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Remember the Animals During the Holiday Season


For release: 5 December 2006

SPCA: "Remember the Animals During the Holiday Season"

The Royal New Zealand SPCA is issuing a plea to New Zealanders to consider the needs of their pets during the long hot summer months.

"If you are going away on holiday, ensure your animals are properly cared-for in your absence. If you cannot book them into a reputable cattery or kennel, an alternative is to have someone stay in your home to look after your animals. If you take this approach, make sure you chose someone who is absolutely reliable and who understands exactly what your pet requires, including, in the case of dogs, regular walks." says the SPCA's National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

"Having a friend, neighbour or pet feeder visit daily to feed and check on your animals may suffice for short periods for cats. However, even then most independent-minded cat can get anxious and lonely if left alone for too long. A hungry, unhappy cat is quite likely to wander off in search of somewhere else to live and may not be around when you return.

"The 'home alone' approach is most distressing for dogs. They are highly sociable animals and get depressed when left without company. Distressed dogs tend to whine and bark and that may lead to animal control officers being called-in.

"If your pets travel with you on holiday be sure they have an identification tag with contacts details. Microchipping provides an even more reliable identification. Never leave them unattended in a closed vehicle for more than a few minutes as animals succumb very quickly to the heat and can lose consciousness, sometimes with fatal consequences. Even a car parked in the shade can heat up very quickly as the sun changes its angle, turning your vehicle into a potentially lethal oven.

Lack of owner responsibility resulting in distress, pain or death of an animal is an offence under the 1999 Animal Welfare Act and prosecution can be taken in cases of negligence.

"If you take precautions, you will help to ensure a happier holiday season for your pets. You will also have the peace of mind needed to really enjoy the holidays." Ms Kippenberger adds.


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