Animal refuge reeling after surge in abandoned pets
THEY may look cute and cuddly, but cat and dog litters are fuelling an influx of abandoned animals across the Sunshine Coast.
And unfortunately not all of them can be saved.
The Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge is bursting at the seams with cats and dogs as well as five kitten litters.
Volunteers have been disappointed to arrive at the Tanawha shelter to find an old bull arab-cross and a cat abandoned on the doorstep and another wolfhound-cross puppy thrown over the fence in just one week.
Normally refuge workers would see only a handful of animals left at the gate in one year.
The animals have been taken to the pound as a protocol to check for microchipping and to give the owners a chance to be reunited with their pets.
The refuge is calling on owners to take responsibility and desex their pets to ease the burden on the animal welfare system.
Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge operations manager Penny Brischke said it was heartbreaking to see cats and dogs abandoned.
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"There is nothing more heart-wrenching than finding an animal tied to the front gate when we arrive in the morning," Ms Brischke said.
"Imagine what they have been thinking, they wouldn't know what was going on.
"We usually get a few animals abandoned like that a year but to get three over just a few days is terrible."
The refuge rescues animals from the Sunshine Coast Pound and also accepts surrenders from the general public. But that waiting list is long, up to a month. The refuge recommends owners plan their surrender, and give notice to get on the list as soon as possible or to look at options such as other rescue centres or family friends.
"We are full. We have around 60 dogs and so many adult cats that we are struggling to find homes for," Ms Brischke said.
"Kittens come and go, but we have beautiful adult cats that need homes too."
Kittens are still coming to the refuge in droves. Between January and March last year 13 kittens were adopted. In the same three months this year 88 kittens have come to the refuge.
The refuge is asking the public to donate wet kitten food to help it keep up with the demand.