‘These babies were just dumped’
A VET has made a desperate plea to pet owners following a heartbreaking discovery inside a taped-up box dumped outside her office.
Her warning comes as the RSPCA has told centres across the state to stop taking anymore dogs and cats.
Dr Kat Lovell said a mother cat - still a kitten herself at about eight months old - and her six newborn kittens were found taped into a box and left on the driveway of the Redlands Veterinary Clinic, south-east of Brisbane, about 6.30pm on Monday.
She said the kittens were just the latest animals to be abandoned at the clinic.
Dr Lovell posted a photograph of the mother cat and her kittens - who are yet to even open their eyes - on social media, saying de-sexing was all it took to help prevent the repeated cycle of unwanted cats.
"These babies were just dumped in a dump and run at the clinic, left in a box sticky taped together on our driveway," she wrote on social media late Monday.
"So sad when the answer is so simple - DESEXING pets!!!"
Dr Lovell said her clinic alone was receiving 15 calls a week to take on unwanted adult cats, mostly pregnant ones.
Peak cat breeding and dumping season was usually between September to December, but the warmer weather so far this year had possibly led to the continued higher rate of cat abandonment, Dr Lovell said.
"I can't believe how many requests we have had, just in the last few weeks even, to take pregnant female cats," she said.
"I've never had an extension to the season like this before.
"And there are all sorts of sad stories, but we've had to actively turn people away.
"People don't understand the extent of this problem. What scares me is we're in a nice area. I'd hate to think what is happening in some rural areas."
The RSPCA, too, has had to put a stop on accepting new animals, with centres across the state receiving an email ordering them to accept no more cats and dogs until further notice.
The email was sent by CEO Mark Townend and confirmed by an RSPCA spokesman.
The spokesman told The Gladstone Observer that regional centres were full; the Wacol centre in Brisbane had a two-month waiting period; and there were a total 1440 animals in RSPCA centres across the state.
The directive follows a statewide adopt-a-pet push by all RSPCA animal shelters, which sold dogs and cats for just $29 on the weekend.
Dr Lovell said people see a free or cheap kitten advertised on Gumtree or other sites, especially prior to Christmas, and don't take into account the vet bills that come with being a responsible pet owner.
"It is possible to adopt through a registered rescue, where you know the vet work has already been done for the adoption price," she said.
The clinic receives so many dumped cats they now have their own limited adoption program, however, most vet clinics do not have the same ability to have a similar small program.
The vet said she is shocked by what she sees on a daily basis.
"Before Christmas, we had more than one request of people wanting to trade their adult cat in for a kitten we had up for adoption.
"They did not even want to surrender their older cat and pay the adoption fee for a kitten, they simply wanted to trade," Dr Lovell said.
"The first time, I thought it was a joke and laughed, but it turns out they were serious.
"I started to feel like those people thought this was a Toyota dealership."