BY LEXY AKILLAS
The number of cats being adopted and re-homed has reached an all-time high, according to figures from the RSPCA’s 2013-2014 ‘Report on animal outcomes from our shelters, care and adoption centres.’
Over 25,000 cats were adopted after being received by the RSPCA, which is a 27 per cent increase since 1998-1999.
CEO of The Cat Protection Society (CPS), Kristina Vesk, told City Hub she had seen dramatic change in the industry since beginning CPS in 1958.
“I can say with confidence that there is an improved understanding of the importance of desexing, but an awareness of early age desexing is not where we would like it,” Ms Vesk said.
She explained that society’s education about cats has also increased.
“I think that a lot of people are now also more aware of the social, health and welfare needs of cats. As long as you provide them with toys and environmental stimulation they will be very, very happy to live indoors.”
Patricia Hood from Sydney Animal Second Chance is one of the many who has recently chosen to adopt.
She had just lost her 19 year-old cat, and decided to take in a litter.
It was then love at first sight with the two kittens she now calls Harry and Tina.
“We call him Prince Harry because he’s a ginger, and he loves to mingle with the other kittens I foster,” she said.
“I’ve got four kittens at the moment and Harry goes in and sort of looks after them and it’s like he is saying ‘it’s okay buddy, you’ll get out of here and get a home.’”
Harry is just one of the thousands of rescue cats finding homes all over Australia.
In celebration of World Animal Day on October 4, the RSPCA is holding two days of events at Bicentennial Park in Glebe.
On Saturday October 3 there will be a mass dog re-homing and rescue information day.
Saturday will also host the RSPCA’s cat film festival, which will screen the Internet’s ‘most watched’ cat videos.
It is estimated that there are 33 million pets in Australia, with 63 per cent of households owning at least one pet.
It is estimated that there are almost 50,000 animals across Australia who live in shelters.
In the City of Sydney, stray dogs go out to the Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter, which is operated in partnership with the council and has a no-kill policy.
There are 58 staff working at the shelter, who match owner’s preferences and lifestyle to the stray cats and dogs found at the shelter.
Over the past year, the shelter has found homes for 550 cats and dogs.
Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said it was cheaper and more ethical to adopt from the shelter.
“Tragically, 60,000 unwanted pets are killed each year in NSW because they’re abandoned or surrendered to shelters,” Clr Moore said.