POUND RESCUE: Taya Rush and Nikki Robinson, both 11, with Pound Rescue cats Jeffree and AJ who are currently up for adoption.
POUND RESCUE: Taya Rush and Nikki Robinson, both 11, with Pound Rescue cats Jeffree and AJ who are currently up for adoption. Emma Murray

Family's efforts to rescue animals from 'death row' fate

THE horrifying manner in which animals are being utilised upon free adoption has been a prevalent factor in Carolyn Daley and her family's dedicated efforts.

After launching Pound Rescue Mackay two years ago as a core component of the nation-wide rescue organisation, Ms Daley has echoed the commitment of the animal group in sparing "death row" animals.

In the past five years, she estimates the family has re-homed about 400 animals.

"Up until about six months ago it was pretty much just us, then we started to get in a few carers along the way. Just before Christmas we had about 15 carers sign on and we've branched out quite a bit," Ms Daley said.

"Mackay had an influx of unwanted pets just before Christmas, so that's why a lot more carers signed on and we helped save the excess out of Mackay Pound."

"We had two of our foster carers on the one night get called. It was about 2am and a lady rang up wanting to adopt a kitten immediately," Ms Daley said.

"She pretended to be really nice, but it was such a weird time; our carers thought this wasn't right.

"They refused and then heard in the background of the phone call a guy swearing, saying he really needs a cat because he's going fishing."

Incidents of this nature have ensured fosterers within the organisation have had to operate with greater vigilance to ensure the animals they rescue and raise are being given to homes willing to provide a nurturing environment.

"We've had to be a bit more careful. They were willing to pay the price because they couldn't get a free one at that time, but they wanted it that morning ready for the fishing trip to take out at 5.30 in the morning," Ms Daley said.

"It really upset our carers a lot, to think we had raised some of these kittens and there are people wanting to do this to them."

The organisation has an adoption fee of $180 to cover vaccinations, desexing and microchipping of the animals, and even at this rate they are losing funds to ensure they are safe.

Co-founder of Pound Rescue Inc. Deborah Moodie said failure to desex animals, which tended to occur through free adoption, was contributing to the problem of homeless animals being utilised in such devastating ways.

She said despite the exceptional support of the Northern Beaches Veterinary Hospital, the rescue group operated at a loss to accommodate for the costs and people need to think about where these animals end up.

"All sorts of things happen to these poor animals that get given away for free and people," Ms Moodie said.

"People just don't seem to care and we're trying to be responsible for everybody else. There is no excuse to do that to a little creature."

"It's a never-ending losing battle."