Waroona’s elderly and low-income earners are now able to receive free lifetime pet registrations, thanks to a new pilot program pioneered by the RSPCA. The program offers reduced sterilisation costs, free micro chipping as well as free lifetime pet registration for pet owners who participate in the program and hold a current WA Seniors Card, Pensioner Concession Card or Health Care Card. Shire of Waroona president Mike Walmsley said the program was met with “minimal” debate at the June 28 council meeting and owning a pet is a “healthy thing to do”. “I think it’s pretty exciting, I’d encourage anyone who can to participate in it — it’s a great idea for people who are struggling at the moment too,” he said. “At least we will have some sterilised animals running around that aren’t putting more feral cats into the environment . . . One cat that’s not under control can cause a huge amount of damage.” In a letter to the Shire calling for their partnership in rolling out the program RSPCA WA Chief Executive Officer Ben Cave said the “innovative” pilot program will enable those experiencing financial hardship to better care for their pets as well as reduce ranger workloads. “Increasing the number of pets which are sterilised and microchipped in the Shire of Waroona will both benefit local residents, and reduce workload on your rangers and other related services,” he said. The program will run for 12 months and started on July 1. It is estimated to reduce the Shire’s registration income by $1000 during the pilot period.