Critter Club Spring 2017
Hey Critter Kids!
Our cover stars this month are kune kune piglets Timone and Pumbaa. They came to the SPCA as they had no one to care for them. The brothers settled easily into life at the SPCA, and as you can see from the photos, they had a great enclosure and even a paddling pool to play in!
The boys were neutered, vaccinated, received some medical treatment for their skin and then they were ready to go to a new home. Timone and Pumbaa were quickly adopted by Kylie and her family. They describe the two as absolute sweethearts, with loads of character and are so happy with how the two have settled into their family, here’s what Kylie had to say about the two boys:
“My partner, Mark, spotted Timone and Pumbaa on a Facebook posting in February, and I knew immediately they would fit in at our place.
First we set about finding the right spot on the property for them – we decided the fenced off shelter belt between two paddocks would provide a long, wide run and shelter in adverse weather. When we knew we would have a good home for them we booked a time to go meet them. They had such lovely personalities when we arrived – quite boisterous, but they weren’t that old, so their size made the whole idea of having pigs on the farm quite manageable.
In fact, when we did go to pick them up, taking the horse float seemed a little excessive. They had a tonne of room in the float, and I imagine they spent most of the trip home wandering around it wondering where exactly they were.
We needed to change the fencing around the paddock divide to net fencing before we could move the boys in, so we temporarily had them in a smaller run beside the shed. It was previously a veggie garden that had been left to over grow and I’m pretty sure Timone and Pumbaa thought they had gone to piggy heaven when they moved in there. However, what I thought was a lot of food which would keep them occupied for months, was eaten up within 2 weeks.
There were a couple of escapes into the horse paddock while they were in the garden, they must have thought the grass was greener on the other side of the fence. No harm done but it did give me a surprise to take dinner out to them and hear the piggy grunts coming from the adjacent paddock as they bound through the long grass to get back.
We have at times a number of horses visit the property and while the horses attitudes fall squarely into either the “I love pigs” or ” I don’t know what these trolls are”, Timone and Pumbaa are always very welcoming hosts and will trot to the fence line to grunt a greeting.
All the horses that live here though, are big fans of them and it’s not uncommon to catch a horse with their head over the pig fence having a chat – Pumbaa has a lot to say!
We supplement the grass with kitchen scraps and pig nuts, and we have learnt they have some favourite items to dine on. There are definitely more arguments at the dinner table between them when fruit is on the menu. Once we served peas and they both turned their snouts up at them and didn’t eat one!
With the short days in winter they sleep in more and stay huddled together in their house. On a warm winter afternoon, they like to find themselves a spot in the sun to snooze in.
They have gotten much bigger since they arrived and we are now planning the next house to build them. We are also organizing putting in a paved area so they have a bit of firm ground to walk on when its wet.
They are both absolute charmers and friends and visitors always ask after them and pop out to their run to say hi. We are really glad we have them with us on the farm.”
Timone and Pumba at home.
Critter Chat: Brian the Goat
Brian the Goat came to the SPCA as a young kid. Someone had not been very nice to Brian, and had hurt his head. This meant Brian had to have a special operation on his horns and needed extra care and attention while he recovered. One of the Animal Attendants at the SPCA, Sal Laban, who had been taking care of Brian through his tough time, fell in love with him and decided to make him part of the family.
Little did Brian know he was going to go to a home with all sorts of animals who would be his friends. Sal had also adopted a little puppy (who is not so little anymore) named Raven. As well as fostering a lamb named Nigel. Raven and Nigel are also rescue animals who came from the SPCA. Brian has the best life with his furry friends, and they get up to all sorts of trouble together.
As you can see, Brian gets up to all sorts of tricks, and his favourite thing to do is play around on the agility course which Sal has made for him in her backyard.
Brian is a bit naughty, and is forever trying to find new places to explore, sometimes he gets himself into a bit of bother. He loves to eat and here he is having a snack of Watermelon on part of his agility course.
Critter Tails: Interview with SPCA Inspector Sam
Animal Welfare Inspector – Meet Sam Cairns
What does an Inspector do?
