The Northland Age

New car an ‘invaluable' asset For Northland SPCA

- Brodie Stone

Northland’s SPCA has been gifted a much-needed inspectora­te vehicle just in time for a busy summer.

The purpose-built 4WD has been called ‘invaluable’ by Senior Animal Welfare Inspector for the SPCA in Northland, Cody Taylor.

The vehicle was donated by the Gattung Fountain, which is made up of Philanthro­pic sister’s Angela and Theresa Gattung.

Establishe­d last month, the foundation utilises five ‘pillars of care’, including ‘furry friends’ which aims to improve the welfare of animals.

Theresa and Angela reached out to the SPCA and asked what they could to do help the organisati­on, which relies heavily upon donations to work efficientl­y.

“Northland has a high profile for animal welfare so we wanted to support an area that was in need. We wanted to support both the people doing the work with the animals, and also the people who own the animals,” said Angela.

“We didn’t get involved in the design of it,” she said, “We just said what will it cost to have a state-ofthe-art vehicle for Northland?”

The vehicle has been fitted with caging systems in the back, as well as water tanks that can provide water to animals in need, and enables officers to clean down animals that have wounds.

“Essentiall­y our vehicles are our office on the road,” said Chief Inspector Taylor.

“It needs to be functional enough to be usable so we can safely use it to transport animals, and it also needs to be able to carry all of the equipment that we carry, and we do carry a lot of it. It needs to be very durable.”

Vehicles also need to be hygienic for animals with various medical issues with them.

Taylor said the SPCA have a “great team” who plan the vehicles in conjunctio­n with donors.

Taylor said the Gattung sister’s donation is “amazing.”

“It’s a very expensive operation,” said Taylor, “So to not have to worry about the initial startup cost of the vehicle is huge.”

“We receive very minimal government funding as part of our operation,” continued Taylor, “so we do rely heavily on amazing donors that can provide us with either the funds or in this concern the vehicle.”

Whangarei SPCA investigat­es around 900 animal abuse complaints annually, a concerning number for a small team, who cover an expansive area.

“We have been overrun basically and it’s been so busy,” said Taylor.

“These vehicles run every single day,” he said. “We wear them quite hard because they are driving such a huge area, especially in Northland.”

Taylor said he has only been using the new vehicle for two to three weeks and estimates it has already travelled over 5000km.

“Having a purpose-built vehicle means that when we go out into the community, we can focus on doing our job, and we don’t have to worry about whether we have equipment and safe means of transport.”

Taylor says giving owners “understand­ing and knowledge” of how to be a positive owner is a key part of his job, which often requires follow up work.

“We go around and we check on compliance,” he explained, “And we do that by building rapport and relationsh­ips with the people we’re

working with.

“So this vehicle, and all our vehicles go on this journey with us,

to change hearts and minds essentiall­y.”

Taylor said Northland SPCA’s biggest goal at the moment is to be visible.

“We need to show the community that we are here and we are working really hard,” he explained. “We have an amazing team that go out of their way every single day to provide those positive outcomes and to work with the community.”

He continued, “Having vehicles out here in the community is really important because we want to show people that we have an important role to play and we want to work with the community to do what we do.”

Taylor says he’s here to help, and encourages people to reach out if they have concerns about animals. The Christmas period brings heatwaves along with it, and the SPCA are bracing for heat-related callouts over the summer.

“We’re dealing with a lot of summer related calls of things like dogs locked in hot cards, and animals that are without shelter or access to water,” said Chief Inspector Cody Taylor.

Minimal grass growth also means drought, which results in livestock going without seeds or access to drinking water.

“We’re going to have animals that have heatstroke or fly strike,” Taylor said.

Reminder for summer

He said encouragin­g owners to know how to look after their animals is important.

The symptoms of heat stroke include:

● Excessive panting

● Excessive drooling

● Unsteadine­ss

● vRestlessn­ess

● Abnormal gum or tongue colour ● Collapse

Heat stroke can be extremely serious for animals and can result in death if not treated right away. For dogs, heat stroke has a mortality rate between 39 per cent and 50 per cent. Leaving dogs in hot cards can result in a $300 fine, and the SPCA reminds owners that putting the windows down slightly does not stop the heat from reaching a dangerous temperatur­e.

Shade is essential for all animals including livestock, cats, dogs, chickens and rabbits. Especially from the harsh rays during the summer. Doghouses are not recommende­d forms of shelter, as they can trap heat. Animals such as long-haired cats, and rabbits and dogs with woollen coats, require consistent grooming in order to help with temperatur­e regulation.

 ?? Photo / Supplied ?? Philanthro­pic sister’s Angela and Theresa Gattung and the vehicle they have donated to Northland SPCA.
Photo / Supplied Philanthro­pic sister’s Angela and Theresa Gattung and the vehicle they have donated to Northland SPCA.
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand