One-year-old Sapphire Neal-Blanford gets close to a shetland pony with her Aunty Stephanie Marie at the Nelson SPCA celebration of its small animal barn on Saturday. Photo: Sara Hollyman.

Close encounter with SPCA’s smallest animals


Nelson SPCA opened its doors to families on Saturday in celebration of the completion of their brand new small animal barn.

SPCA manager Donna Walzl says it was a fabulous day.

“We were absolutely thrilled with the turnout. It’s great to keep the community engaged and keep awareness up for what we do.”

Children were treated to a range of interactive activities including horse and pony rides, an Easter egg hunt, colouring competition and food stalls.

Donna says the small animal barn has been a dream of hers for many years and to see it completed is amazing.

“To see it come to fruition after all these years is just so nice. These small animals will now have somewhere purpose-built that’s warm, safe and dry instead of being chucked in the office with us.

“The barn will be home to mainly rabbits, but we also get piglets, kids and lambs arrive, so it will be nice for them to have somewhere to stay as well.”

The open day came in the middle of a busy weekend for SPCA staff with two sets of animals being dumped on Thursday.

“We had two kittens found dumped and on the same day a litter of puppies that we were out collecting so it was a busy weekend,” says Donna.