Weird and Wonderful Stories of Animal Rescue Charities

Animal rescue charities are often on the front line for cases of animal abuse, lost animals and the worst cases of neglect.

But some days, something will happen that will leave you with a smile.

SPCA marketing and communications co-ordinator Paige Janssen said a person called the Wellington center to ask if they could bring in a butterfly they had found because it “looked lost”.

Another time they received a call from someone concerned about a dog tied up in the street, waiting for its owner. They stayed on the line and when the owner returned the caller followed them to make sure the dog was okay. As they watched, the man took the dog with him to a strip club.

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Five mice, named Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn and Liam after members of boy band One Direction, were donated to the SPCA and were all adopted.

SPCA/provided

Five mice, named Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn and Liam after members of boy band One Direction, were donated to the SPCA and were all adopted.

A man called asking for advice on how to keep feral pigeons as pets because he loved them so much. The SPCA informed the man that he would not be allowed to keep them in a cage or aviary as it would break the law to keep wild animals confined due to the stress it would cause.

“However, we told him that if he were to feed them in a small birdhouse and they were free to fly as usual, that would be fine,” Janssen said.

Someone in Masterton once found a goldfish on their lawn, she said. “They managed to save him and put him in the water and give him to us. The fish was adopted and now lives with his new family.

“We have no idea how the goldfish ended up on the lawn – the only thing we can assume is that it may have been picked up by another animal.”

In addition to the funny stories, there were also successes. Mike the peacock was one of them.

Mike the peacock, found injured in the leg, limping and unable to fly, is thriving under the care of the SPCA Wellington Center team

SPCA/provided

Mike the peacock, found injured in the leg, limping and unable to fly, is thriving under the care of the SPCA Wellington Center team

“Mike was found with a leg injury, limping and unable to fly, and rushed to our care.”

Within weeks, Mike was back strutting and soon available for adoption.

Five mice were placed in their care, named after boy band One Direction. All five had since been adopted.

Gus the red-eared slider arrived at the SPCA after being discovered living in a bucket of dirty water with no food. The vets diagnosed him with shell rot – a shell infection. After weeks of care, he found a home.

Gus the red-eared slider who arrived at the SPCA was discovered living in a bucket of dirty water with no food.

SPCA/provided

Gus the red-eared slider who arrived at the SPCA was discovered living in a bucket of dirty water with no food.

HUHA (Helping You Help Animals) founder Carolyn Press-McKenzie recalled a phone call they received from a woman standing in a pet store, in front of an aquarium containing a turtle. Or was it a turtle? The woman wasn’t sure, but watching him roam around his tiny prison, she was determined to help him.

An hour and $15,000 later, the woman returned the turtle (as it turned out to be) to HUHA. The pet store had not sold her food or given advice on how to keep or care for her new pet.

The turtle, named Wilson, is now living a happy life with one of HUHA’s staff members. But the next day, the pet store’s tank had been repopulated with another turtle.

“It’s a whole new culture of rescuing animals from pet stores, but you’re feeding the beast,” Press-McKenzie said.

People often asked for advice on caring for magpies and opossums – even wallabies. They rarely brought them to the center or left their names. As pests, “people try to fly them under the radar.”

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