September is National Desexing Month and this presents an excellent opportunity for residents to get their animals sterilised and reduce the number of litters of unwanted dogs and cats in the shire.
Each year council receives many found or surrendered entire dogs and cats, and sometimes their young, into the animal shelter.
The sheer number of animals council receives often means that many of these dogs, cats, and their offspring need to be destroyed because there are not enough people in the community who can take them on as pets.
Getting pets desexed has many benefits aside from eliminating their capacity to reproduce. Desexing is known to improve an animal’s overall health minimising the risk of some cancers, reducing aggressive and antisocial behaviors, and decreasing the urge to roam which leads many animals to end up at the shire’s animal shelter.
Of all the animals received into the Stawell Animal Shelter every year, on average only 30 per cent of them have been desexed which is very concerning considering how rapidly undesexed animals, particularly cats, can reproduce.
RSPCA’s desexing campaign reminds us that “just one female cat and her offspring can produce up to 5,000 cats in seven years”. Female dogs average one litter a year with four to six puppies.
Stawell Veterinary Clinic is the sole provider of desexing services in the shire. They can also microchip pets to help reunite them with their owners if they become lost.
Northern Grampians Shire Mayor, Cr Murray Emerson, encouraged all residents to jump on board this initiative.
“We cannot understate the benefits to the community of animal desexing,” he said.
“Every year, particularly in spring, our animal shelter is overrun with unwanted dogs, cats and their litters.”
“Cats in particular are problematic for the impact they have on our rare fauna in the Grampians and surrounds.”
“We encourage all residents to be responsible with pet ownership, embrace this campaign and get their pets desexed this month.”