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Furry friends . . . SPCA Oamaru Centre manager Dannii Pearson cuddles Ornella the kitten, who is expecting to be picked up by her new owners. PHOTO: RUBY HEYWARD

A love for animals is not the only thing Waitaki’s animal welfare organisations have in common.

The SPCA Oamaru Centre and Pound Paws Rescue Oamaru are in urgent need of fosterers.

The organisations have too many animals and not enough people to take them in.
Pound Paws Rescue foster liaison Toni deRooy said while the organisation was based in Oamaru, it had been inundated with calls for support from across the South Island.

Over the course of three days over the Christmas period, Pound Paws collected a female dog with six puppies, a litter of five puppies and a dog, from Christchurch alone.

Not everyone who surrendered their pet was ignorant or neglectful, Ms deRooy said.

Some people were sick, could not find pet friendly accommodation or could not afford vet treatments for fractures or amputations.

On the other side of the coin, dogs were taken from neglectful owners, collected from the pound or saved from euthanasia.

The SPCA Oamaru Centre, behind Vetlife in Oamaru, has capacity for 26 cats.

Manager Dannii Pearson said at present there were 54 kittens and 14 cats on its books and the additional felines lived with fosterers.

‘‘We have so many kittens, we are full,’’ Miss Pearson said

‘‘We are always struggling, we always need fosterers.’’

It did not help that it was ‘‘kitten season’’ — which started in October ‘‘with a bang’’ and was still going strong.

Kittens and cats also tended to be sick during this season, as cat flu and conjunctivitis was at a high.

It could take up to six weeks to get a litter well enough for desexing and adoption, she said.

Whatever the case, these animals needed somewhere to go and that was where fosterers came in.

Ideal fosterers would be over the age of 18 and have a background with animals, the capacity to hold animals and the ability to dedicate enough time to the animal, she said.

Aside from fostering and helping to finance vet treatments, Ms deRooy said the main solution was for people to desex their pets.

Anyone interested in fostering animals, or volunteering, should contact Pound Paws at poundpawhelp@gmail.com, or the SPCA at dannii.pearson@spca.nz.