Ms McDermott said it was hard to comprehend how anybody could leave a litter of kittens to die, but it was happening too often in the Byron Shire.
“Just recently a mother cat and her two babies were rescued from a house where they were literally being kicked around the room,” she said.
“They were flea-ridden, abused and suffering malnutrition.”
Ms McDermott said although cats could mate all year round, they tended to breed in the warmer months.
She said driven by uncontrollable hormones, un-desexed cats started to roam, looking to mate.
Female cats would have between four and six kittens in a litter and could fall pregnant again while they were still feeding their new-born kittens, she said
The threat to our native wildlife was great because these cats and kittens became feral and went out hunting.
Ms McDermott urged cat owners to have their cats de-sexed.
She said if one person was to de-sex their cat, it would stop the creation of up to 17 unwanted, and then orphaned, kittens each year.
All cats and kittens at the Pets for Life Animal Shelter were vet checked and wormed on arrival, she said.
When adopted they were vaccinated, micro-chipped and de-sexed. Being a ‘non-kill’ shelter, all cats and kittens were re-homed.
Ms McDermott, who spends her week days as a bookkeeper for Splendour in the Grass, volunteers for Pets for Life every second Sunday. The shelter is self-funded and run wholly by volunteers.
“We run raffles, street stalls and garage sales to raise money,” she said. “Volunteering at the shelter is so rewarding. Last year the shelter re-homed a cat or kitten every three days – it is inspiring to be a part of that.”
To volunteer for Pets for Life contact Angela on 0414 719 680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to see the cats and kittens currently seeking loving homes please visit www.petsforlifeanimalshelter.org
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.