Seek Justice

The SPCA is the only charity with legal powers to help animals in need and bring animal offenders to justice. Our Inspectors are appointed by the Ministry for Primary Industries to enforce the Animal Welfare Act 1999 and are authorised to protect all animals from abuse, neglect and abandonment.


Last year our team of Inspectors investigated over 1,078 animal welfare complaints across the Wellington region. SPCA Inspectors act as law enforcers to ensure the safety of Wellington's vulnerable animals.

The Animal Welfare Act 1999 bestows certain powers on an Inspector where they are able to enter onto any land, premises, stationary vehicle, aircraft or ship at any reasonable time for the purposes of inspecting animals. During their inspection they may take any photographs, sound or video recordings, drawings or other records (whether paper-based or electronic) of anything relevant to, and observed during, an inspection. If the Inspector has grounds to believe an animal has been mistreated they are able to take possession of, and maintain possession of, this animal. 

If there has been a deliberate act of violence or neglect, our Inspectors seek justice through the courts, acting as the voice for animals. 


In many cases our Inspectors are able to work with the community to ensure the right outcome for an animal. Education and advice is our first preference because through education we can improve the care of animals long term in the community.


Sometimes we need to provide more support with specific guidance or support materials to help people meet their obligations. Other cases require a formal approach with specific directions and instructions to comply.


Inspectors work with other organisations such as the Police, Animal Control, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation.

Find out about how to report a case of cruelty or neglect

Click here to see the SPCA List of Shame 2015 

Find out how to become an SPCA Inspector

Bailey, a 6-year-old German Shepherd, came to our Inspectors' attention and was seized in October last year with bleeding and raw skin. She was brought to our Wellington Centre where she received treatment, love and care from our staff and volunteers, and her kind foster parents.

The owner had not sought vet treatment, and refused to surrender ownership or accept they had failed Bailey. The case was heard in court in a defended hearing, where the judge found the owner guilty and transferred Bailey’s legal ownership to Wellington SPCA.

Last year, through our SPCA Inspectors...

15,145 - animals came through our doors1,078

animal welfare complaints were investigated

12,213 - found new homes261

properties were inspected for canine adoptions and animal foster homes

2,745 - were united with their owners


animals were removed from their owners due to inadequate care

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Can you help?

Donate right now to save freezing animals this winter – another night in the cold could be deadly. Warm your heart and those of vulnerable animals. Every donation gives Wellington SPCA the chance to save another life. We cannot help these animals without your extra support today. Click here to donate to our Winter Appeal. 

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Animal care

Learn about caring for your pet as well as legal minimum standards for care.