Too Many Animals to Care for?

Too Many Animals to Care for? Can’t Afford to Desex Your Cats/Dogs?              

Help is available:

1. Council NDN Cooperative Cat Desexing Programs for residents in need.

A number of Councils are providing funds annually for the NDN Cooperative Cat Desexing Subsidy Program (ongoing while funds last)

i)  Subsidies are based on need and available for:

    • holders of pension, concession or health care card
    • people on low incomes
    • people with large numbers of cats

ii) Contact the National Desexing Network on 07 5509 9001 to determine eligibility for a voucher.

iii) If eligible, owners currently pay $35* to desex a male cat and $55* to desex a female cat at participating veterinary clinics. For owners of multiple cats/kittens, for each additional female cat, owners pay $35*.

*Amounts may increase slightly over time as desexing costs increase.

2. awlq Last Litter Program for unwanted kittens & puppies (South-east qld residents only)


If you are a Gold Coast resident and have unwanted kittens you cannot afford to desex and rehome yourself, you can surrender the kittens for $55 if you keep and desex the mother cat free of charge with an NDN Council Desexing Voucher at the AWLQ Gold Coast Community Vet Clinic. To arrange this, submit a Surrender Application Form online and you will be contacted to arrange a time when space is available in our Rehoming Centre. If you do manage to find homes for the kittens while you are on the waiting list, you should desex them before rehoming, using the NDN Council vouchers (described above).

Non-Gold Coast residents are asked to pay $80 to surrender a litter of kittens to contribute to their care and receive a Last Litter voucher to desex the mother cat free of charge at AWLQ’s Gold Coast or Ipswich Community Vet Clinics.

AWLQ pioneered the Last Litter program back in 2002 for cats. Since then thousands of cats have been desexed. We are now expanding the program to include mother dogs and puppies.


AWLQ has launched the Last Litter Program across South East Queensland in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted puppies, mothers, and mothers-to-be. We urge anyone with a litter to fill out the form at the bottom of the page and we will desex the mother free of charge and rehome her puppies.

Anyone who surrenders puppies is asked to pay $80 to surrender regardless of residence to contribute to their care, and receive an AWLQ desexing voucher free of charge for the mother dog at AWLQ’s Gold Coast or Ipswich Community Vet Clinics.

Why should i deSEX my pet?
  • By desexing dogs, particularly females, we’ll reduce the number of unwanted puppies that go on to become unwanted dogs
  • Certain dog breeds are prone to difficult births and smaller breed mothers can face complications if giving birth to large puppies
  • Animals which are desexed are also less likely to wander, fight and are less likely to get lost or injured
  • Desexing reduces territorial behaviour such as spraying indoors
  • Desexed animals are less likely to suffer from anti-social behaviours
  • Reduces the risk of getting various types of canine cancers or other diseases of the reproductive organs, such asprostate disorders in males, and cystic ovaries, ovarian tumors and acute uterine infections in females; and also other diseases like perianal tumors and perianal hamias.
How does the last litter program work?
  1. Fill in the surrender form.
  2. We will schedule an appointment for you to come and surrender your puppies at one of our locations
  3. After the appointment we will give you a desexing voucher that you can use at one of the AWLQ Community Vet Clinics
  4. At your own convenience, call and book in to have your pet desexed for free at one of the vet clinics
  5. Thank you. You have done your pet and the community a great service by participating in the Last Litter Program

We know that surrendering puppies can be an emotionally trying experience. But you can rest assured that AWLQ has a 60 year history of looking after stray, abandoned and surrendered pets, and finding them homes. AWLQ was the first animal welfare organisation in Australia to achieve zero euthanasia of healthy and sociable animals for a large city of over half a million people. Your puppies will be desexed, microchipped, vaccinated, flea treated, wormed and socialised before we find them homes. Your puppies are in safe hands.

3. NDN Vet Discounts (ongoing)

Veterinarians Australia-wide registered with the National Desexing Network (NDN) offer reduced prices for dog and cat owners with pension or concession cards. Each participating veterinarian may offer different discounted prices.

Below are an example of discounted prices offered, however prices do vary.

