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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. Last Litter Program

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.

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 for the mother dog at AWLQ’s Gold Coast or Ipswich Community Vet Clinics.

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
$54 (normally $90 – $150)

$72 (normally $120 – $290)

  Male Dog Female Dog
0-10kg $108 (normally $180 or more) $132 (normally $220 or more)
10-25kg $114 (normally $190 or more) $144 (normally $240 or more)
25kg and over $120 (normally $200 or more) $174 (normally $290 or more)

Eligible pension/concession card holders can:

  • Go online to ndn.org.au to find the veterinary clinics nearest them which offer discounted prices, check the prices and organise a voucher online
    OR
  • 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 www.ndn.org.au 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:  https://ndn.org.au/national-desexing-network/local-council/ 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.