SPCA Crafter desexing van

Snippy hits the road 

SPCA New Zealand has recently unveiled its brand-new Mobile Desexing Clinic, fondly named 'Snippy.' This initiative has been made possible through the generous support of the Giltrap Group, and donors in collaboration with Volkswagen New Zealand

The official launch of this innovative Mobile Desexing Clinic took place in July 2023. The Giltrap Group graciously donated a Volkswagen Crafter vehicle, which has been expertly transformed and customized by the Wade Group, a renowned specialist in crafting top-tier equine transportation, ambulances for both public and private organizations, and law enforcement vehicles across New Zealand.

This purpose-built Volkswagen Crafter Van will provide free desexing services in remote communities, a vital step towards tackling the root causes of pet overpopulation and securing a brighter future for pets. The cutting-edge mobile clinic boasts a range of features and advanced technologies, including climate control, surgical equipment, waste management facilities, data management systems, and top-notch safety and security measures. Complying with stringent regulations and standards was paramount in ensuring the success of this project.

Mark Wadman, the Sales & Corporate Manager at Volkswagen New Zealand was instrumental in bringing this vision to life. His passion for animal welfare, coupled with Volkswagen's corporate responsibility ethos, led them to champion this project. The process began with Volkswagen providing funding and technical expertise. They collaborated with SPCA veterinarians and engineers to design and modify a Crafter van into a state-of-the-art mobile surgical unit. This process involved retrofitting the vehicle with all necessary amenities to ensure the comfort and safety of both the animals and the medical team.

Mark highlighted the importance of this project, stating “This not only showcases the commitment of a major automotive company to animal welfare but also highlights the power of collaboration between corporations and non-profit organizations to make a significant impact on our communities.”

The Mobile Desexing Clinic will firstly join the ongoing desexing efforts in Northland, where the SPCA is already supporting other community desexing initiatives. This includes a collaborative effort with Bay of Islands Vets and Coast to Coast Rescue to desex a staggering 600 animals. In areas like Northland, access to veterinary care is limited, and the costs are often prohibitive for many residents. Consequently, Northland grapples with an alarmingly high number of cats and dogs that remain un-desexed.

Before embarking on its mission, the vehicle underwent comprehensive testing at Auckland's SPCA Māngere Centre. In these rural communities, pet owners will have the opportunity to desex their cats and dogs, free of charge. The initial tour of the vehicle aims to desex 500 animals in Northland, a proactive step that is projected to prevent an estimated 1,850 animals from being born in the following year, potentially facing a life of hardship and suffering.

Rebecca Dobson, the National Desexing Programme Manager, emphasized the significance of offering free desexing services. She highlighted how SPCA's efforts are addressing the root causes of pet overpopulation and, in turn, alleviating the burden on local animal shelters.

The positive impact this will have on animals and communities will be experienced across the country and we look forward to seeing ‘Snippy’ in action.