Lack of SPCA causes cat control issues

Slim chance . . . The Gore SPCA in Waiau St shut down in 2020 and is unlikely to open again. PHOTO: VALU MAKA

The closure of the Gore SPCA in 2020 has caused three informal private ‘‘cat shelters’’ to be established on private property within the district.

The average occupancy over the last six months of these shelters is estimated to be 35-40 animals. This is according to a report presented by the cat management and control subcommittee at a Gore District Council policy and regulatory committee meeting.

The need for an SPCA facility in Gore was questioned by councillors.

An SPCA spokesperson said it would be inappropriate to speculate on the return of an SPCA to Gore.

The cost of opening a new centre and operating it would be too large, they said.

‘‘It’s important to remember that SPCA is a charity. While we do receive a small portion of government funding, this money must be used for our inspectorate service.’’

The report outlined how the closure of the SPCA in 2020 created a gap between an appropriate level of cat management and what could be provided.

Today the SPCA is represented within Gore District via a ‘‘partnership model’’ with a local vet firm.

‘‘Our partnership with VetSouth allows SPCA to continue its presence in Gore and our Inspectorate continues to service this area.’’

In 2020, the SPCA had been unable to take in any more cats as the small facility reached capacity.

Cr Robert McKenzie agreed that it appeared Gores’ cat control issues traced back to the lack of an SPCA.

‘‘There’s nowhere for people to go,’’ Cr McKenzie said.

‘‘Is there any way the SPCA could come back on board in town?’’

In 2020 the SPCA facility required a costly upgrade, estimated at the time to be more than $500,000, to meet the Code of Temporary Housing of Companion Animals.

This led to a permanent closure.