SPCA Canterbury publishes this newsletter on a quarterly basis. It provides regular updates about our Animal Centre and the work we do within the Canterbury community.

Please find below the full content for our latest Canterbury Tails newsletter. If you would prefer to download a pdf version please click on the image below.

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 Inside this Issue:

P39721 Newsletter Summer 2016 FA2 cover 2

 Canterbury Tails Quote

““You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” – John Bunyan

 Message from Barry (CEO, SPCA Canterbury)

Welcome to our Summer Newsletter. We have worked hard to meet the challenges of animal welfare in the region over the year. I am particularly proud of the way our team responded to the recent earthquakes. Thank you to everyone who donated or supported us in assisting affected areas. I wish you a safe and happy holiday season.


A Christchurch couple have given nearly two decades of their lives to looking after pets in need. Seventeen years ago, Ian Shaw and David Zehms adopted Stella, a black and white fox-terrier, from SPCA Canterbury. They were told she “might be a bit of a handful”, and the first few days had their challenges, but Stella’s arrival to their family was the beginning of many years of love.

Soon, the pair decided Stella needed a friend and adopted Scrappy, an abandoned huntaway, who was found wandering. Stella and Scrappy became inseparable. “Stella and Scrappy became firm friends; they slept together in a huge basket,” Ian said.

David and Ian also adopted a huge collie called Charlie, who they found wandering the Rapaki track and was going to be put down and an energetic Chihuahua puppy called Pico. Over the next ten years the team of six had much fun together; Ian and David even bought a campervan so they could all go on holiday. “We were all so happy together.”

Sadly, Stella passed away recently at 17 and Scrappy shortly after at 17 and a half years old. Her owners donated generously to the SPCA on their behalf. “Their time with us was happy and they made us happy too. We couldn’t have wished for more,” Ian said.

Thank you for sharing your story Ian and David; we love to hear about the truly wonderful homes our animals are adopted into and the joy they bring to other’s lives.

 Update From the Front Line 


The inspectorate team has had a busy few months, including the successful prosecution in October of Christchurch man Christopher Cross for wilfully mistreating a 5-month-old Labrador-cross dog. Mr Cross’ terrible beating of the puppy resulted in an amputation of one of its legs. Mr Cross was convicted and sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment and has been disqualified from owning any animal for a period of five years. We welcome the strong sentence and are pleased to have achieved justice for this animal.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake which struck just after midnight on Monday 14th November, 15km North-East of Culverden also provided a difficult challenge for our inspectors. The Kaikoura and Waiau areas were particularly affected and cut off from road access. Our team worked hard communicating with local parties on the ground to assess the needs of the communities and provide help where we could, including delivering pet food parcels and veterinary equipment. We are very grateful for the overwhelming community support and donations which allowed us to help those in need.

Animal Centre

Over the past four months we have had 775 animals come through the centre, including 280 cats, 43 dogs, 22 puppies and 71 birds and chickens. One of the areas we’ve seen the most growth is with our rabbits, with a huge 123 rabbits coming into the centre over the past few months. Rabbits make great family pets and we are pleased to help them find new homes.

The kitten season has well and truly begun, with nearly 200 kittens coming through the centre, many of whom were born here. We received large amounts of donated blankets, kitten food and toys to help with the influx and we are very grateful. Without this generosity it would be hard to keep up with demand.

Health and Safety is a continued priority. The team from KURI have been on site helping to train our staff around canine needs, behaviour and socialisation. KURI are international leaders in canine care and it is invaluable to be able to pass their knowledge on to our staff. We have also had hearing tests completed for those who work with dogs to ensure our PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is working. A huge thank you to those involved who help our centre run safely and efficiently.


Our Empathy Education Programme continues to go from strength to strength. We are regularly visiting schools throughout the region and feedback suggests we are delivering a service that is greatly appreciated by pupils and teachers alike.

We are now fortunate to have our programme complemented by some wonderful resources developed by our friends at SPCA Auckland. Teachers throughout New Zealand now have the opportunity to register and use an array of resources available online.

There is also an SPCA Kids’ Portal ( to teach children about animal care and welfare. For information or bookings phone 03 344 4770 or email

 SPCA Superstar

Lilly Hansen, Fundraising Whiz

Lilly Hansen’s fundraising efforts began when she started asking her Mum and Dad to pick up an extra tin of pet food to donate to the SPCA when they did their weekly grocery shop.

The enthusiastic ten-year-old then started saving up her pocket money to buy food, blankets, bedding and toys for animals in need.

“I love animals and I just thought of all the cats and dogs and rabbits that might need help and what I could do to help them,” she said. “I had my heart set on saving up for a dog bed and I managed to, so that was a big goal for me.”

Since then, Lilly has gone from strength to strength, starting a group with her friends to get involved in fundraising and convincing her school to hold a Mufti Day with proceeds going towards the SPCA. The Mufti Day event was animal themed and children brought in donations of food as well as gold coins.

“I’ve learnt that even something small can make a big difference, especially when everyone does it together,” Lilly said. Once she is old enough, Lilly hopes to become a volunteer at the SPCA. We look forward to having you Lilly.

Thank you for your hard work; it is people like you that help us to continue to help animals in need.

