Donations for Glenfield Road Animal Shelter

Published: 13 Dec 2019 1:57pm

Community members are invited to join forces with Wagga Wagga City Council to bring some Christmas cheer to the four-legged variety this festive season.

Council staff are hosting a Wishing Tree in the foyer of the Civic Centre during December to collect donations for the Glenfield Road Animal Shelter to make sure cats, dogs, kittens and puppies waiting for their new fur-ever families won’t go without a special treat or new toy at Christmas.

Members of the public, along with staff, are invited to donate pet treats, cat and dog toys, towels, pet carriers and canned and dry food to help meet demand in 2020.

Animal Welfare Officer Keli Stephens emphasised the importance of canned food specifically catering to kittens and puppies.

“Wet food forms a very important part of a kitten or puppy’s diet,” Ms Stephens said.

“Our very young animals have small teeth and can’t chew dry food well… canned or wet food promotes lean body mass and ensures kittens and puppies receive proper, balanced nutrition while they’re growing and developing.

“This is the time of year when we require these types of food the most, because it’s puppy and kitten season.”

For anyone looking to donate a blanket or two for use in the shelter, Ms Stephens said there are a few important things to consider.

“We can not use anything that has stuffing… so things like doonas or pillows,” she said.

“These things can’t be disinfected.

“We much prefer receiving towels – they are handy across the shelter – or smaller, fleece blankets.”

The shelter is currently near capacity with a combined total of 39 cats, dogs, kittens and puppies in care.

Though, traditionally, people believe those numbers grow exponentially after Christmas, Ms Stephens said that’s just not the case.

She said there’s a common misconception that pets, given as Christmas presents, return to the shelter in the new year.

“Around March and April or even June we do see one or two come into the shelter but it’s definitely not an influx of pets that were given as presents,” Ms Stephens said.

The shelter has safeguards in place in an effort to reduce the number of pets, particularly puppies and kittens, that become unwanted and neglected down the track.

“As part of our application process we ask people if the animal is going to be a gift,” Ms Stephens revealed.

“If it is, we ask if that person is aware that they will be receiving the pet. If it’s for a child, we specifically ask the parent or carer if they will be willing to care for the animal down the track, if the child no longer wants to or moves away to study or work.”