Tweed RSPCA's Shannon West with Harry the foster cat that needs a home.
Tweed RSPCA's Shannon West with Harry the foster cat that needs a home.

Furry friends get forgotten during holidays

IRRESPONSIBLE Tweed pet owners are dumping their pets with animal welfare groups while they go on holidays risking their furry friends being adopted by another family.

Tweed Friends of the Pound president Sonia Trichter said many pet owners planned their holidays without taking their pets into consideration.

"I've had people who say they're going on holidays - and they'll buy their pet back from us when they get home," Ms Trichter said.

"But it doesn't work that way."

Ms Trichter said pets can't be surrendered temporarily, meaning owners will have to buy their pets back - if they're still there.

Tweed RSPCA honorary administrator Lesley Hoggart agreed it was a problem.

"Every year, some people leave it too late to find someone to look after their pets," Mr Hoggart said.

He said it mostly happened with cats and bunnies and he advised that owners ask a neighbour or friend to feed their pets for the duration of their holiday.

"Cats get very stressed when they leave their normal environment," Mr Hoggart said.

Ms Trichter said while it's disappointing to see people abuse the system, a jump in pet adoptions in the lead up to Christmas had taken some of the pressure off their volunteers.

Ms Trichter said this time last year, Tweed Friends of the Pound were caring for 98 cats, mostly kittens but this year most of the cats were adults.

She attributed this change to the Friends of the Pound desexing vouchers.

"I'm hoping people who get puppies and kittens as gifts think about buying a desexing voucher," Ms Trichter said.

She said this service would make desexing more affordable for low-income earners to avoid the burden of extra puppies or kittens.

If you'd like to help animals looking for a home, both Tweed Friends of the Pound and the RSPCA are looking for volunteers.

Contact Friends of the Pound on 07 5524 8590 or the RSPCA on 07 5536 5135.



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