Treat week in aid of furry friends

SPCA team leader Ashleigh Murray, left, and animal attendant Charlotte Baldwin.
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The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Incorporated (SPCA) has been operating in New Zealand for just over 150 years.

It held its annual fundraiser last week with Treat Week where staff and volunteers around New Zealand baked treats to sell to raise funds for their work. In some centres staff competed against each other in the baking department.

There was no competition between staff in the Ashburton Centre, located behind Vet Life on the corner of Seafield Road and Bremners Road, but there were some delicious treats on offer including a blue velvet cake.

Elsie a friendly cat, who is waiting for her forever home, ventured out to see what was on offer and receive a cuddle or two.

Ashburton SPCAteam leader Ashleigh Murray said when a call is received about a sick, stray or injured animal, ‘‘we will go out inthe animal ambulanceand pick it up or someone might drop it into the centre.’’

‘‘Our role is to care for sick and injured animals, get them well again and them rehome them,’’ animal attendant Charlotte Baldwin said.

If an animal needs to be seized an inspector comes from Christchurch, ‘‘Sadly the need to seize an animal happens more often than you think,’’ Ashleigh said.

The SPCA is the only charity in New Zealand with legal powers to help animals in need and bring animal offenders to justice. Inspectors are given powers to investigate cruelty, abuse, neglect and abandonment of animals.

The Ashburton Centre only take cats, dogs and other animals go to Christchurch.

The Ashburton District has a massive wild cat problem. ‘‘Last year in kitten season over 300 cats were de-sexed,’’ Ashleigh said, which was a bid to try to reduce the population of wild cats.

There are many ways people can help the SPCA. They always need towels, sheets, bedding for the cats, toys for them to play with and finances. Donations can be made at the centre.

The SPCA also need people including volunteers to help at the centre.

Volunteersare asked to commit at least six months of going in once a week for two to three hours at a time.

The duties volunteers do include cleaning out cages, helping feed the cats, playing with and socialising them and lots and lots of cuddles. This one-on-one interaction helps the kitten and cats build their confidence and meet new people so they can be rehomed.

If you can’t have a cat at your place this is a great way to still have time with a furry friend.

The SPCA provides everything foster parents need, the animals are vaccinated, de-sexed, wormed and micro-chipped. Usually it’s just an animal on their own but sometimes it is mother and kitten. Foster parents provide the cat with a warm loving home, and this helps them get use to everyday life so they can go to a forever home.

Foster homes can be in town or rurally and there can be other animals in the household.

If you’re looking for a new furry friend,Duke, a tabby cat, has been patiently waiting for 145 days to find a new home, call out to the SPCA and check him out, he could be your new best friend.