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Friday, 22 February 2019 06:08 pm

Cat owners cash in on SPCA chips


Rescue kittens Murdock and Mabel desexed and microchipped by the SPCA

Wellington SPCA’s been overwhelmed by cat owners wanting to cash in on a $9 microchipping and desexing offer made possible by a large bequest.

More staff have had to be taken on for ‘Snip and Chip’.

The success is also partly due to the Wellington City Council’s compulsory microchipping bylaw, says Ros Alsford, general manager Wellington SPCA.


Murdock was one of the SPCA’s special rescues this year IMAGE: Jo Moore (supplied)

“We didn’t think the uptake was going to be so positive so we’ve had to take on three extra staff to cope,” she says.

The council has paid for microchips and registrations onto the national database.

In the first five weeks locals have purchased:

  • Between 325 and 350 chips at home, in which the SPCA goes to people’s houses to microchip cats.
  • 120 Snip, Chip & Trips where the SPCA picks the cat up, takes it to the nearest vet, does all the pre and post-op care and drops the cat home.
  • Between 400 and 500 Snip & Chip, in which a person buys the voucher and takes it into the local vet.

“We’ve had 1200 vouchers sold within five weeks, the balance of those is vets chipping because the cat has already been desexed and just needed microchipping,” says Alsford.

“A lot of people are wonderful, kind and caring cat owners but they just don’t have the money to do the desexing.

“They have been a key target of understanding that they need to have their cat desexed.

“They can pay $9 and it’s done, easy,” says Alsford.

The Snip and Chip campaign will run until the end of December but if needed the SPCA will extend it.

The SPCA knows from their experience in Christchurch that microchipping is worthwhile with 90% of the displaced/found microchipped cats returned to their owners.

In September Selwyn District Council came under fire after it was found dead cats collected by roading contractors are not checked for microchips.

The Wellington branch is confident that it would not happen in the capital because it has a good relationship with the city council, City Care and all the pest companies in Wellington.

“When they do find deceased cats they bring them into us and we can scan and unfortunately notify the owner that we have their deceased cat,” says Alsford.


Ros Alsford with one of the puppies up for adoption at the moment

The annual appeal is November 7-13, and is one of the organisation’s biggest fundraisers.

The SPCA also uses the appeal to interact with the public.

“All the staff go out from the junior staff all the way up to the CEO and we hit the streets with our buckets.

“It’s also a chance for us to say thank you and really engage with the public and explain to them what we do, why we do it, why we do street day appeal and just be there,” says Alsford.

The money goes to help pay for their daily work and activities such as fighting animal abuse, legal cases and rescue.

It releases a list of shame each year to highlight the cases of abuse and neglect it’s inspectors deal with in New Zealand.

The National Rescue Unit’s helicopter rescue  of a horse stuck in sand in Otaki River made national news earlier this year.



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