17 March, 2023
Refuge seeks help to start desexing program
A LOCAL animal refuge has plans to introduce a discounted desexing program in a bid to reduce the number of unwanted litters of kittens and puppies they receive on a regular basis.
Mareeba Animal Refuge says it is costing around $6000-$8000 a month in vet bills to take care of unwanted pets, and despite a fairly successful adoption program, the influx of unwanted and neglected pets was becoming “an unbearable weight” for the small organisation.
“Our not-for-profit charity relies heavily on donations and boarding to keep operating,” Friends of the Animals president Felicity Pollard said.
“The inflow of animals is not slowing down and we are facing a huge problem. Our biggest intake of cats tends to be mums and kittens and we also see many unwanted litters of puppies as well.”
Ms Pollard said the cost of de-sexing animals was a key factor in why people failed to desex their animals, as well as a belief that desexing male dogs, for example, would change the animal’s character.
“We hear that men in particular seem to be against desexing their male dogs because they think an entire dog will be a better guard dog,” she said.
“But there are so many benefits – desexing will stop certain cancers, it will also reduce the dog’s desire to wander or escape from their yards to find a female on heat.”
She said the refuge desexed dogs and cats of appropriate age before they were rehomed.
“If the animal is too young – around 2-3 months – we will give them a voucher to get the animal desexed when they are old enough,” Ms Pollard said.
“But our adoption fees don’t cover the vet work we provide to each animal.”
Ms Pollard said the organisation wanted to launch a discounted desexing program but needed the help of the community to make that happen.
“We are humbly asking for peo-ple to give us financial assistance to launch the program – donations will be tax deductible and we offer plenty of recognition and advertisement of businesses on our socials,” she said.
The refuge also needs volunteer walkers to assist, puppy biscuits and wet food for kittens.