Councillor supports cheaper desexing of animals

REDUCING the cost of desexing animals has won the support of a local councillor.

Gladstone Regional Council's environmental portfolio spokesman Col Chapman said there were too many unwanted dogs and cats in Gladstone.

"I would support such a scheme providing council does not become the prime provider for finance for it," he said.

From January to April this year, 24 dogs and 22 cats have been euthanized, compared with 43 dogs and 75 cats for the same period last year - a result of pet owners not desexing their animals.

"Registration of animals allows them to be quickly reunited with their owners if lost, while desexing your pet provides a number of benefits such as reducing the number unwanted animals, aiding in preventing your animal from straying, and it gives you a cheaper registration with council," Cr Chapman said.

"Unwanted puppies and kittens become a burden and a problem that continues ad infinitum.

"While most ratepayers are responsible pet owners, there are some that need to be shown how or what to do when they have pets.

"Desexing would overcome many of the problems experienced by these pet owners."

Friends of RPSCA cat coordinator Anita Coad was horrified at the amount of people who didn't desex their cats.

"I don't know how to get through to people here - it's not helping that some people think that the RSPCA will sort it all out," she said.

"No animal of ours goes out without being desexed. We are saving all of these animals from the pound, and they are there for a reason, because of irresponsible pet owners."

"These people need to look into the faces of the animals in the pound - this is the result of not desexing, this is what is happening," Ms Coad said.

She urged owners to desex their pets now, before the breeding season.

Cat lover Chrissy Pantlin thinks it’s very important to desex your cat. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Cat lover Chrissy Pantlin thinks it’s very important to desex your cat. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong

Chrissy Pantlin shares the frustration of the RSPCA and Cr Chapman over the lack of desexing and microchipping among pet owners.

"We have so many feral cats roaming the land anyway, and usually that is because they have been let go because people don't want the litter of kittens," she said.

"It's very damaging to the environment for native animals - they destroy the native wildlife and their habitats."

Ms Pantlin thought cost would be a common deterrent for owners to desex pets.

"You hear stories that maybe there is a child with autism who would benefit from having an animal - but with the extra costs, it's another stretch on the finances for the family," she said.

"But for the people who just can't be bothered - there should be some sort of penalty."

A cat and a kitten adopted from the Friends of RSPCA Gladstone has become part of her family, and she urged others to do the same.

"I would encourage people to seriously consider going to the RSPCA because they do come with everything done and it works out so much cheaper," she said.

"We had gone out (to an adoption day) to have a look at what was available. I was really set on having a kitten.

"But at the same time I wanted a cuddly cat.

"We walked past the cage and he was purring … he snuggled up in my husband and my arms," she said.

She could not stop there - she recently added an adopted kitten to the family.

"It's just such good value for money while also supporting a worthwhile organisation," Ms Pantlin said.