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Unwanted dogs need new homes: SPCA shelter at full capacity

Tuesday 8 November 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Unwanted dogs need new homes: SPCA shelter at full capacity
Young volunteers give some love to the abandoned dogs at the Cook Islands Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CISPCA) Shelter at Vaimaanga. Picture: PAULINE DEAN/22110702

Lonely, unwanted, abandoned puppies and dogs are desperately in need of owners and new homes.

The Cook Islands Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CISPCA) Shelter at Vaimaanga is currently at full capacity, with no room to provide shelter for more dogs.

At present the SPCA has 22 adult dogs and eighty puppies housed at the Shelter. Nine dogs are staying at the Shelter manager David Pokia’s residence and 19 dogs/pups are at the welfare officer Mata Nooroa Junior’s home, with a few fostered out by loving families.

Pauline Dean, the secretary for CISPCA, said: “Our shelter is overcrowded, and this means we have dogs urgently in need of permanent homes to avoid serious issues of disease and compromising the overall wellbeing of all the residents at the shelter.”

“We need your help.”

The current situation is overwhelming for the volunteers to witness on a daily basis, says Dean, adding the volunteers take turns on shifts to feed and walk the dogs and also clean the shelter.

“What is also disheartening is that puppies are dumped with our welfare officer who is currently using his residence to house these pups.”

One of the challenges CISPCA has is the lack of public awareness to the community on how to handle their pets to prevent overpopulation, and the valuable services the Shelter provides for abandoned dogs and placing them in good homes.

Dean said: “Te Are Manu provides free de-sexing services around the island to help manage the overpopulation challenges, especially with our dogs, and people should use these services.”

She is encouraging the community to adopt a dog from the Shelter.

“Trust me you will fall in love with our Furbabies.”

There are other ways to support CISPCA if you cannot adopt a dog – Make a donation at the SPCA Op Shop at the Punanga Nui market or collection boxes at the local shops, donate pet food at the CITC stores, purchase pre-loved items at the SPCA Op Shop, like and share their posts on Facebook and get involved in fundraising projects.

If you have time to spare you can volunteer at the Op Shop at the Punanga Nui Market, the Shelter in Vaimaanga situated along the road to the Papua Vai Marere waterfall or Saturday’s Puppy Adoption morning at the Punanga Nui Market.

For those who would like to meet and greet the Shelter dogs, contact David on 54858 for an appointment.

Established in 1997, the Cook Islands SPCA looks after stray, abused and homeless animals in Rarotonga, dedicated to improving animal welfare and educating people on best practice animal care.