About the Royal NZ SPCA

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What is the Royal New Zealand SPCA?

The Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a voluntary organisation which, through our 47 SPCA Centres across the country, provides help to animals and owners 24 hours a day, seven days a week, although the public should expect only genuine emergencies to be dealt with outside normal working hours.

Our mission is to advance the welfare of all animals in New Zealand by:

  • Preventing cruelty to animals
  • Alleviating suffering of animals
  • Promoting our policies through education and advocacy

The Royal New Zealand SPCA is a registered charity (Charities Commission number CC22705).

The Royal New Zealand SPCA operates under the Animal Welfare Act 1999. For more information on the Act, please click here.

Some Statistics

Every year, SPCA Centres around the country receive:

  • 60,000 animals through their doors
  • 14,000 animal welfare complaints, with many requiring return or follow-up visits



How is the Society funded?

As a charity, our Society receives only 1% of its funding from the New Zealand government, with this funding ear-marked for rural cases only - those involving animals on farms around the country. As a result, we rely almost entirely on the generosity of the public to carry out our life-saving work. The majority of our income comes from donations, bequests and our own fundraising efforts.

How is the workload shared?

The Society operates at two levels - national and district.

At the National level, SPCA National Support Office:

  • Coordinates the activities of the 47 SPCA branches and member societies across the country
  • Handles inspector training throughout the country
  • Coordinates our national empathy education programme, One of the Family
  • Arranges national fundraising promotions, such as Cupcake Day for the SPCA
  • Coordinates the SPCA's national free range pork and egg accreditation scheme 
  • Represents the Society on government committees
  • Handles major prosecutions which have national implications
  • Promotes and handles all approaches to government for new and amended legislation relating to animal welfare
  • Liaises with overseas and international welfare groups

At the district level, local SPCAs:

  • Investigate and deal with complaints of cruelty and neglect
  • Uphold the laws relating to the treatment of animals and take prosecutions where necessary
  • Give sanctuary to animals in distress
  • Rehome suitable animals where possible
  • Ensure that animals which cannot be kept alive for whatever reason are humanely euthaniased
  • Assist with public education
  • Promote responsible pet ownership



New Zealand structure

Not all local SPCAs are "branches". A small number of SPCAs that were established in New Zealand in the last century - the 'original' SPCAs if you like - are member societies. These member societies do not use "RNZ" in their name (eg Wellington SPCA, Otago SPCA).

The national governing body of the Royal New Zealand SPCA is the National Board, elected at the AGM by representatives from SPCA branches and member societies across the country.

Each of the 47 local SPCAs incorporates in its title the name of the district in which it operates. For example - the Waikato Branch RNZSPCA; Canterbury Branch RNZSPCA; and so on. For a list of local SPCA branches and member societies, please click here.

Each of the 47 local SPCAs runs its own affairs and handles its own finances. A voluntary committee controls their SPCA's activities. The larger SPCAs have some paid staff, but most rely on unpaid volunteers. Each SPCA has one or more warranted inspectors, who may be either paid or voluntary, to investigate complaints of cruelty and to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 1999.



Facilities at SPCAs vary throughout New Zealand, from large complexes to a few cages in someone's backyard. Even where large complexes exist, SPCAs rely heavily on help from volunteers in order to carry out the day-to-day operations of the centre.


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