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Councillor Wheeler attacked online over cat desexing program

Feb 14, 2024

The cat plague in the Hawkesbury is set to continue after the Liberal/Labor bloc that controls Hawkesbury City Council voted once more against allocating $5,000 to help an existing desexing program run by the Animal Welfare League. It’s the second month in a row that the bloc has voted down a motion by Green’s councillor Danielle Wheeler.   

At its first knockback at January’s HCC meeting, Labor’s Amanda Kotlash, demanded more information after a presentation by Animal Welfare League, Hawkesbury Branch Secretary Annie Booth who spoke of the crisis facing the LGA.

Neither the local or surrounding pounds are taking any more kittens or cats indicating that the problem will only get worse.

“Last month I was told I didn’t provide enough information and that I failed to prove that rescues and shelters were at crisis point.  I was told I was lazy and “grandstanding”. 

“ The social media attacks went on for a week and included a Councillor’s partner (most of them have now been removed or hidden), “ Cr Wheeler said on her Facebook site. She was supported by all independent councillors, except Les Sheather, and also by Shooters and Fishers Cr. Shane Djuric.

“So this time I provided pages of information, and links to scientific publications, “ Cr Wheeler added. “ It still wasn’t enough for the Libs, Labor or CLR Sheather.  It’s hard not to see this as political.  It’s hard not to conclude that the only information that mattered was my name on the motion.

“Council is looking at running its own subsidised desexing program but that’s not up and running yet and won’t be for at least another month, AWL’s is.  We’re wasting valuable time in which more cats are coming into season and reproducing.”

Just yesterday yet another resident was asking for help to rehome abandoned kittens she found at her granddaughter’s house.

Portrait of stray dirty cat outdoors

 “Can anyone tell me if there is a cat/kitten rescue in the Hawkesbury area please. I have a mother cat and 3 kittens found in my granddaughter’s garden 3 weeks ago…..Tried the local pound, not interested, and Blacktown pound wont take cats at all. Why do people get cats and not desex them and allow them out at night. The mother cat is no older than ⅞ months herself.” she said. 

Her plight is becoming more common as residents take to social media asking for help. Even the Mayor Sarah McMahon claims to have had kittens dumped on her doorstep, still she voted against the desexing plan and took the kittens to the pound.

The number of kittens born is far greater than facilities, both private and public, to care for them. The AWL has described it as an emergency situation with hundreds and hundreds of kittens born and abandoned in the Hawkesbury.

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