Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world. Almost two-thirds of Australian households today own pets. Despite these figures, around 23 cats and dogs die every hour of every day in pounds and shelters nationwide.
July is National Desexing Month, in time for pet owners to desex their pets before the summer breeding season. Established in 2004, The National Desexing Network (NDN) has more than 160 participating veterinary clinics and to date has helped desex around 200,000 cats and dogs nationwide.
Someone who deals firsthand with the consequences of owners failing to desex their pets is Ingrid Arving, owner of Melbourne not-for-profit cat shelter Ingrid's Haven.
"When owners don't bother with desexing, many of the litters end up abandoned and in the council pound," she said. "Cats are doing it really tough at the moment, it is really disturbing.
This advertising feature is sponsored by the following business. Click the link to find out more.
"Many people are feeding stray cats, and they are not desexed of course, so in no time you have 30 cats around. By law, if you feed a stray cat it is considered yours. Now you may not have the money to have even one cat desexed, but if you come in and talk to a vet chances are they will help you, like I do. About 96 per cent of animals in the pound stay there because the release fee is so high, health requirements and microchipping are just too pricey as well."
The Australian Veterinary Association says desexing can reduce aggression and other behavioural problems. In cats, desexing stops calling behaviour in queens, reduces spraying in toms, reduces fighting, abscesses and transmission of infection.