Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) and the City of Gold Coast Council are promoting a cat desexing subsidy to residents in need across the coast to stem the number of unwanted kittens.
“After a very welcome decline in kitten numbers coming into the pound and Animal Welfare League Queensland to rehome for many years, we have seen an increase for the last two years,” AWLQ Strategic Director Joy Verrinder said. “With kitten breeding season already started, we urgently need everyone to desex cats before they can potentially have their first litter of kittens from just four months of age and up to three litters in just 12 months. For every cat which breeds, there are nine fewer homes for existing cats each year.”
From today, AWLQ’s National Desexing Network is promoting the City of Gold Coast Cooperative Desexing program for people struggling to afford to desex their cats. Eligible owners will pay just $35 to desex a male cat, $55 a female cat, and just $35 for any additional female cats.
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Eight clinics are participating across the length of the Gold Coast, including AWLQ’s own Community Vet Clinic at Coombabah, Arundel Vet Surgery, Companion Care Veterinary Surgery Ormeau, Jacobs Well Vet Surgery, Pimpama Pet Vet, The Pines Vet, Pet Wellness Centre in Burleigh, and Tugun Vet Surgery.
“It’s a wonderful community support service being provided by these vets. We are so grateful for their generosity and goodwill, and encourage people to support them,” Ms Verrinder said.
Eligible Gold Coast residents receive a desexing voucher as part of the Cooperative Desexing Program. Council subsidises some of the costs, participating vet clinics considerably reduce their prices and AWLQ provides staff and resources year round free of charge to manage the program.
Ms Verrinder said desexing subsidies aren’t only available for owned cats. “If you are feeding an unidentified stray cat, you can access a desexing voucher to help you take ownership of that cat, microchip her, and provide a huge community benefit in preventing more unowned or “feral” cats,” Ms Verrinder said.
If you have an accidental litter of kittens, you can be supported to desex your mother cat, and the kittens before your rehome them, to prevent the cycle continuing.
All kittens bred on the Gold Coast must be desexed prior to being sold or given away, unless they have a health issue or are going to someone with a City of Gold Coast breeder permit.
City of Gold Coast Council works closely with AWLQ, leading the way in providing funds to subsidise the desexing of approximately 250 cats each year to prevent abandoned, feral and euthanized cats. This is far more effective and less expensive for the community, than collecting, impounding and euthanizing or rehoming cats.
AWLQ also provides additional subsidies when Council’s annual funding ends. Last year 369 cats were desexed under this program.
Cat/kitten surrender data from Gold Coast City in 2009/10 shows the top three reasons for not desexing cats were:
• 34% due to a belief that they were too young
• 32% due to simply not getting around to it
• 14% due to cost
“By raising awareness that cats can be safely desexed from two months of age, promoting desexing, and providing a financial incentive to do it, all three issues are being addressed,” Ms Verrinder said.
AWLQ issues the vouchers on behalf of the City of Gold Coast. To find out if you are eligible, contact AWLQ’s National Desexing Network on 5509 9001.