SPCA to provide free pet desexing

Shirlene Steel.
Shirlene Steel.
Starting in August, up to 400 Central Otago cats and dogs may go under the knife for free.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has decided to spend money from funding it has received providing free desexing for animals in the region.

Central Otago SPCA co-ordinator Shirlene Steel said long term, the funding from the Pelorus Trust could make a ''massive'' impact on the number of animals coming to the society's shelters as the result of unwanted breeding.

Having a non-euthanasia policy meant animals were kept until re-homed.

''If people really get on board with this it will make a huge change.''

Free operations would allow lower-income households to desex animals. However, anyone could have an animal desexed during the campaign.

''At the end of the day, we would like to see everything desexed. It would save a lot of hassle down the track.

''Obviously, breeders are not going down that track, but I'm talking more about that person who has got a dog, but hello, it ended up getting pregnant and they have six dogs they don't want and can't afford to keep.''

The charitable Pelorus Trust wanted the money earmarked for Central Otago to be spent on animals.

An SPCA spokesman said the amount of funding received could not be released as it was commercially sensitive.

It was uncertain how many animals could be desexed, as it depended on the respective numbers of cats and dogs, and their sex.

However, it was hoped 300-400 operations could take place.

Castrating males was cheaper than spaying females.

A female cat could cost $150-$180, while a female dog could cost $270-$320.

After the operation, any further costs would be the responsibility of the owner.

Response to word-of-mouth advertising had been ''phenomenal'', with about 20 cats and 10 dogs already registered, she said.

Desexing would be offered across Central Otago and the Southern Lakes areas by veterinary clinics in Ranfurly, Alexandra, Clyde, Cromwell, Wanaka, Arrowtown and Queenstown.

If people had questions or wanted further information, they should contact her, or register their pet for desexing at VetEnt, Vetlife or Remarkables Vets clinics, Ms Steel said.

While the operations were free until the funding had been used, the SPCA would appreciate any donations to assist with generating further funding, she said.

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