Local residents who are struggling to feed their companion pets can reach out for help through the Waikato Welfare Call Centre on 0800 800 405.
Western Waikato Emergency Operations Centre (WWEOC) Duty Controller, Dave Simes understands how important pets are for many people and says they will be catered for if the need arises.
“We are seeing an increase in calls for animal welfare assistance so we’d like to reassure people that pet food can be included in food parcels if needed.
“There is an emerging issue region wide for companion animals and pets through COVID-19 restrictions including financial hardship and the inability to pay for expensive medical procedures.
“While we are unable to fund veterinary costs, we can most certainly help with food.
“Our companion pets have played a significant part in helping people cope with the level 4 lockdown restrictions. The last thing we want to see is pets becoming malnourished or being abandoned because people can no longer afford to provide for them.”
Simes reiterated that the helpline is not exclusive.
“It is open to everyone who is struggling to get the basics such as food or medication and pet food, so please use it if you are finding it hard to get those basic necessities.”
The Waikato Welfare Call Centre is available for people across the Waikato region including local communities in Ōtorohanga, Hauturu, Honikiwi, Kāwhia, Maihiihi, Oparau, Otewa, Owhiro, Puketotara, Te Kawa, Wharepuhunga, Te Kuiti, Waitomo, Te Maika, Kawhia, Taharoa, Mokau, Aotea Harbour, Maniaiti/Benneydale, Cambridge, Te Miro, Ohaupo, Te Awamutu, Pirongia, Kihikihi, Ngahinapouri and surrounding areas.
Public Information Manager - Western Waikato Emergency Operating Centre
027 382 3218 | firstname.lastname@example.org