Council calls out callous cat owners

Date published: 8 June 2022

Townsville City Council is calling out cat owners in the city who either don’t care enough to claim their animals or are failing to desex their pets, leaving vulnerable litters of kittens to fend for themselves.

Only 7 per cent of cats who wind up in Townsville Animal Care and Adoption Centre shelter are collected by loving owners and taken back home.

Councillor Maurie Soars said that despite nearly 70 per cent of the impounded felines being adopted by new owners, it wasn’t good enough that the animals were left defenceless in the first place.

“We are seeing an increasing number of kittens and cats coming in who are either very sick, not desexed or have no-one looking out for them,” Cr Soars said.

“This places Council is a difficult situation, especially when the animals are so unwell or left to go feral, making them unsafe to place back into the community, that there is no other choice but to humanely euthanise.”

Hundreds of cats are impounded at the Animal Care and Adoption Centre each year. Last financial year there were 1,468 cats and kittens impounded, with only 105 reclaimed by owners and more than 200 sadly being euthanised.

Cr Soars said these statistics were heartbreaking and unacceptable.

“While nearly 900 of the abandoned or impounded cats found new loving families, the fact remains that these were 900 domestic pets who were abandoned by their original owners,” he said.

“It is every pet owner’s responsibility to care for their pets, including registering or approving them with Council, getting them microchipped and desexed, and ensuring they are contained within their property.”

Council runs a series of programs to support responsible pet ownership in the city including its free microchipping days, discounts on animal approvals and registrations for seniors, dog safety sessions for children and desexing of all animals up for adoption.

To book your fee microchipping visit Free Microchipping Days on What's On Townsville.

Animal Care officer Celeste Tinsley with two cats waiting for adoption at the Animal Care and Adoption Centre
Caption: Animal Care officer Celeste Tinsley with two cats waiting for adoption at the Animal Care and Adoption Centre.