Update: The claws are out in a spat between the WA Veterinary Association president and the Cat Haven after an explosive email sent to members criticised the haven’s low-cost desexing program.
“I am sure some vets still feel that our desexing protocols are balanced,” AVA WA president Paul Davey writes.
“Perhaps they feel that they are doing their bit for reducing the burden of stray and unwanted animals on the community.”
“Good on ‘em. I hope they sleep soundly in their modest beds in their modest rented homes in (sic) whilst they dream of owning a car that does not stink of cat pee and dog food,” he says.
He said his surgery, Grantham St Veterinary Clinic, is 3.5km from the Haven’s doors and only spays an average of 30 moggies per year.
“Do you think the Cat Haven’s $85 “snip and chip” deals might be influencing the number of desexing surgeries we perform on our clients’ animals? Yes indeed,” he writes.
“Do you also think that our clients might be able to afford to pay normal fees to have their animals desexed? Definitely”
Dr Davey told The West Australian he believes pet owners should fork out $1000 for the operations.
“This is not just about vets driving better cars,” he said.
“It’s about vets maintaining a reasonable quality of life and having some kind of mechanism for showing they are providing a subsidised service to the public.”
He said the low-cost service at the haven meant vets were not able to charge an amount that accurately reflects the cost of the operation to private surgeries.
“Their (cat haven) services are heavily subsidised by the public and State Government,” he said.
"The cat haven has attacked Mr Davey as “out of touch with the reality of cat welfare”.
However, The Cat Haven has clarified that they only receive money from public donations, not the State Government.
“What makes his comments really disappointing is that he would rather profit from low-income cat owners who want to do the right thing by their cat,” Cat Haven spokesman David Settelmaier said.
“We all operate under a free market system.”
“Mr Davey has fundamentally failed to understand the key tenants of that free market system,” he said.
He said the Haven would continue to offer the low-cost desexing services to prevent unwanted cats and kittens flooding Perth.