THE expression 'raining cats and dogs' has a very literal meaning for Lismore's Animal Rights and Rescue Group.
According to founder Barbara Steffensen, there is always a spike in the number of animals dumped during periods of extended heavy rain.
And she said it is a phenomenon experienced by animal shelters across the country.
>> If you would like to adopt a pet from the Animal Rights and Rescue Group, phone 6622 1881.
"The rain seems to push people who don't care about their animals, and they dump them or let them go. We've had enough of it by now," she said.
At the moment the group has more than 30 kittens that desperately need homes.
Ms Steffensen said it is the end of the cat breeding season and they have been inundated with several litters of kittens in recent weeks.
The volunteer group is stretched beyond capacity with no more space at their Lismore shelter and no more space with foster carers.
"The only way to reduce the stress is to find some good homes," Ms Steffensen said.
She said the last lot of kittens was left behind at a rental house in South Lismore when the previous tenants moved out, which is another common occurrence.
"It happens all the time," Ms Steffensen said.
"There's no mechanism for chasing people who leave pets behind. People who neglect don't microchip; they leave the garbage next to the garbage bin and just leave the cats and kittens behind."
She said as a result, they are reluctant to place rescued animals with people in rental properties.
"We don't want to see the cycle start again."
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