KITTEN adoptions have slumped at Armadale Community Animal Rescue Group.
The no-kill shelter has 150 kittens and several adult cats waiting for a loving home.
Shelter manager Carolyn Bryars said the slowdown in adoptions had limited their capacity to take in new cats in need.
“Because the kittens haven’t been adopted, we can’t take any more in, so we’ve rescued less than half the amount we did last year,” she said.
The kitten breeding season starts in October and can run through to March or April, but started late in 2016 due to a wet winter.
Ms Bryars said one pleasant surprise had been the number of adult cats being adopted.
“We always have adult cats in the shelter, but we’ve seen more adult adoptions than normal,” she said.
“During kitten season, no adults normally move.”
Ms Bryars said most kittens at the refuge came from people who had abandoned their animals when they moved away or did not have the money to have their cat desexed.
“It’s not the animal’s fault people do the wrong thing,” Ms Bryars said.
Legislation introduced in WA last year requires all kittens to be desexed by six months.
Ms Bryars supported the move, but said it was no replacement for education.
“People will not always comply with legislation; education is the key, get it through the generations,” she said.
To help teach young people to care for animals – and the consequences when they don’t – Armadale Community Animal Rescue Group offers work experience to 14- to 15-year-olds.
Funding for the shelter comes from an op shop on Gillam Drive and the sale of adopted animals.
Ms Bryars said all income from a second op shop in Rockingham would go towards a “snip and chip” sterilisation and microchipping program.
“Members of the public on low income will get discounted pet desexing and microchipping, so people can comply legally but also to try and stop breeding of unwanted animals,” she said.