Pet charities issue desperate calls for help amid lockdown struggles, shortages

Pet charities are pleading with New Zealand to donate supplies amid COVID-19 lockdown struggles and global shortages.

Auckland's 9 Lives Orphanage currently has 150 cats, some of which are pregnant, and kittens.

But the charity says it's running out of food and is struggling to get enough supply.

"We urgently need your help - please! If you can add some biscuits to your groceries this week for us, we would be ever-so thankful," the orphanage said in a statement. "We have drop-off locations all throughout Auckland and of course, all contactless to meet with level 4 restrictions."

Another Auckland charity, Pixies Animal Rescue Trust, is also desperate for help. It has nearly 110 cats and 35 dogs in its care - many of which need medical treatment.

The charity said on a Givealittle page set up to raise funds it has struggled over the past year, as its regular income source - a dog daycare - has been severely impacted by COVID-19. 

"Because of this, we are now at a crisis point with so many animals needing emergency vet treatment and care and virtually no income to speak of.

"Without the support of Kiwis who love animals as much as we do, we won't be able to continue to help the animals we have or take on any more emergency cases. If you can, please donate whatever is possible. We are grateful for any and all support."

The charity said it costs them about $10 per week to feed a cat and $20 per week for a dog.

Supermarkets began facing global shortages of pet food earlier this year, due to the flow on effects of COVID-19. The sector continues to grapple with increased demand and strains on the supply chain