SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming (left) and animal attendant Maartje Hyink cuddle cats available for adoption. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Cat-swapping has been made possible for Dunedin scarfie
The project was discussed at a cat committee meeting in the
city this week. The committee was set up by city councillor
Kate Wilson after the council was repeatedly getting
submissions from people about feral cats.
Cr Wilson said this week's meeting at the council focused on
cats becoming unwanted when students left Dunedin at the
academic year's end.
''Cats are being left behind or not looked after.''
The Otago University Students' Association was starting a
cat-swap project, Cr Wilson said.
''Where if you're moving out of your flat, and you're not
going to be here next year, you've got someone to swap or
pass your cat on to [in] another flat.''
SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming said there had
been an ''explosion'' in the number of cats at the Dunedin
shelter and more were expected.
''Cats are rampant, especially in North Dunedin, and students
are going home and it is going to be a bigger problem.''
The number of female cats at the shelter was ''crazy''.
''We've got room for 25 cats and we're holding 60 or 70.''
Consequently, female cats would be half price ($65) from next
Friday for 17 days. Each rescued cat would come with a
donated gift pack, which could include cosmetics, soaps,
bubble bath and magazines.
Another initiative was the arrival of a desexing bus to
Dunedin in December.
''We are going to desex about 300 cats and 50 dogs for
The free desexing would be available to gold card and
community service card holders, which included most students,
Ms McSkimming said.
''It is huge for the city and will go a long way to keeping
the cat population down.''
People wanting to use the free desexing service must complete
an application by November 1 to be eligible.
''Get on board the bus and come and get [your cat or dog]