Shelter has deadly cat cull duties

Maroondah Leader, Tuesday, 7 December 2010

MORE than half of the cats impounded in Maroondah this year were euthanised. While 90 cats at Maroondah shelters were reclaimed, staff were forced to give almost 110 of the felines a lethal injection. The number is almost four times higher than the number of dogs put down in the same period, despite almost 650 dogs being impounded. Up to 25 dogs were euthanised, mainly because of behavioural or medical problems. Most of the cats were exterminated because of disease or a lack of residents willing to adopt.

Maroondah Council corporate services director Marianne Di Giallonardo said it was a “tragedy”. “As the figures show there are many more cats euthanised by the RSPCA every year than dogs,” Ms Di Giallonardo said. “The loss of any animal is a tragedy. “And cats are less likely to be reclaimed by owners if they become lost.”

RSPCA manager of animal shelters Allie Jalbert said the number of cats being exterminated needed to be reduced. “We have an over-population of cats and the euthanasia rates are certainly too high,” Ms Jalbert said. “The RSPCA recognises cats in the community do not have the same value as dogs. “In the warmer months we begin to see unwanted litters being found in gardens. “It is important for cat owners to be responsible and desex their animal.”

Ms Jalbert said the Burwood RSPCA offered discounted desexing and free microchipping for cat owners. Ms Jalbert supported the council’s cat curfew, to be introduced in January 1, which requires residents to keep cats indoors between sunset and sunrise.


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