Not just for Christmas morning

The Otago SPCA has  plenty of cats and kittens awaiting adoption, but warned people to think...
The Otago SPCA has plenty of cats and kittens awaiting adoption, but warned people to think about the commitment a pet required before buying one. Photo by Linda Robertson.
They may be irresistibly adorable, but SPCA Otago wants to remind people that kittens are not just for Christmas.

Animal supervisor Donna Hurring expected the shelter to get busy closer to the weekend, but wanted people to think before they bought a new pet.

"Think about it long-term. Eighteen years is a long time."

It was once common for animals to be dumped at the shelter soon after Christmas, but stringent adoption protocols and the increasing cost of buying a pet from the SPCA meant that was changing.

"It's the cost - $140 for a kitten because they are all desexed - that stops it being an impulse."

However, while the number of returned pets was not expected to be large, it was a busy time of year for the cattery regardless.

December was the middle of the peak breeding season and foster parents for cats and kittens had been called on to help with overspill from the cattery, she said.

Ms Hurring also wanted to remind owners to make sure someone would care for their animals over the holiday period, and to let neighbours know it was happening.

"We do get a lot of calls from people who think their neighbours have gone away and left their animals, but I don't think we've ever found that to be the case."


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