RSPCA packed to the rafters
DOZENS of dogs surrendered to Coffs Harbour RSPCA are in urgent need of new homes as the shelter reaches maximum capacity.
Only a handful of pens are currently unoccupied at the RSPCA's adoption centre, but spaces are filling fast as new arrivals are admitted each week.
The situation has sparked calls from the centre's manager Sue Merrick for residents to not only consider adopting a trained canine, but for locals to take more responsibility for their pets.
"The core of the problem in terms of dogs arriving to us is that people aren't desexing their animals," Ms Merrick said.
"I've been here for 25 years and you'd think in that time I would have been able to see a bit of improvement but I haven't.
"There are people that do the right thing and de-sex, micro-chip and vaccinate their dogs, but the sad reality is there are plenty that don't."
The call comes as Coffs Harbour City Council is expected to renew its agreement with the RSPCA for the provision of impounding facilities and associated services.
Ms Merrick said a rise in dogs ending up in the centre painted a worrying picture of pet ownership from some residents.
"The one thing in common with all dogs that arrive to us is that they're not de-sexed, usually aged under 18 months, and have no training whatsoever," she said.
She urged anyone who was prepared to take on a new pet, to visit the RSPCA and consider a rescue animal.
"We need to find them new homes so we can make room for the animals waiting to come in," she said.
"All adult dogs have passed a behavioural test and all our animals are desexed and micro-chipped."