News

Pet Desexing Program

By Olivia Duffey

Local residents will have the opportunity to stop the cycle of unwanted litters through Edward River Council's pet desexing program.

The program commences Monday and will be run in partnership with Southern Riverina Vets. Eligible residents must apply for subsidised desexing.

Mayor Norm Brennan said it is focused on increasing pet and community safety.

“Desexing companion animals lowers the risk of animal health problems, decreases roaming and aggression in male dogs and reduces the number of animals that end up in pounds and shelters,” Cr. Brennan said.

“The first twenty eligible applicants will benefit from this round of the Pet Desexing Program with another round scheduled for later this year."

Eligible pet owners must be residents of Edward River Council, a pensioner concession card holder and the pet must be more than six months of age. Pets that are not microchipped can register for the program and will be microchipped prior to desexing.

The desexing program was a recommendation put to council in the June ranger's report, which stated that 13 cats and nine dogs were seized and/or surrendered during the month.

Council general manager Adam McSwain said all of the cats were euthanized, and seven dogs returned to their owners. Two were to be re-homed at the time of the report.

‘‘The cats were collected by council as they were either feral or had been abandoned by their owners,’’ Mr McSwain said.

‘‘Feral cats cannot be re-homed due to the fact they can carry infectious diseases and are not tame, which is why they were euthanized.

‘‘Pet cats can be harder to re-home, however council always attempts to find a new home for both dogs and pet cats."

The same report indicated that 48 animals were microchipped during a free chipping week offered by the council.

It said 19 cats and 29 dogs were microchipped, and another nine dogs in June outside the free week.

Mr McSwain said the successful chipping program was introduced for the first time in 2018/19.

‘‘We did four free microchipping weeks in 2018/19 financial year — July 2018, December 2018, March 2019 and June 2019 — and in total we have microchipped 110 animals,’’ Mr McSwain said.

‘‘Microchipping your pet is a requirement of the Companion Animals Act and it means that council can identify the owner of a dog or cat if it is collected by council.

‘‘Council has seen a 30 per cent increase in the registration of dogs and cats over the past financial year compared to the 2017/18 financial year."

The size of the grant council received from the Companion Animal Fund — administered by the Office of Local Government — is based on the number of dogs and cats registered. These grants subsidise chipping and desexing programs.

Applications for the desexing program will be taken in person at the Edward River Council customer service centre in Cressy Street, Deniliquin or by calling 5898 3000.

For more information or to view eligibility criteria visit www.edwardriver.nsw.gov.au