Plea to ensure cats, dogs do not starve

SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming with Santa Claws at the Opoho animal shelter, in...
SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming with Santa Claws at the Opoho animal shelter, in Dunedin. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The SPCA has issued a timely reminder to make sure pets will be well looked after while owners are away on holiday.

SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming said many pet owners would be out of town for the next few weeks, and cats and dogs were often left without food and water, which caused them to take off and roam.

About 30 stray cats and kittens were brought into the Otago SPCA yesterday alone, Ms McSkimming said. She believed similar numbers would arrive over the festive period.

''This time of year, it's always constant, with dogs, puppies and kittens.''

Pet owners should leave someone in charge of their animals and they should check on them at least once or twice a day.

The most important thing was to make sure someone was feeding and watering the animals while the owner was away, she said.

''Owners also need to let their neighbours know that they are going away, because so many animals get brought to us that get picked up by their neighbours.

''They're thought of as strays because no-one knows who they belong to.''

Ms McSkimming said it was a good time to make sure pets were microchipped so if they were picked up and taken to the SPCA, they could be quickly and easily reunited with their owner.

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