Community & Business

10 April, 2024

‘Please take me home!’

A LOCAL animal rehoming group is crying out to pet owners to desex their animals, with over 31 cats and 27 dogs being handed over to the small private rescue in the past two months.

Homeless pet influx plagues local rescues
Homeless pet influx plagues local rescues

Animal Rehoming Cairns and Tablelands District, based in Millaa Millaa, have been operating since 2012, and have rehomed over 200 animals on average every year.

Rescue owner Lorraine Doornebosch said the beginning of the year had been particularly tough for their rescue and many other rescues across the region, with several people ringing up begging for someone to take their unwanted pets.

“We usually have anywhere between 60 and 100 cats and dogs at any one time but bear in mind, it is a revolving door. That equates on average to 3.8 pets per week however, for the first two months this year, we took in 18 kittens, 13 adult cats, seven puppies and 20 adult dogs,” she said. 

“A total of 58 animals or 6.8 pets per week. One every day! We can confirm that during this time, we were told by many people needing their pets rehomed that they had contacted as many rescue groups as they could but were turned away because no groups had any room for more pets.  This is unprecedented.”

According to Ms Doornebosch illegal backyard breeding, accidental pregnancy, and cost of living are the top reasons rescues are currently being inundated with animals. 

She said the influx of homeless pets was preventable, and it was time for pet owners to take responsibility to desex their animals. 

“All we know is that it is getting worse.  Despite desexing more than 2000 pets in the last decade, our numbers are increasing,” she said. 

“One of our goals was to be out of work, but that’s never going to happen at this rate.

“The solution we believe is nothing more complex than just desexing pets.  The root of the problem is overbreeding which means of course, over supply - we’re talking about cross breeding, accidental matings and back yard breeders.” 

“There just aren’t enough homes for the number of pets in need of them.”

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