An example of NDN Desexing Prices for Pension/Concession Card Holders:

Male Cat

Female Cat
$60 (normally $90 – $150)

$80 (normally $150 – $390)

  Male Dog Female Dog
0-10kg $114 (normally $200 or more) $138 (normally $230 or more)
10-25kg $120 (normally $200 or more) $150 (normally $250 or more)
25kg and over $126 (normally $210 or more) $180 (normally $300 or more)

Eligible pension/concession card holders can:

  • Go online to to find the veterinary clinics nearest them which offer discounted prices, check the prices and organise a voucher online
  • Phone 1300 368 992 or 07 5509 9001 for support to organise a voucher

4. National Desexing Month in July

Veterinarians, who may or may not normally be a part of the National Desexing Network, offer special deals, often TO ALL PET OWNERS, in July each year for both cats and dogs. The recommended prices are approximately:

Male cat $90 Female cat $120
Male dog Small $180 Medium $190 Large $200
Female dog Small $220 Medium $240 Large $290

Owners can go to at the beginning of July to find the veterinarians participating in National Desexing Month and the deals they offer.

5. Other local desexing programs

Some Councils and animal organisations coordinate their own desexing programs. Check with your local Council or animal welfare organisations for available subsidies.  If your Council is not offering an effective desexing subsidy program, inform the Animal Management Coordinator that NDN has a Council program which we manage for Councils free of charge. Provide Council with this link: to find out more.

Why desexing cats before 4 months of age is essential:

  • There are too many cats and kittens and not enough homes.
  • Kittens can be pregnant by 4 months of age.
  • It is just as safe for a cat to be desexed at this age than at 6 months, and it is an easier operation.
  • Cats can get pregnant while still feeding their kittens, so it is easier to desex them before any pregnancy can occur. If they have a litter, mother cats need to be isolated in the house away from any male cats until they wean their kittens at 6-8 weeks, then kept separately from the kittens for about 2 weeks to allow their milk to dry before desexing.
  • Cats can have 3 litters a year and 4-6 kittens per litter and come on heat continuously, unlike dogs.
  • Male cats need to be desexed too as they are less likely to get hit by a car or attacked while out looking for a mate. They are also 50% responsible for unwanted litters. It is a simple, low cost operation to desex a male cat.
  • Anyone who breeds a litter of kittens or pups in Queensland, is now required to register as a breeder with the Queensland Government and include a Breeder ID number on the microchip of every animal sold or given away. Inspections are required by a number of Councils e.g. Gold Coast City residents who have a litter of kittens or pups must have a Breeder Permit, which involves a fee of approximatley $426 to pay for an inspection and Breeder ID number which must be displayed with any advertisement for a kitten or cat.
  • By law, kittens must be desexed by the breeder prior to sale or transfer in a number if Australian cities and states to prevent accidental litters. To avoid a fine for breeding without a permit, desex your cat/dog. If you are feeding a stray cat, you should take it to a vet clinic to check for a microchip. If unowned, take full responsibility for this cat and get him/her desexed and microchipped to prevent further unwanted stray cats and kittens.

In summary: Please desex your cat, and kittens at 2- 3 months of age. If you do have a litter, desex them before you rehome them. This will save thousands of lives.  A 2014 SA study showed that 22% of people don’t get around to desexing their cats before they have their first litter.  Even if you find homes for your unplanned kittens, it means fewer homes available for those waiting in pounds and shelters and with rescue groups, and having to wait longer to get a home means more stress, sickness and deaths.

Why desexing dogs before 5 months of age is important:

For your dog:

  • Desexed dogs are safer – less likely to roam, get into fights with other males, and hit by cars while out looking for a mate.
  • Desexed dogs are healthier – there is no risk of them getting testicular cancer and decreased risk of prostate problems
  • There are too many medium to larger dogs looking for homes in pounds, shelters and through rescue groups. Finding sufficient owners for these dogs can take months which is expensive for Councils, communities and charity groups, and upsetting for the dogs and their carers.

For you:

  • Desexed dogs are less expensive – lower registration fees, less likely to be impounded with fees to get your dog out, and less likely to need expensive veterinary treatment from roaming and getting into fights, hit by cars etc Having puppies is expensive too, and may lead to poor health and complications for your female dog.
  • Desexing makes no difference to whether a dog is a good watchdog. It all depends on the breed type and personality of the dog, not on whether they are desexed.
  • Dogs desexed early also avoid learning adult sexual behaviours such as fighting for territory, excessive urine marking and resource-protection aggression.