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Nathan Richardson, 10, helps foster a litter of newborn kittens who need to be fed every few hours. Her family is one of 22 foster families providing temporary homes for animals through the Animal Welfare League (AWL) Illawarra, but the number of animals far exceeds the number of homes for welcome, and the team calls for help. “We are really in desperate need of foster homes right now,” Animal Welfare League Illawarra President Donna Ashelford said. “At the moment, we are absolutely strapped for money. We are overflowing to a greater state than I have had since we launched the program at the end of 2019.” For the first time since its opening, the AWL program is suspending the acceptance of animals from the community, because they do not have the number of foster families to support them. Read more: New South Wales bans killing of shelter animals The New South Wales government passed a bill last week preventing city pounds from killing healthy animals for “convenience” and to increase process transparency. Nearly 2,000 dogs and nearly 7,000 cats were killed at pounds in NSW last year, Sydney MP Alex Greenwich told parliament. Councils are now required by law to notify at least two rehousing organizations that an animal is available for rehousing and to take reasonable steps to advertise it. While the bill is a victory for animal rights, its practicalities may be more complicated, Ms Ashelford said. “It’s great that this is happening, I think it’s a wonderful thing, but the rescues don’t have the funding or the capacity to take on the pound surplus.” Accountability and records of the number of animals killed at pounds is also an important step towards solutions, she said. “Shine the light on it, and we can begin to fix it.” Read more: Watch videos of enemy animals helping each other survive like council books do, so more animals means more volunteers, and Ms Ashelford hopes animal lovers will answer the call. The Illawarra Mercury newsroom is funded by our readers. You can sign up to support our journalism here. Sign up to receive up-to-date emails below…

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