Snip Kitten Rescue

23/07/2018 1

SNIP Kitten Rescue rescues, rehabilitates and re-homes unwanted kittens, and provides de-sexing at a reduced cost. This not-for-profit organization was founded by Zarli Kew, head nurse at our Pet Medical Muswellbrook clinic and endorsed by Pet Medical.

Over the six years since founding the program, our team at Pet Medical has found homes for over 700 kittens, all of which are fully vet-checked, vaccinated, micro-chipped, de-sexed, wormed and flea treated. Our kittens also come with 4 weeks free pet insurance.

Unwanted cats and kittens is a huge problem Australia wide.   Cats breed quickly.  A cat can fall pregnant up to 3 times a year and have up to 6-7 kittens per litter.  That’s 21 potentially unwanted kittens from just one cat in one year.

The latest stats from RSPCA in 2015-2016 show that over 31,000 cats were re-homed Australia wide which was 11% higher than the previous year. Just over 8,500 were re-homed in NSW alone.*

“On average, we re-home around one kitten every 3 days in the Upper Hunter region, that’s 117 per year. And there are many more out there we don’t see, who hopefully find a home or otherwise run wild or worse still, might not survive.”, says Zarli.

The Pet Medical team looks after the kittens and older cats at their personal homes, providing them with vital socialisation to make them suitable family pets. We also home a lot of barn/farm cats once desexed, that would otherwise be left to breed.  If you are interested in one of our SNIP Rescue Kittens or know someone who might be, please follow our facebook page or contact the Pet Medical Muswellbrook clinic.  Click here for details.

SNIP Sunday de-sexing day

Earlier this month, Sunday 8th July, 11 of our Pet Medical team worked tirelessly to de-sex 53 cats, just to show how much we love our friends – both cats and cat owners.  This is our annual SNIP Sunday de-sexing day where a team from Pet Medical donate their valuable time and skills to de-sex unwanted cats at a reduced price to support cats and kittens from low income homes. In the last 2 years since holding these days, we have de-sexed 200 cats at a reduced rate. All proceeds go back in to our SNIP program to help the kittens with medical treatment.

On Sunday, 5 vets and 9 vet nurses donated their time.  We all know how important it is to look after our little friends and ensure as many as possible have good homes.  Each de-sexing operation takes 20 minutes.  We worked from 8am to 5pm, de-sexing 22 females and 31 males.

By reducing the price of de-sexing, we’re trying to encourage more people to de-sex their cats, especially from low income homes and reduce the number of cats and kittens without homes.”,  says Zarli Kew.

*Source: RSPCA Australia National Statistics 2015-2016

Q&A with Zarli Kew

  • Founder – SNIP Kitten Rescue
  • Head nurse – Pet Medical, Muswellbrook

Zarli is our Head Nurse, specialising in hospital cases. She is crazy about cats, and founded our SNIP Kitten Rescue program 6 years ago. 

Q – Why and how did you come up with this program?

A – I have been nursing for 17 years now and I have always been involved with rescue cats throughout my career. When I moved to Muswellbrook and began working at Pet Medical in 2012 there was a huge demand for such a program as all cats and kittens went to the pound who simply could not cope with the numbers and most were euthanised. Pet Medical have been amazing in supporting me with the program.

Q What impact have you noticed from de-sexing more cats through SNIP Kitten Rescue?

A – There has been an incredible shift in community awareness not only in responsible ownership of cats but they also come to us through word of mouth to look for a new feline family member.  There are substantially less give away kittens on facebook too.

Q – How many people are involved in this not-for-profit organisation?

A – Our entire Pet Medical team are all involved. Everyone plays a part, big or small, we love cats and it really shows through all the help and support they give us. Myself and Bonnie Smith are the main foster careers, with lots of help from Emma Hodge, Tiffany Banister and Courtney Price.

Q – How has Pet Medical contributed to the program?

A – The support and understanding from Pet Medical and our director, Peta Gay Railton has been incredible. It takes lots of time, money and resources to provide for all these cats and Pet Medical has donated vet time, medications, facilities and aided in advertising and marketing for our program. I get most of the credit but I would not be able to do any of this without their support.

Q – How do you get the word out to people to find homes for the kittens in your care?

A – We used to have to do lots of advertising as many people found it easier to just get a free kitten from facebook. We now have established a name for ourselves and many people find us now. We do still advertise through our Pet Medical facebook page, our SNIP rescue facebook page, gumtree and PowerFM radio.

Q – How long on average would you care for these kittens? And are they cared for at the clinic or do your team care for them at home?

A – Every kitten that comes to us has a strict 7 day isolation period to ensure they are healthy to be homed. Kittens are homed from 8 weeks old and sometimes we have had them since birth, either being fed by their mother or being hand raised by our dedicated Bonnie.

Q – How many kittens do you currently have in your care at SNIP Kitten Rescue?

A – Currently we have 5 kittens and an adult cat.

Q – Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about SNIP Kitten Rescue?

A – I am so grateful to be able to provide this program for the cats and kittens of our community. My hope is that one day we will no longer need to but reality is that cat overpopulation is a massive problem worldwide and if we can make a small drop in the ocean then its all worth it. Plus I get to play with cute kittens. Haha.

Pet Medical – our services

If you would like to know more about the services we offer at Pet Medical, please click here.


Zarli Kew, Snip Kitten Rescue founder, with Spike
  Zarli Kew, Snip Kitten Rescue founder, with Spike
Bonnie Smith, our main Snip Kitten Rescue foster carer with one of our Snip babies
Bonnie Smith, our main Snip Kitten Rescue foster carer with one of our Snip babies

One comment

  • Amanda Jayne Still

    14/02/2019 at 10:47 am

    Hi I was wondering how I could get a cat desexed as she’s just had her 2nd litter of kittens and belongs to my neighbours but lives, eats and has kittens at my house. Her name is Tiger & nice natured so we want her to still hang around just without the kittens.


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