate need of our help. Here is her story:

When SPCA Inspector Andre told me he had just rescued nine squirming, wriggling, 3-week-old puppies, my heart broke.  They were too young to be without their mum, but their owner was selling them on a Facebook page

It doesn't bear thinking about what could have happened to these puppies if they'd been carelessly given away. 

All nine puppies were beautiful, but there was something special about little Madison. Even though she was only three weeks old, her bright and lively personality shone through, and I looked forward to seeing her little face each morning. 

It was tough. We spent hours syringe-feeding the puppies. Some days I would just sit on the floor with Madison wrapped up in blankets trying to keep her warm.

Many people don't realise just how vulnerable young animals like Madison are. It can be touch and go, and sometimes I'm not sure if they'll survive.

I spent so many nights worrying about Madison and her brothers and sisters.

Then one day, our vet noticed that Madison walked into her water bowl. After a few more tests, he announced that she was completely blind.

I was shocked. Madison was the most confident and adventurous puppy of the litter.

So I spent hours and hours researching how to raise blind dogs, determined to give this remarkable girl the best life possible.

Madison showed me her incredible resilience. If I put a new water bowl in her playpen, she would touch it all the way around with the tip of her nose to get a sense of the size of it.

The two of us even went on TV together. We showed everyone watching The Cafe just how special she is.

It was unbelievable watching these bundles of joy beat the odds, and grow up to become such loveable dogs. When Madison found her forever home, I cried big, happy tears because I just knew they were the ones we'd been waiting for.

But Madison is just one of the thousands of animals that need the SPCA's help. Some need life-saving surgery and months of rehabilitation, and others may just need vaccinations and a check-up.

People like you mean that other animals like Madison can also have the second chance they are waiting for. Will you help us by making a donation today?

SPCA Canine Team Member

20160906 201855maggie new home

SPCA Learn-to-Read Storybooks become accessible to blind students


ALL 6 BOOKS 1Last year every single Primary and Intermediate School across New Zealand was sent copies of the SPCA Learn-to-Read Storybooks with the aim of helping Kiwi kids to both improve their reading skills and learn to care for and respect animals.

Now the storybooks are going to be accessible for kids who have a vision impairment, thanks to the team at the Blind Foundation.

The Blind Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that supports people who are blind, deaf-blind or vision impaired.

They will be transcribing the six storybooks into accessible formats so that they can be enjoyed by all New Zealand children. These formats include braille, large print, audio and accessible electronic text.

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. If you haven’t seen our storybooks before, we have six SPCA learn-to-read storybooks, which were launched in October 2016.

Each of the 6 books is based on a real-life animal from the SPCA and has messages of animal welfare and tips on how kids can care for their own animals at home.

We truly believe that by teaching our children about how to treat animals, we're helping to stop the cycle of cruelty in our communities.

The Learn-to-Read Storybooks that The Blind Foundation will use 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.