The SPCA is the only charity with the legal powers to help animals in need, and bring animal offenders to justice. Inspectors are authorised under the Animal Welfare Act 1999 to protect all animals from abuse, neglect and abandonment.
SPCA Inspectors work on the front line seven days a week, 365 days a year, acting as law enforcers to ensure the safety of New Zealand’s vulnerable animals.
The most common complaints our Inspectors investigate are in relation to failure to provide adequate food, water, veterinary treatment, or shelter.
What kinds of animals do you inspect?
An Inspector will investigate complaints relating to any kind of animal, from chickens, lizards and fish, to our most commonly reported animals which are dogs, cats and rabbits. Recently, we have also seen an increase in the amount of horse and pony complaints we receive. Complaints which relate to production animals such as large scale pig, sheep or dairy farms are transferred to the Ministry for Primary Industries, for their Inspectors to investigate.
How did you become an Inspector and what training did you do?
I completed the Certificate in Animal Care in 2013, I then came to work at the SPCA as an Animal Attendant, before becoming an Admissions and Adoptions Officer. After I had worked at the SPCA for a couple of years, I decided I wanted to become an Animal Welfare Inspector. In 2016, I became a Field Officer while I completed the Certificate in Animal Welfare Investigations and I was presented with the award for academic and practical excellence. My training included learning how to plan, prepare and conduct investigations, as well as animal behaviour, observations, and first aid. I also had to learn how to prepare a prosecution file for serious cases, and how to give evidence in court.
Why do you like being an Inspector?
Apart from caring for animals, I like being an Inspector because of the variety my role provides me with, no two days are the same. I am out working in community helping people and helping animals. At times, it can be a sad and difficult job to do, but it can also be very rewarding and I love giving animals a second chance at life.
Do you have any favourite rescue stories?
Kera came into the care of the SPCA with an old untreated injury to her front leg. Kera’s owner was unable to provide the care she needed and Kera was surrendered to the SPCA. We spent a lot of time assessing Kera’s injury and helping her to recover. We regularly receive updates about how Kera is doing with her new family, and I am so pleased she is doing well. I love hearing about how her new life is going!
Spotlight: The South Island Wildlife Hospital
Owls for release back into the wild
What is the South Island Wildlife Hospital?
The Wildlife Veterinary Trust, opened a hospital facility called the ‘South Island Wildlife Hospital’ in Christchurch in December 2014. The hospital is dedicated to treating and rehabilitating sick and injured, wild and native birds in the South Island of New Zealand. Prior to the opening of this hospital, there was no other facility which could provide this care in the South Island.
Who treats the birds at the Hospital?
The hospital has a team of trained volunteers led by an experienced veterinarian and vet nurse who are all passionate about wildlife. The volunteers take on all aspects of the hospitals day-to-day operations including manning the phone, assisting in wildlife rescues, covering rostered shifts at the hospital, maintaining the hospital gardens & facilities, helping with fundraising, public speaking and everything else involved with keeping the hospital running.
As well as treating and rehabilitating patients, the hospital and its volunteers are involved in ongoing wildlife education, training and research.
The lead veterinarian at the hospital Dr Pauline Howard, is an expert on treating and rehabilitating all kinds of birds and wildlife.
How do the SPCA and the Hospital work together?
The SPCA Animal Ambulance operates from 7am in the morning to 9pm at night, seven days a week. If the SPCA receives a call regarding a sick or injured bird, the SPCA Ambulance Officer will rescue or collect the bird, and either transport it to the nearest veterinary clinic, which may later transfer it to the care of the hospital, or the SPCA Ambulance Officer will take the bird directly to the Wildlife Hospital.
Sometimes, the hospital will even send someone out to help the SPCA, for example, they have helped SPCA Inspectors to rescue birds from the middle of the Avon river!
Over the past year, Dr Howard has treated many sick and injured birds brought into the hospital by the SPCA. Last year Dr Howard helped to save and rehabilitate two very special cases.
