Fisherman rescues drowning kitten and finds more dumped
MITCH McGregor didn't realise he would be catching more than he bargained for when he left for a fishing trip with his son Saturday morning.
They were driving down the river in Mr McGregor's boat past Lions Park when he said he saw a man waving him down at the boat ramp. Mr McGregor said he pulled in to see what the main was pointing at.
And he wasn't expecting what he saw; a tiny kitten struggling to keep itself afloat and near drowning.
"It was a kitten about 40 - 50 m from the shore," he said.
"I grabbed it from the water; its belly was full from taking in salt water."
"The bakers told me there four kittens, and when they tried to pick them up, one ran and jumped in the water."
Mr McGregor took the kitten he rescued home for a night, while the other kittens went to RSPCA cat fosterer and coordinator Betty Bridge.
"It was pretty clear these kittens had been dumped, there was a chunk of mince left near them," he said.
All four cats are now in the care of Mrs Bridge and are in a healthy condition.
But the incident has left a mark on the local fishermen, who said he is 'disgusted' by the issue Gladstone is facing due to the high volume of cat dumping in the area.
"I'm disgusted at how many irresponsible people in the area resort to dumping animals," he said.
"Even though there is an easy prevention, desex your animals!"
Friends of the RSPCA president Sarah Warry said the organisation was grateful to Mr McGregor.
"He is definitely a hero and for him to turn off his course and save that kitten is hugely appreciated," she said,
"We see a lot of this, kittens or cats dumped in groups --- and it always leads back to the same issue of people not desexing their cats."
"But thanks to these community members, we were able to safely get these four to carers where hopefully they will be re-homed to loving families."
On April 6 The Observer reported on the re-homing of 44 dumped Gladstone cats.
RSPCA volunteers from the state Branch in Brisbane, Wacol made the trip to Gladstone to pick up the cats and re-home them in Brisbane where they would have a better chance of survival.
It wasn't John and Jennifer Nightingale's first transportation trip to Gladstone, but it was the biggest.
"My wife Jenny and I foster pets ourselves, and it's sad to see all of these cats and even kittens needing homes," Mr Nightingale said.
The fate of the four cats found dumped by the river is unknown, but if the issue of cat dumping is not resolved they may make the trip to Brisbane for re-homing themselves.
"After the recent help from the state branch, we do have room," Ms Warry said.
"But probably not for long with the current issue rising as it is."