Caring for animals after the earthquakes

The 2010 and 2011 earthquakes were an emergency not only for people but also for animals, with many trapped in the red zone, abandoned by owners, or lost in the fear and confusion. UC CEISMIC has been conscious of the need to document this as well as the work that was done to alleviate the problem.

With this in mind, we are excited to announce that the Royal New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has gifted a collection of earthquake-related material to UC CEISMIC, including: photographs of their post-quake work; a document outlining their earthquake experiences; the Pet Emergency Plan they put together for owners after the earthquakes; media-releases; and Animal Inside Stickers for pet-owner's houses.

A sticker produced by SPCA Canterbury for residents to stick on their doors, letting rescuers know that there is an animal inside the property.

The SPCA is a charitable organisation which provides help to animals and their owners. Their mission is to advance the welfare of all animals in New Zealand by preventing cruelty to animals; alleviating the suffering of animals; and promoting their policies through education and advocacy.

In the days following both earthquakes, SPCA Canterbury worked tirelessly to rescue, treat, and find animals, as well as offer temporary care to animals whose owners were forced to evacuate their homes. After the 22 February 2011 earthquake, they took between 150-200 phone calls from pet owners every day for three weeks. They received more than 200 stray or abandoned pets, undertook 70 separate animal rescues, and temporarily cared for more than 100 pets.

A photograph of a veterinarian giving a stray cat a worming tablet and checking its teeth after the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

A photograph of an SPCA Field Officer carrying a dog to safety after the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

A photograph of a veterinarian holding a pigeon at SPCA Canterbury. The pigeon was named Barney Rubble due to the fact that it was found amongst the rubble and debris of the ChristChurch Cathedral.

The material in this collection showcases the expertise and dedication of SPCA Canterbury, as well as their importance in the care and protection of animals, particularly after natural disasters. The tireless hours of the staff ensured that hundreds of pets were treated, housed, and cared for and many lost pets were returned to their owners. It also highlights the need for pet owners to consider their pets in their emergency plans and to have them microchipped. 


Images copyright SPCA Canterbury. All rights reserved.