SPCA issues desperate call for foster families as kitten season overwhelms the charity

Two SPCA kittens from the Hobsonville centre who need foster homes.
Two SPCA kittens from the Hobsonville centre who need foster homes. Photo credit: SPCA

The SPCA has put out a desperate plea to Kiwis to consider fostering animals as kitten season overwhelms the organisation.

SPCA centres around the country are almost at full capacity including in Wellington, Napier, Hastings, Whakatane, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Whanganui, Timaru and Greymouth.

Overall the charity currently has more than 4000 animals in their care - of which, around 75 percent are cats and kittens as 'kitten season' continues into Autumn.

Wellington's volunteer programme support Archie Pararasasingham says they are desperately asking Kiwis to consider becoming a foster family for vulnerable kittens, cats and sick animals for a four to six-week period including the Easter break. 

"We would love some extra hands to help ensure animals in SPCA care integrate into home life easily, and move into their forever home faster," she said.

"Not only does fostering help free up space for other animals needing help, it's beneficial for those that are too young or sick to be adopted, and need a warm, safe place in which to grow and develop." 

Foster homes will look after the kittens until they are strong and healthy, and old enough to have been desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and receive flea and worm treatment - which is when they can be adopted out.

General manager of operations Sam Powell said these animals need foster care in the meantime.

"We have thousands of kittens who need care in homes throughout New Zealand, at least until they reach the stage where we can prepare them for adoption. 

"This is why we need to expand our network of foster families because we are overwhelmed at the moment." 

Powell said they would also love anyone that comes on board to stay on as a foster parent and to continue to foster for them in the future.