Gisborne SPCA will have more than 100 kittens available for adoption over the coming weeks as kitten season heads into overdrive.
SPCA Gisborne manager Lindy Magee says the number of animals in their care is expected to grow as they get closer to the peak of kitten season.
The centre at Matawhero has 15 kittens and seven cats available for adoption, and another 36 kittens will be ready over the next two weeks.
More than 80 kittens are also in foster care in the community.
“We encourage anyone looking to adopt to contact our Gisborne centre or check our website to view photos and details of the kittens or cats available for adoption,” said Mrs Magee.
“All of our kittens are desexed, vaccinated, microchipped and up to date with worming and flea treatments before adoption.”
Mrs Magee said the warmer months were when cats bred.
“Cats and kittens make up 75 percent of SPCA's incoming animals. Kitten season is SPCA's busiest time of year and the increase in incoming animals places a huge strain on our centres, resources and staff.
“We rely heavily on our volunteers and foster families, who help us care for so many animals through this time.”
As well as looking for more people to adopt their cats, they are always searching for foster homes for kittens as space is scarce at the Gisborne centre.
“Fostering is a very rewarding and fun way of helping animals in need, and there are many volunteer roles available if you are wanting to get involved.”
Mrs Magee said they were always looking for volunteers to help out at the centre as well, with the main duties being cleaning the cages and feeding the cats.
Mrs Magee said Gisborne SPCA averaged 350 cats and kittens coming into their care annually over the past two years.
Because desexing of animals was not an essential service over the Covid-19 lockdown, Mrs Magee said she expected to see a bit of a spike in numbers this year.
“We are working with veterinary clinics in Gisborne and Wairoa to try to desex as many community animals as possible.
“Desexing is one of the best things we can do for animal welfare in New Zealand. Not only will it help your pets have a happier and healthier life, it ensures the cycle of unwanted litters is broken and people's companion animals don't unknowingly or unexpectedly reproduce more litters of animals.”
Thanks to the Fred Lewis Foundation, the Gisborne centre offers free cat and dog desexing to Community Service Card (CSC) holders.
It has discounted cat and dog desexing for non-CSC holders.
Puppies and dogs are also available for adoption.
The SPCA is open to the public from 10.30am to 3pm Monday to Saturday.
Anyone interested in being a foster carer for kittens, or to volunteer on site, contact the SPCA on (06) 867 9463.