This section is dedicated to the many outstanding supporters of SPCA Canterbury. From our staff to our loyal sponsors, members, adopters, volunteers and fosterers - we couldn’t operate without your help. Thank you!

 Happy Tails

We are thrilled to announce that gentle giant Biggie, a three year old Bull Mastiff, has found his forever home after three months in our care. Biggie came to us in August having lost most of the use of his left rear leg and was in need of surgery on his back hip.

After intensive therapy, he has now been adopted. A huge thank you to Animal Physio New Zealand in Ferrymead who donated their services to help Biggie recover from his surgery. Thank you for your amazing support.


 Community Support 

It has been a heart-warming few months for SPCA Canterbury with several big fundraising events. Our annual Cupcake Day, which was held in October, raised $26,000, and our Annual Street Appeal Collection, which was in November, raised $31,000.

Thank you to everyone who gave up their time to volunteer and to New World Supermarket who supported Cupcake Day. We participated in Canterbury Fashion Week, where we managed to raise $1,650 and sold lots of clothes from our Ferry Road OpShop.

A massive thank you to Denyse Saunders for letting us be part of such an amazing event and the Zonta Club of Christchurch North for running the raffle. We also had the privilege of collecting at the Christchurch Schools’ Music Festival, where we raised over $800 during the three nights.

A huge thank you to everyone who has kindly given to us during this period. We couldn’t continue to do what we do without the assistance and generosity of the community

Special thanks to:

resizedimage228228 Community SupportSt Clair

  • • Tai Tapu School $306 from bake sale
  •  Livi Russell from Christchurch South Intermediate School $140
  •  Maia Condon and Dian Hermi from Cashmere Primary $149 from bake sale
  •  Ben Sole $25 from donations in lieu of birthday presents
  •  Jessica and Sam Stewart $60 from bake sale
  •  Christchurch Girls’ High School $154
  •  Lily Fortune and Larissa Field $154 from bake sale
  •  West Spreydon School Friends and Whanau $300
  •  Holly Bowry $28 from Walking Fundraiser
  •  FC Twenty11 Donated over 100 soccer balls for dogs
  • Olivia Davis, Chloe Davis, Sophie Oliver and Archie Oliver $40 from selling drawings
  • Ruby Geoghegan $53 from selling daffodils
  • Medbury School $821
  • Watakiri School $439 plus food, blankets and toys
  • Selwyn House School $210 plus food, blankets and toys
  • Ladbrooks School Blankets, toys and food
  • Lilly Hansen Collected lots of goodies for our animals with the help of family and friends
  • Keir Wesley $106 from donations in lieu of birthday presents
  • Olivia Wesley $78 from donations in lieu of birthday presents
  • Molly Brown $10 and blankets, food, toys from her birthday party
  • Savanah Geddes $97 from a bake sale, mail trail and face painting


As we enter the hot summer months it is important to ensure your animals safety. Make sure your animals always have access to fresh drinking water and adequate shelter for protection from the sun.

  • Hot cars kill
  • Please don’t leave your dog unattended in a car at any time of the day. On a warm day, the inside of your car heats up very quickly. On a 30°C day the temperature inside your car can reach 39°C in 10 minutes - even in the shade. Within 30 minutes the temperature inside your car can rise to a deadly 49 degrees. Your dog’s natural cooling process is ineffective in these conditions. A dog can withstand a body temperature of 41°C for a short amount of time before it suffers irreparable brain damage and then death.
  • Exercising
  • Try to exercise your pet early in the morning or in the evening. These are the coolest times of day and your pet is less likely to overheat. Beware of hot pavements and sand as these can burn the pads of your pet’s paws. Avoid long or strenuous walks on hot, sunny days and steer clear of prolonged sun exposure.
  • Beware of sunburn
  • All animals, especially those that are fair skinned and light haired, can suffer from sun burn. Simply rub some suncream on the tips of ears, on the end of the nose and on the belly - these are the most sensitive areas. Your animal will enjoy the attention too.
  • For more animal care advice visit


We are very fortunate to have many community and corporate supporters of our work. We would like to warmly acknowledge these organisations for their valued and vital contribution to our work:

  • Hornby Veterinary Centre - Platinum Partner
  • Purina - Gold Partner
  • Southern Cross Pet Insurance - Gold Partner
  • Plato Creative - Gold Partner
  • The I.T. Team - Silver Partner

Please email us for more information about our Champion partnership programme and how you can participate.

We also wish to thank our valued Grant Providers for their support and acknowledge the following Trust for their recent contribution:

  • The Margaret Hutchings Charitable Trust - $1,000 grant towards our operation
  • The Mainland Foundation - $25,000 towards our empathy education programme
  • The Crawshaw-Milligan Trust - $10,000 towards our Dog Quarantine Unit
  • The Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Trust - $12,500 towards our Animal Ambulance service
  • First Sovereign Trust - $6,900 to install LED lighting in our main office block
  • Four Winds Foundation - $2,000 towards a commercial gas dryer
  • The Trusts Community Foundation - $5,000 towards our Animal Ambulance service
  • The Southern Trust - $5,000 towards purchasing stab proof

Our sponsors