New partnership to save abandoned animals
  • Wednesday 17 March 2010

Sunshine Coast Council has joined with three of the region’s leading pet welfare groups to mount a campaign to prevent the surge in abandoned cats and dogs across the region.

Council is meeting regularly with the RSPCA, the Sunshine Coast Animal Rescue Service and 4 Paws to create an advertising and publicity campaign encouraging responsible pet ownership.

The next meeting is at 11.30am on Wednesday 17th March at council’s Nambour office.

All four groups agree that the Coast community needs to embrace three simple steps to keep animals from being abandoned at pounds and animal refuges. These are:

  • Desex
  • Microchip
  • Register

The move comes at a time when the dumping of unwanted cats and kittens is increasing across the Coast. The partnership will kick off its program with a cat desexing campaign, including a television advertisement and other publicity spelling out how cat owners can help stem the rise in cat numbers.

Council’s Community Policy and Programs Portfolio holder Jenny McKay said this new group brought a formidable level of expertise to the table to help address this growing and distressing problem.

“As a partnership, we plan to reach everyone on the Coast with the simple message that pet ownership is everyone’s choice, but it comes with the responsibility to help prevent the unnecessary abandonment of so many perfectly healthy animals,” she said.

Cr McKay said council’s pound at Tanawha always tried to reunite or rehome as many animals as it could, but the demand for space at the pound was outstripping the number of homes available for abandoned animals.

“Sadly, too many animals are euthanised and it’s a situation our staff and the community do not like to see happening, so let’s work together as a community to turn this around.”

A SCARS spokeswoman said that organisation’s ultimate goal was a “no kill” policy, but council accepted that it was difficult to prevent euthanasia of animals until the number of abandoned pets was radically reduced.

Council’s Response Services Manager, Ron Thomas, said the move was part of council’s educational approach encouraging responsible pet ownership across the region.

“Pet owners who microchip and desex their dog or cat will also get a nice surprise when they register their pets with council,” Mr Thomas said.

“Registration fees are greatly reduced for desexed and microchipped dogs and cats in order to reward responsible owners.”

It is Queensland Government law that all owners must register their cats and dogs with council every year.

Council is running a microchipping service at parks across the Sunshine Coast until May. Cats and dogs can be microchipped for the heavily discounted fee of $25. A full schedule of microchipping days is available on council’s website.

A number of discounted desexing services are available across the Coast to pensioners and low income families – and the campaign will help residents access these.