Closed for good... The Gore SPCA on Waiau St will no longer be open to the public. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

High costs for repairs and upgrades have led the SPCA branch in Gore to close permanently.

SPCA general manager of operations Sam Powell said the cost to keep up with the code of temporary housing of companion animals had been more than $500,000.

”We know some will find it upsetting that our centre in Gore will no longer be operating. However, it was in desperate need of an overhaul to be fit for purpose.”

In previous years, the SPCA had been unable to take in any more cats as the small facility reached its maximum limit.

In 2017 there had been 88 kittens and adult cats in the shelter.

While it was open, the Southland SPCA relied on the community’s donations and support.

Former SPCA volunteer Madison Miller, who did a placement there two years ago, said she was sad to hear the place had closed.

“When I was there I really enjoyed it and the staff were amazing.

“I knew everyone was there for the right reasons — the animals.”

She said she was aware of how small the facility was, but it was not the fault of the organisation.

“They couldn’t help that they were doing the best they could with what they had.”

The Gore SPCA, among other nationwide branches, has been under the umbrella of SPCA New Zealand since 2017.

Now, alongside a partnership with VetSouth, it will transfer Gore animals needing rehoming to the larger facility in Invercargill.

This will allow SPCA services in the region to be available from 8am to 5.30pm.