Oamaru still waiting for SPCA

SHARE

Oamaru residents are still waiting for an SPCA building after being told nearly a year ago that they would get one soon.

In October last year, it was announced the North Otago SPCA would merge with the Otago branch and a new central facility would be developed.

Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming said they had found a building in May and were still waiting on consents, but it was hoped to be opened by July.

However, there has been no apparent progress.

Ms McSkimming said she wanted to assure the people of North Otago that they would be getting an SPCA facility in Oamaru but council still needed to approve the consents.

“We’re just waiting to get consent so we can use our new building.

“It’s just part of the process.”

The building was owned by a third party, so she could not confirm the name of the owner or where the building would be located.

This meant that when council was contacted by the Oamaru Mail they could not give any definite answer as to what stage the consents were at.

Despite this, Ms McSkimming said the new building was still going to go ahead and she hoped the people of North Otago would not have to wait much longer.

“It’s definitely happening.

“We really hope to get it up and running soon.”

They currently had a staff member in Oamaru who was carrying out work such as picking up stray animals, however, there was not yet a facility from which people could adopt animals.

This will change when the new building is open but in the meantime, the North Otago branch is being run from Dunedin.

Dunedin inspectors still serviced North Otago and had done so for a long time, she said.

Once the North Otago SPCA has moved into its new building, it will operate a 24-hour service, which has never happened in Oamaru.

“It’s going to be great,” Ms McSkimming said.

Calls to the Oamaru office are currently diverted to Dunedin and handled from there.

By RUBY HARFIELD