About Us

SPCA Canterbury has been dedicated to caring for all animals throughout the Canterbury region for over 144 years. We provide the local community with an essential service, advocating on behalf of animals through education and enforcement, when necessary. We do everything we can to ensure all animals receive the love and respect they deserve!

Every year we care for thousands of lost, sick, injured, abandoned and abused animals. We rescue animals from harmful situations, attend hundreds of animal emergencies, and investigate hundreds of complaints about the ill-treatment of animals. SPCA Canterbury has the power to protect all animals from abuse, neglect, and abandonment, including prosecuting people under the Animal Welfare Act 1999.

Although we work on behalf of all animals, we are also here to serve you, the community of Christchurch & Canterbury.

We offer a range of services - please click on the links below to learn more about our work:

In addition to the above core activities, we also have Boarding facilities for dogs. To find out more about this service, please click here.

Our History - SPCA Canterbury is the oldest established branch of the RSPCA in New Zealand.

The first official meeting was recorded in the Canterbury Times of June 17, 1872. In 1883, the Canterbury branch  had 109 members and 820 members of the Young Persons Branch. The YPB was initially opened in Lyttleton with just 30 members but grew rapidly. Arrangements had been made with the weekly paper to devote a column in each issue with the purpose of educating children in the kindly treatment of animals.*

Cases dealt with by the organisation in the early days usually included cruelty to horses − overloading, beating, insufficient food and water, and working of unfit horses − these are just some of the offences that took place. Cattle, fowls and dogs were other animals that often suffered at the end of human hands.

*Source of information: The Compassionate Years, An Introduction to the history of the RNZSPCA − Edited by Veronika Thornburrow

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