Weddin Shire Council leading the way with cat welfare milestone Posted on October 11, 2022 Weddin Shire Council, together with Lachlan Valley Vets on 11 October 2022 successfully desexed 100 cats as part of their strategy to address the overpopulation and welfare of cats in their local council area. The initiative is one of seven evidence-based best practice free cat desexing and microchipping programs currently run through RSPCA NSW’s Keeping Cats Safe at Home Project. Weddin Shire Council’s 100th desexed cat was adopted by a resident who lives in the small village of Caragabal, situated approximately 40km West of Grenfell. This resident took over feeding the cat after his neighbour suddenly passed away, leaving the cat homeless. The number of cats on the property soon increased to a small colony of 15, which now include both semi-domesticated and feral cats. The Weddin Shire Council’s Ranger has been working with this resident, offering assistance in cat carriers, traps and transportation to ensure microchipping and desexing of all cats. This desexing milestone means the program has reached its target of desexing 30 cats for every 1,000 people in the Shire. The program has prioritised assisting members of the community with multiple cats or who care for stray cats around their homes. The continuation of the program in the area will improve access to basic veterinary services for cats and the people who love them. “This desexing achievement represents the future of local cat management, it is the answer to reducing cat euthanasia rates and keeping cats out of pounds and shelters”, said RSPCA NSW Keeping Cats Safe at Home Project Manager, Dr. Gemma Ma. “It is through collaborating with local councils and vets on programs like these that we can make sure no cat has to live on the streets, and that every cat has the chance to find a safe and permanent home”. The 100th cat desexed through the program showcases how local councils can work collaboratively with their community, local vets, and RSPCA NSW to achieve excellent welfare outcomes for cats, native wildlife, and the community. “The ‘Keeping Cats Safe At Home” Project has provided residents from the Weddin Shire the opportunity to have their cats microchipped and desexed for free. This program has enabled Council to reach out to a large proportion of the public to instigate education surrounding the benefits of not only microchipping and desexing their cat, but also the benefits of keeping cats safe and happy indoors,” said Allison Knowles, Council Ranger at Weddin Shire Council. “Weddin Shire Council greatly appreciates the support and assistance that the RSPCA, Lachlan Valley Vets, and partnering financial stakeholder Weddin Landcare have provided in developing and undertaking the project. It is with this support that the Council has been able to reach the milestone of 100 cats being desexed and microchipped. Council is looking forward to continuing with the project in the future”. Proactive, targeted cat desexing programs can be applied by any council and tailored to specific local challenges. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and join the ‘Cat-ch up!’ to learn more about how RSPCA NSW can assist councils to develop cat management plans and implement their own programs to proactively manage cats in their community. Photos and videos from the landmark desexing day, including interviews with council and RSPCA NSW spokespeople, can be found here via Dropbox.