Hatch: The Cygnet
Hatch’s nest in Westlake Reserve, Halswell was destroyed by vandals in April this year. Hatch was found still in his egg and was rushed to the SPCA. SPCA Ambulance Officer, Haylie Tewnion, tried to keep Hatch as warm as possible, and urgently took him to the South Island Wildlife Hospital. The staff at the Wildlife Hospital managed to save Hatch, and helped him to ‘hatch’ out of his egg. Hatch has steadily grown under their care and is starting to look more like a swan every day, he is now even learning to swim!
Swans from Swan Lake:
Last year, two Christchurch swans Samantha and Samuel were shot by armed intruders at Swan Lake Gardens in Cashmere. Swans mate for life, and Samantha and Samuel have been together since the 1980’s. SPCA Ambulance Officer Dee Rogers, collected the injured swans and transported them both to the South Island Wildlife Hospital, where they received emergency treatment.
The swans received lots of care and treatment, and eventually were nursed back to health. About a month later, the swans were released back at Swan Lake in Cashmere and are doing well.
Critter News: Becoming ‘one’ SPCA
At the RNZSPCA Annual General Meeting on Saturday 17 June, SPCA delegates voted to form one organisation. This decision will lead to the creation of one SPCA in New Zealand and will unite the SPCAs around the country into one future-focused national entity.
Working together as one organisation means that we’ll be able to do more for our country’s most vulnerable animals.
What are the benefits of one national SPCA?
⦁ From our furthest north centre to those in the deep south, we will share our resources to make sure that every vulnerable animal will get the best care the SPCA can provide – no matter where they are in the country.
⦁ We will have one strategy and one voice
⦁ We can do more to prevent cruelty to animals in New Zealand through advocacy and education.
⦁ We will be able to develop a stronger SPCA Inspectorate
⦁ As one organisation we’ll be able to access centralised funding opportunities and benefit from economies of scale – enabling us to have the resources to do more for the animals.
What will happen to SPCA Canterbury?
When you next visit our centre you might see that not much has changed. Day to day, there will still be animals that need to be rescued, litter boxes to change, dogs to walk, animals that need vet treatment, and lots of happy adoption stories to share with you.
We’ll still rely on support from animal lovers like you. With your help and by working together with SPCA centres in our area and across the country, we’ll be able to do even more for the vulnerable animals that need us. Our centre will continue to rely on the funds raised from our community supporters.
At the SPCA we are so fortunate to have staff and volunteers all over the country who are incredibly passionate about saving animals, many being experts in animal welfare. By sharing this knowledge and skills we’ll truly be able to make New Zealand a better place for our animals.
If you have any questions about this journey to become one SPCA and what it means for our centre, please don’t hesitate to call our team on 03 349 7057.
Critter Rescue: CCC Puppies
In May 2017, Christchurch City Animal Management was alerted a stray mother dog with puppies living near the red zone in the Aranui and Bexley area.
The Animal Management Officers tried to find the puppies, and eventually managed to locate them living under a building. SPCA Inspector’s went to help Animal Management Officers retrieve the puppies.
They had to crawl under the building to rescue the seven puppies, and the family was then taken to the SPCA. The puppies were only two weeks old when they were rescued, and have been named after the Animal Management Officers who helped to rescue them, they are: Bill, Lucy, Kym, Gail, Lorelle, Brent and Chris.
The puppies are all now in foster care, until they are big enough to be adopted out to their forever homes.
SPCA Canterbury is always looking for foster homes for the vulnerable animals in our care. At the moment, we especially need puppy and dog fosterers.
What is the SPCA Foster Programme?
The Canterbury SPCA foster programme aims to increase the number of animals we have for adoption. Every animal that goes into foster care is given a second chance at life. Your work as a ‘Foster Parent’ helps to save the lives of vulnerable animals in Canterbury.
Throughout the year, SPCA Canterbury needs temporary homes for animals to recover from illness or injury before they can be adopted. You can help save the life of an animal by becoming an SPCA foster parent today.
Many of the animals that come into SPCA Canterbury need additional care, treatment and socialisation before finding their new forever home. Our volunteer foster parents provide a temporary home for these animals and help them to recover from surgery, give them medicine for an illness, or work with them to improve their behaviour. SPCA Canterbury provides all of the equipment needed, and covers the costs of caring for the animals while they are temporarily in foster care.
If you think your family can help…please head to our website and apply now!