Adoption an issue as SPCA haven tackles cat overload

Things are getting cat-astrophic at Otago Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

With the feline breeding season in full bloom, the Opoho haven has received so many female cats that staff cannot accept any more.

SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming said the haven was holding well over 100 cats. Of these, 60 were females that the society was desperately trying to re-home.

''We can't accept anymore,'' she said. As the SPCA has a ''no-kill'' policy, it cannot euthanise any of the animals. In order to make a dent in the number of feline inmates the society is giving away the female cats at half-price. Usually it would cost $120 to get a de-sexed and vaccinated female cat from the SPCA but at present they were available for $60.

SPCA animal manager Donna Hurring said while the haven had received an influx of cats in recent months, not many people were coming forward to adopt.

The ''no-kill'' policy also meant the end of the SPCA's feral cat trapping programme at the start of the year.

The Dunedin City Council had previously paid the SPCA $15,000 a year to deal with the feral cats but once the SPCA programme ended, the council did not allocate any funds to continue it.

The council said it had not had any reports of health nuisances caused by feral cats in the last few months.

The University of Otago, a large North Dunedin property owner, said the University's Property Services Division had not had any reports of feral cats on campus since January 2011.

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