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SPCA Calls on NZers to Help Fight Animal Cruelty


ROYAL NEW ZEALAND SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS

For Release: 3 November 2009

SPCA Calls on New Zealanders to Help Fight Animal Cruelty

Annual 'Paws Appeal' due to start on Saturday 7th November


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The Royal New Zealand SPCA is calling on the nation’s animal lovers to help fight cruelty and support this year’s ‘Paws Appeal’.

The Society’s annual fundraising drive commences this year on Saturday 7th November and lasts till Friday 13th November.

“We know that the last twelve months have been financially challenging for many New Zealanders. But animals don’t need our help any the less when the economic climate turns tough. In fact, they’re often even more vulnerable to bad treatment in times such as these. So please follow your heart and give whatever you can to our appeal,” says SPCA National Chief Executive, Robyn Kippenberger.

“Across New Zealand, SPCA branches are active, rescuing, rehabilitating, re-homing, caring for and advocating on behalf of animals. Meanwhile, our inspectors are at the forefront, when it comes to uncovering cruelty towards animals and bringing those responsible to justice. And we’re also active in schools, educating children about the importance of kindness, consideration and responsibility towards animals and our fellow humans alike.

“Despite the significance of our role, we are funded almost entirely by donations and sponsorships from generous individuals and companies. We need this help now, as much as ever,” she adds.

Robyn Kippenberger says that the importance of the SPCA’s work has been underlined by the release last month of its seventh annual ‘List of Shame’, detailing 52 of the worst cases of animal cruelty that occurred in the year to September 2009.

“In many ways, this was our most appalling List of Shame to date. The deeply disturbing trend we have noted in past years of the huge proportion of acts of violence against animals committed by young men in their teens and early twenties continues, including the 19-year-old from Dunedin who received New Zealand’s longest custodial sentence for animal cruelty, after brutally killing a jack russell terrier.

“Amongst the dozens of other horrifying cases were those of a young South Auckland man, who beat his fiancée’s dog with a metal pole and then strangled it to death; the 18-year-old from Waiuku , who killed a goat by dragging it behind a car for two kilometres; the 14-year-old responsible for hanging a cat from a Tauranga street sign with a nail rammed into its head and the three men in their twenties who mutilated and killed 32 birds in a public aviary in Temuka.

“With so many sickening acts of cruelty occurring, there can be no letting up in the fight to bring those responsible to court. Nor, if we want a decent, compassionate and safe society, can we afford to soft pedal our educational work or cut back on all the daily tasks involved in rescuing animals and looking after them.

“Our Paws Appeal is your chance to make a very worthwhile contribution to helping animals and fighting cruelty. Be it large or small, your contribution will be very welcome and will be used entirely to further the SPCA’s work in the region in which it is donated,” she says.

Paws Appeal envelopes are to be delivered to households across New Zealand between the 2nd and 6th of November. Donations can be made either by posting back the envelope, calling the special appeal telephone number (0900 97 77 2), visiting the website www.spcapawsappeal.co.nz. or handing in your contribution in person at your local SPCA branch.

Local branches are also to host street appeals and collections in the downtown areas of towns and cities across the country, whilst, in some areas, there may also be door-to-door collections.

ENDS

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