SPAW turns 10 years old! 

This year marks 10 years since we first visited The Kingdom of Tonga and signed an MOU of intent with the Tongan government. That was the start of SPAW’s unique presence in the South Pacific.

2020 is our biggest year ever as we begin the largest spay/neuter project ever seen in the South Pacific.  We will be filling 80 vet and vet nurse volunteer positions to service 9 field clinics as we aim to de-sex, vaccinate and treat around 3,000 animals free of charge in multiple island locations throughout the South Pacific, many of which have no veterinary care at all.

As we celebrate our 10th birthday, we thank all who have supported SPAW over the years and continue to provide input, time and resources.  Together we are making a difference!


South Pacific Animal Welfare (SPAW) provides Veterinary Care to animals living in island communities in the South Pacific. New Zealand run and managed, SPAW is often the only life-line of hope for animals who are injured, abused or sick and a major contributor to reducing the stray dog and cat populations by providing regular desexing clinics.

SPAW recruits veterinarians and veterinary nurses from New Zealand, Australia and around the world to deliver free veterinary services to the islands of Tonga (Tongatapu, Vava’u, Nomuka), Fiji (Taveuni), Samoa (Savai’i), Nuie and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands.

SPAW volunteers are often the only veterinary professionals an island community will see and it is our hope that by being present and fostering positive animal welfare activities, over time, people will display higher levels of compassion for all animals. 


Our services include desexing small animals, specifically dogs and cats, surgical procedures, health checks, vaccinations, parasite control treatments and livestock care to as many animals as we can reach during a community clinic and remote village/field locations.


SPAW offers quality and life-enhancing volunteer opportunities for qualified, experienced Veterinarians and Vet Nurses from all around the world. Our volunteers will experience situations that take them out of their comfort zone in challenging yet highly satisfying environments.

Dr. Cathy Holgate from Orewa Beach Veterinary Centre says “working with SPAW in Tonga enabled me to use my veterinary skills in a new and challenging way. It is wonderful to know that even the simplest of treatments often makes a huge impact on an animals’ life”.

Vet Nurse Petra Nuenz says “I loved going into the remote villages to do some nursing outside the main clinic in Tongatapu. The local kids were so interested in what we did and how we did it, great fun and a wonderful team to have this life-changing experience with.”

We are a New Zealand based organisation founded because of our strong historical and cultural connections to the Pacific plus a very real need to provide this service. Quite simply, animals need our help – to be a voice to better their lives in whatever way we can. Welcome to our journey.

Contact SPAW
Telephone   + 64 27 527 3642


South Pacific Animal Welfare is a registered charity in New Zealand.

Our registration number is: CC46408