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Canine Weekends Away Win Award for SPCA Nelson

Most of us gain some benefit from a couple of days away, and not least the dogs taking part in SPCA Nelson's weekend fostering programme.


This initiative led to the Royal New Zealand SPCA honouring its Nelson Centre with a coveted inaugural Savings Lives Award at the Society's 2011 National Conference in Wellington on 7th May.


"We try to get the majority of dogs at our Centre out to foster homes for a weekend at least once, generally to people who are thinking of adopting but aren't yet sure whether they're ready to take this step. It's a great way of learning what it's like to have a canine presence in the house," says SPCA Nelson's Manager, Donna Walzl.


"The majority of the dogs end up being adopted by their fosterers or their friends or family members, who get rather attached to them. But, even if a fostering doesn't lead directly to a dog being re-homed, we get great feedback about how that dog behaves in a domestic environment, which makes it a lot easier for us to identify the right home for the animal.


"We've got a great canine attendant who trains the dogs really well, so that they're a credit to the SPCA when they go off for a weekend. This, in turn, is likely to promote further adoptions.


"It was a lovely surprise to learn that our foster programme had won us one of the SPCA's inaugural Saving Lives awards. It’s further con formation that we’re on the right track," she says.


The Royal New Zealand SPCA's National President, Bob Kerridge, describes the formal adoption of a ten point Saving Lives agenda, at the 2010 Annual Conference in Rotorua, as marking out a major philosophical direction in how the Society operates.


"Saving lives has always been a crucial aspect of our work. However, we're now making it absolutely central. We want to ensure that every animal with which the SPCA comes into contact receives the optimum level of opportunity for enjoying a full and happy existence.


"No dogs or cats should have to die because there isn't the room or funding available for looking after them. SPCA Nelson's weekend fostering programme is an excellent way of ensuring that dogs end up in the loving homes they deserve. And Donna and her team also have an excellent record of fostering cats," he adds.


"Just one year on from adopting the Saving Lives agenda, it's tremendous to see the progress our Centres are making and to be able to honour the outstanding achievers with these inaugural annual awards," says Mr Kerridge.



For further information, please contact:

Donna Walzl
Centre Manager
SPCA Nelson
03 547 7171


Bob Kerridge
National President, Royal New Zealand SPCA
Executive Director, SPCA Auckland
DDI: 09 256 7306
After Hours: 09 528 9940
Mob: 027 4959 449



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