About Wellington SPCA


End animal cruelty, neglect and unwanted animals in New Zealand.


To promote the humane treatment of animals and to prevent cruelty to animals.


As an approved organisation by the Ministry of Primary Industries, Wellington SPCA, via the Royal New Zealand SPCA,  enforces the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and provides animal welfare services to the wider Wellington region.


Formed in 1884, Wellington SPCA is a member-based incorporated society. We are led by a Chief Executive Officer and governed by a voluntary board of 10 directors (all directors are members of the society). We have approximately 50 paid staff and 950 volunteers. 


It costs $4 million each year to run Wellington SPCA. Despite being the only charity that is a law enforcement agency, Wellington SPCA receives no direct government funding. We rely entirely on the generosity of the public and charitable trusts to fund the important work we do. 

Wellington SPCA supports the whole of the wider Wellington region from its main centre in Wellington’s old Fever Hospital, Newtown and its smaller centre in Waikanae on the Kapiti Coast. However, Wellington SPCA is so much more than just an animal care centre. Below are the services we deliver to communities in the wider Wellington region.


Wellington SPCA is the only approved organisation outside of government able to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Wellington SPCA Animal Welfare Inspectors investigate around 1,100 complaints of animal abuse and neglect each year – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While it is at times necessary to prosecute under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, a large part of the Inspectors’ role is to provide support and guidance to animal owners. The Inspectorate team also works closely with the veterinary team – referring pet owners to a low cost / donation-based SNAP (spey and neuter all pets) service programme, if required. This initiative is key to addressing the root cause of the large unwanted animal population in our community. 


Supporting kind and caring attitudes towards both animals and people is the key to building a better, healthier and happier community, to breaking the cycle of violence sometimes seen in our families, and building a future generation of compassionate and responsible individuals. Wellington SPCA runs an award-winning education and engagement programme that reaches out to thousands of people a year throughout our region. Targeted work with both adults and children takes place in areas where we see a significant proportion of unwanted animals and animal cruelty cases. We strive to further develop empathy towards both animals and people and empower our community with the knowledge necessary to be responsible pet owners, ultimately improving the lives of all animals.


Wellington SPCA is at the heart of the Wellington community. It is a community-funded organisation, providing services for the community from a facility owned by the community. We would not exist without the community. We have over 950 volunteers from all walks of life working with us every day of the year. Our humane education and pet therapy programmes reach over 37,000 people each year. 


Learn more about our work 

Our Senior Leadership Team



At Wellington SPCA, we believe that all animals deserve:

Freedom from hunger and thirst.

Freedom from discomfort.

Freedom from pain, injury and disease.

Freedom to express normal behaviour.

Freedom from fear or distress.


The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was founded in England in 1824 and is recognised as the world’s oldest and most influential animal welfare organisation.

The Wellington SPCA was founded on 1884 and is the third oldest SPCA in New Zealand. It was moved that a Society be formed in Wellington for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals by encouraging a considerate feeling for them and, when necessary, prosecuting anyone who may be guilty of cruelty.

Anyone found guilty of cruelties perpetuated on defenceless animals would be subject under the Act to a fine of up to 20 pounds (or for keeping animals for fighting or baiting, up to 100 pounds).

Since those early beginnings, Wellington SPCA has continued to be at the forefront of animal welfare across the wider Wellington region. In that time it has become far more than just a law enforcement agency and a shelter for homeless animals. The recent move to the old Fever Hospital on Mt Victoria has enabled us to develop an Animal Care, Education and Community Centre that supports our goal to put a stop to animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment. Our focus is no longer just safeguarding animals under the Animal Welfare Act 1999, but also implementing preventative community education and engagement programmes.


When you choose to bring your pet to Wellington SPCA’s Veterinary Clinic you are not only choosing to obtain high-level veterinary care, you are also choosing to support the charitable work we do. Any profits earned go straight back into helping vulnerable animals in your community and the Wellington region.


In addition to caring for around 5,000 animals each year, Wellington SPCA runs an animal training hospital that has been designed to give animal care and veterinary students a place to get hands-on, practical experience in a stimulating environment. The hospital also has a private vet clinic for owned animals, and further promotes responsible pet ownership by offering discounted veterinary services to Community Service Card holders. New clients are welcome, whether you have adopted an animal from us or not.


When animals arrive at Wellington SPCA they are managed through a process to ensure their health and ongoing wellbeing. This includes veterinary checks, microchipping, desexing, care, enrichment and socialisation, and some some cases life-saving surgery, behaviour testing and fostering.


Wellington SPCA helps to reunite lost pets with their owners whenever possible. If someone finds a pet and brings it in to Wellington SPCA we will automatically scan it for a microchip. If a microchip is found, we can look up the national database and contact the owner. It's ESSENTIAL, however, that the information in the database is kept up to date.

Click here to learn more about lost pets, or microchipping your pet.


As directed by RNZSPCA, Wellington SPCA has assumed administration of this Branch. The centre located in Masterton has closed. Wellington SPCA provides Inspectorate and other services in the Wairarapa region. Wairapapa SPCA enquires will be processed through Wellington SPCA (04) 389 8044.

Report a case of animal neglect or cruelty: 0800 INSPECTOR (0800 4677 32867) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Website: wairarapaspca.org.nz

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