CAT RELIEF: Tiffany Sparkes (with pet cat Riley) is calling on the Gympie Regional Council to rebate cat desexing to tackle the number of abandoned kittens in Gympie.
CAT RELIEF: Tiffany Sparkes (with pet cat Riley) is calling on the Gympie Regional Council to rebate cat desexing to tackle the number of abandoned kittens in Gympie. Contributed

Rising kitten numbers sparks call for cheaper desexing

UPDATE 12.30pm:

THE Gympie Regional Council has backed their work on helping residents affordably desex their pet cats, following the call by animal carer Tiffany Sparkes for the council to offer subsidies.

The council works with a number of organisations, including the RSPCA, to address these issues, a council spokeswoman said.

"From June 1 to 31 August 31 this year, the council will be working in conjunction with the RSPCA to deliver 'Operation Wanted', which is a state-wide program offering discounted de-sexing for all cats and dogs at participating veterinary clinics.”

Ms Sparkes has started a petition which can be signed at www.change.org/p/cr-dan-stewart-gympie-cheap-cat-dog-desexing

EARLIER 8am:

A GYMPIE underworld of kitten giveaways has sparked a petition by a concerned animal carer who is pushing for Gympie Regional Council to subsidise cat desexing for residents.

Tiffany Sparkes, who runs Gympie's Harcos FIV cat rescue, is urging the Gympie council to offer cheap or subsidised desexing under the National Desexing Network.

She said the neighbouring Fraser Coast Council offered reduced desexing fees of $55 for female cats and $35 for males to eligible residents in partnership with the NDN and participating vets.

It was more than four times cheaper than private desexing vet fees in Gympie, she said.

"It needs to happen in Gympie,” Ms Sparkes said. "They just keep breeding and there's not enough people wanting kittens and they get dumped or abandoned when people find that they can't give them away.”

She said the number of giveaway and cheap kittens for sale in Gympie was increasing on Facebook and Gumtree.

Cr Dan Stewart, who holds the community portfolio, said subsiding animal desexing was a possible solution, but said the suggestion needed more research.

"I welcome constructive suggestions to deal with the issue of ensuring responsible pet ownership. However, I need more time to assess the worth of the program and whether the cost to ratepayers is reasonable,” he said.

Ms Sparkes' petition can be signed online at www.change.org/p/cr-dan-stewart-gympie-cheap-cat-dog-desexing