An influx of kittens and pregnant cats is putting Animal Welfare League NSW Wagga branch almost at breaking point.
The Wagga branch president Rebecca Kotzur said there were a few reasons why the group was under pressure.
"It's basically kitten season and we're dealing with so many people who have cats in houses and they're breeding like rabbits, mainly because they can't afford to get them desexed," Miss Kotzur said.
"The cost of desexing is the main issue for lower income people, it costs about $300 to $400 to desex a pet and our local council has no programs for help.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"The only program is what we offer in a national desexing scheme and also our own fundraising to help to take the amount to an affordable rate.
"But we are having a tough time with lack of ability to fundraise with the lockdowns and COVID, it's been very hard.
"We assist pensioners and low income earners with access to discounted desexing and microchipping for their pets, everyone is struggling, we need the funds as well."
A council spokesperson said the price of desexing was determined by private businesses and varies between veterinarian services.
"There is an emphasis on the responsibility of pet ownership to have dogs and cats desexed and council encourages this to prevent unwanted litters and straying animals that could be lost or injured," the spokesperson said.
"Council strongly advises getting pets desexed before six months of age for dogs and four months of age for cats to receive the discounted lifetime registration for a desexed animal."
Miss Kotzur said COVID lockdowns had played a part in placing additional strain on the group and not only with the branch's inability to raise funds.
"Some cats have become people's companions during COVID and they don't want to get rid of them, but they don't want the kittens," she said.
"People are very much stressed and cats help in their lives by giving that unconditional love, but they don't know who to turn to.
"That's when they contact us and we try to find foster homes.
"At the moment we have about 15 kittens and another cat that's just about to drop so that will be about another five and there will be more on the way."
Miss Kotzur said in a bid to relieve some pressure from the Wagga branch, some animals were sent to an animal welfare shelter in western Sydney.
"We send some to our Kemps Creek shelter in Sydney, we work with those guys closely," she said.
"If we don't try to curb it we'll have so much damage to wildlife."
The group of dedicated animal lovers who are committed to helping animals started in November 2020.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: