Lord Mayor Graham Quirk is calling on residents to open their heart and homes this Christmas and consider adopting a pet as part of the Project Empty Shelter adoption drive.

Cr Quirk said Brisbane City Council was partnering with Animal Welfare League Queensland (AWLQ) to host the Project Empty Shelter drive this weekend with the mission of clearing the animal shelters before Christmas.

“An animal being given a loving home is a wonderful gift that continues to give long after Christmas is over,” Cr Quirk said.

“We hope residents looking for a family pet will consider adopting one of the animals currently in our two Brisbane Animal Rehoming Centres.

“We all want to make sure our pets are healthy and safe and encourage residents adopting animals to remember what it takes to be a responsible pet owner including registration and microchipping, in order to ensure Brisbane remains a great place to live, work and relax.”

Brisbane is currently home to more than 100,000 registered dogs and about 145,000 family cats.

Cr Quirk said 2018 marked the fourth Christmas adoption drive the council would participate in with pets from both the Bracken Ridge and Willawong rehoming centres looking for loving new homes.

“Last year, 23 cats, 11 kittens, 33 dogs and 3 puppies found new homes during the two-day campaign,” Cr Quirk said.

“Every animal that is rehomed during the campaign provides space for another animal in need of a new home as we see an increase in animals coming to rehoming centres during December due to the breeding season,” he said.

“AWLQ works tirelessly to ensure all animals are given the care and home they deserve and the community plays an equally important role in helping us to achieve this.”

Cr Quirk said Council amended the Animals Local Law in 2018 to remove red tape and make it easier for people to be responsible pet owners.

“Animal ownership has evolved over time and the new local law better meets community expectations, including simplifying animal permit requirements,” he said.

All cats and dog are desexed, microchipped and vaccinated before being rehomed.

Shelters are open 10am to 3pm Saturday and Sunday.

For more information about the adoption drive visit www.projectemptyshelter.com.au.