An­i­mal char­ity PAWS spends up large

South Waikato News - - Your Paper, Your Place - LUKE KIRKEBY

What started as a South Waikato woman’s de­sire to do right by an­i­mals has re­sulted in nearly $540,000 be­ing spent on their wel­fare.

From 2009 to De­cem­ber 2016 an­i­mal wel­fare char­ity PAWS has given away just over $539,317 via short term grants and through its de­sex­ing pro­gramme for Com­mu­nity Ser­vices Card hold­ers.

Pu­taruru based founder Meg Wil­son, who was the South Waikato SPCA chair for 18 years, said she couldn’t be hap­pier.

‘‘The ma­jor­ity of that, ap­prox­i­mately $400,000, has gone to de­sex­ing. It’s only been seven years so it is not bad and I did a lit­tle dance when I found out,’’ she laughed.

She said she has been blown away by how quickly the char­ity has grown. It now has op-shops in Pu­taruru, Toko­roa, and Thames.

‘‘Our grants process al­lows peo­ple to ap­ply for money for short term an­i­mal wel­fare needs. We have just done a den­tal on a dog for an el­derly gen­tle­man who couldn’t af­ford it where the dog was very dis­tressed so it is great when we can step in and say we will help out,’’ she said.

‘‘We also get re­fer­rals from the Taupo SPCA in­spec­tor who will ring and say they have found some­thing and ask if we can help.’’

‘‘We ask some peo­ple to pay us back be­cause they can but it just means rab­bits, cats, dogs, or even don­keys will not be in dis­tress.’’

She said the vast ma­jor­ity of the money has been spend in the South Waikato where the char­ity has its largest pres­ence.

‘‘For the de­sex­ing pro­gramme in the South Waikato, Ve­tora, South Waikato Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices, and Toko­roa and Dis­trict Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices are all in­volved and from Whi­tianga to Paeroa FVC Vet­eri­nary Ser­vices,’’ she said.

‘‘We put a fixed amount into a vet and they all do it for very good prices. Its $30 for a cat and $80 for a dog.’’

‘‘We al­ways en­cour­age peo­ple to go into their vet to get their an­i­mals de­sexed be­cause one cat, if none of its off­spring are de­sexed, can be re­spon­si­ble for up to 280,000 cats,’’ she said.

Wil­son said noth­ing would be pos­si­ble with­out com­mu­nity sup­port.

‘‘I asked one of the ladies in the vets to pick out a fig­ure of how many they have de­sexed and she said you must be jok­ing. It is just bril­liant,’’ she said.

LUKE KIRKEBY

PAWS founder Meg Wil­son, far right, and some of the char­ity’s South Waikato vol­un­teers

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