SHARE
Furry friend . . . North Otago SPCA manager Rachel van Grunsven with one of the shelter's feline residents. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

About two months after opening, the North Otago SPCA’s new premises are full of kittens and cats looking for homes.
After an absence of more than three years, the organisation now has a new shelter behind Vetlife Oamaru.
It opened on November 29, and has space for about 20 animals.
North Otago SPCA manager Rachel van Grunsven said she had been flat out trying to rehome cats and kittens over the last couple of months.
Some of them were found dumped in rural areas such as Duntroon and Totara.
“We’ve pretty much been on 20 [animals] since we opened, so there’s no room at the inn. But it’s been pretty good. The community has been really supportive –¬†there’s the odd person who doesn’t appreciate what we’re doing, but generally it’s fine.”
As there is not quite enough room for all of the animals found or dropped in, some animals are being cared for by Ms van Grunsven at her home.
She was pleased with the number of people who had adopted animals, and said most kittens were set to be rehomed in the next few weeks.
“We had 18 kittens, and 15 are on hold for people, but we have to wait until they are old enough to be desexed before they go home.”
As is the case in other areas, at times it can be difficult to rehome felines, especially older cats.
Ms van Grunsven said if an animal was unable to rehomed locally, there were other options.
“I can take them to Dunedin to see if there is a bit more interest there, and they do the same if they are struggling to find a home. That’s the good part of being in Otago –¬†they can go to Dunedin, Alexandra, or here.”
She said it was important people had their animal desexed as soon as possible, as it meant it would result in fewer unloved cats and kittens being dumped.
“If you can’t afford to desex it, don’t get a cat. It’s that simple. Desex, don’t dump. That’s the rule.”
The shelter was also looking for donations of food, especially for kittens.