Felines in care soar to record numbers

RSPCA SA is launching an adoption blitz throughout May to make it easier for people living some distance from the Lonsdale shelter to adopt a cat, as the number of felines in care soars to record numbers.

The charity currently has 236 adult cats and 232 kittens at its Lonsdale shelter, a 115% increase on the number at this time last year. For the past six months, the shelter has taken in an average of 17 felines every day. Head of Animal Care Operations Jodie Summer described the ongoing stream of new arrivals as “alarming”. There are currently 81 cats and 19 kittens available to adopt, which can be viewed HERE.

The number of cats and kittens coming into RSPCA’s care is growing

Jodie has identified three key reasons for the huge feline intake in recent months which has pushed Lonsdale and RSPCA’s foster care network to full capacity.

Local councils introducing new cat by-laws that have raised community awareness about stray cats, resulting in a big increase in the animals being caught by residents and brought to RSPCA SA shelters

The continuing impact of kitten season, which occurs during the warmer months of October through to March has also had higher numbers than the year before.

Other animal shelters are not always accepting stray cats, making RSPCA South Australia the number 1 destination for animal intakes. Despite the distance some people must travel to reach RSPCA SA’s main shelter at Lonsdale, more than half of the stray and unwanted cats and kittens have come from the northern suburbs after closer shelters have turned them away.

“Around half of the increase we’re dealing with is the result of residents catching and bringing in stray cats. This has, of course, happened ever since our shelters have been open, but never to this degree.”

“The community is getting more active in dealing with stray cats, and it’s a trend that we predict will increase as more and more councils seek to manage stray cat populations via bylaws including curfews,” said Jodie.

As an open shelter, we will not turn animals away

Jodie is confident that this is a case of short-term pain for long-term gain, as SA starts to manage cats in the same way that we learnt to manage dogs back in the seventies.

“This means people abiding by the laws and having their cats desexed and microchipped, and we also want owners to contain cats within their properties for their safety and for protection of wildlife,” said Jodie.

“We have truly beautiful cats of every shape, size and colour who need new families, so we’ve decided that this month we’re going to remove all obstacles to people who might be looking to adopt, and this includes travelling distance. The public school holidays also make for a great time for families to come along and adopt a new pet cat.”

“Cats are intelligent creatures and great fun to have around, and the saying that a cat makes a house a home is definitely true. We’re coming into winter, and there’s nothing like a purring cat on your lap to keep you warm.”

Where you can find the newest member of your family this May

This month’s new programme of pop-up adoption outlets rolling out across metropolitan Adelaide begins this week at Petbarn’s seven store locations (Hendon, Holden Hill, Melrose Park, Mile End, Noarlunga, Norwood and Prospect) and at RSPCA PetVille on North East Road.

All RSPCA cats are desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and behaviour and health checked, and cost just $39. RSPCA SA staff and volunteers will be on-hand at most locations to assist people in selecting a cat that matches their lifestyle, to ensure a long and happy life together.

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