Complaints of cruelty hit record high
An increase of animal cruelty complaints in Marlborough has put already overloaded inspectors under more pressure.
Concerns over animal cruelty rocketed to a record high in Marlborough last year with 15,500 complaints – a massive 75 per cent increase on the year before.
SPCA inspector Donna Walzl, one of three for the top of the south, said she could not reveal specific details about the complaints, but said the cruelty involved was ‘‘truly shocking’’.
A new inspector was expected to start in the area soon to help ease the burden on inspectors, who were all based in Nelson.
In November last year, the Marlborough and Nelson centres merged, and all inspectors move to the Nelson branch.
They travelled to Marlborough once or twice a week, Walzl said. The three inspectors covered Golden Bay, Westport, Buller, Nelson, Marlborough and Kaiko¯ ura.
‘‘There are very serious animal cruelty complaints in Marlborough that inspectors have seen. There is certainly a lot of animal cruelty out there.’’
Walzl said complaints in the region, with its hunting community, sometimes included treatment of pig dogs.
‘‘Making Marlborough and Nelson one region gives inspectors support,’’ Walzl said.
SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen confirmed the rise in complaints had placed inspectors throughout the country under increased pressure.
‘‘Seeing a rise in the number of animal welfare complaints year on year, shows we continue to have significant animal cruelty issues in New Zealand.’’
SPCA revealed its new fundraiser last month; Walk Your Dog to the Moon.
Staff hoped to recruit Kiwis to walk 385,500 kilometres, the distance of the Earth to the Moon, with their four-legged friends.
SPCA Marlborough will hold the event on Sunday, November 4 at 11am at their Renwick centre for registered walkers.
You can register for Walk Your Dog to the Moon at walktothemoon.co.nz