Clarence Valley cat crisis
THE Clarence Valley is being overrun by homeless, unwanted pets and according to HappyPaws Haven manager Sally Rogers, most are in Grafton.
Sally said in recent weeks animal rescue centres and shelters in the region had been inundated with abandoned and stray cats, dogs, kittens and puppies.
“People are finding stray animals everywhere,” Sally said.
“Some are just wandering around looking for food and shelter, others are locked in houses or just left in the backyard with what their owners think is sufficient food and water as their owners move on or go away for holidays.
“We are completely full and have had to knock back so many animals that have been dumped, it’s not funny.”
The maximum number of cats HappyPaws Haven legally can keep on its property at Eatonsville is 120.
Last week HappyPaws had reached that limit, but people were still turning up with cats.
One family turned up last week with a cat and three kittens around eight weeks old, telling Sally they had been dumped on their property.
When Sally told them HappyPaws was full, she said the family told her they were going away on holiday and would leave the cats at the bottom of the driveway regardless. Of the 120 cats in care at HappyPaws, Sally said at least 90 per cent were from Grafton.
She said the biggest problem was people not bothering to get their pets desexed.
“Some people say ‘we thought we’d let them have one litter’ or ‘they got out for one night and we didn’t know what to do’,” Sally said.
But the results are plain for all to see in the cat enclosures at HappyPaws.
On a positive note in 2009 HappyPaws adopted 97 dogs and 72 cats. All of the animals at HappyPaws have been desexed and microchipped and all are up for adoption.
To find out more about adopting a pet from HappyPaws or volunteering at the animal shelter, call 0419 404 766.