De-sexing and microchipping your pets is one of the most important steps you can take as a responsible owner.
- De-sex kittens before they reach puberty. Older cats that were not de-sexed as kittens should be de-sexed as soon as practically possible.
- Get your pet microchipped and registered on the Companion Animal Register so it can be returned safely to you if anything goes wrong.
However, you can also take other steps to protect our natural environment:
- Keep dogs away from nesting shore birds, kiwi and other vulnerable wildlife — if you live near native bush, consider enrolling your dog in kiwi aversion training.
- Put a bell on your cat’s collar. A bright scrunchy collar is even more effective than a bell at warning birds — collars should always have a safety release to keep your cat safe.
Keep your pets at home
Keeping your pets indoors or on your property can protect them from getting lost and injured. It also protects native wildlife.
- Ensure small pets such as turtles, birds and rats are securely housed so they can’t escape.
- If you’re keeping larger animals such as pigs or goats, make sure your property is well fenced.
- If you’re a cat owner, there are products available such as 'catios' or cat-proof fencing that allow your cat access to the outdoors while keeping it on your section.
Find a new home for your pet if you can't care for it
Pet ownership is a commitment for the pet’s lifetime.
If you find that you can no longer care for your pet, you need to find someone to rehome it to who is prepared to undertake the commitment of ownership. Alternatively, relinquished your pet to an animal welfare shelter (such as the SPCA) for adoption.
The worst thing you can do for the pet and the environment is to release them into the wild — it’s not good for the pet animal or our native wildlife.
It is also an offence under the Animal Welfare Act to abandon any cat.