Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Public Service Message

On an average of once every eight seconds, a dog or cat is put down in a shelter each year. Four million of them, slaughtered because there are no homes for them, every year.

So I want to ask you, is every one of your animals spayed or neutered? If not, when that female is in heat down the road, he will go there, and he will add to the unwanted animals problem. When she is in heat she will find a way to act on it (she's made that way). Even if homes are found for the puppies or kittens produced, it will be a home that another homeless dog or cat could have occupied.

Yes, it's time for another public service message. This is one I'm passionate about, having been a vet tech for 12 years. I have a friend who took in a pregnant stray cat (which is wonderful). They failed to have either mom or the kittens neutered. The mother cat just had another litter, almost certainly inbred, and I'm certain it's not because they can't afford to have it done. I have another friend who thinks it's unfair to let his dog live its life without sex, so they want to breed him for no other reason than that. I love my friends, but this frustrates me.

I know my friends love their animals and a lot of the problem is emotional. He's been a great dog and I want to make more of him so I have something left of him, because dogs and cats live such short lives. Well, that might be a good argument if we were talking about cloning, or if the mating you're planning didn't produce three, five, eight, thirteen puppies that need homes and not just the one you want.

If you're still undecided, if you still insist that your dog or cat should have babies, or keep those reproductive organs because YOU have issues with your own private parts or sex life (this burns me up!) I want to ask something of you. Volunteer at your local shelter for a week or a month. That way you're giving something to the homeless pet community that you're adding to, and you'll see the problem up close and personal. You owe that wonderful creature you live with at least that much. And you just might change your mind.

Tuesday, February 24 is Spay Day. Go to the Humane Society's Website for more good reasons you should spay and neuter your dog or cat (it might prevent cancer, especially in some breeds), and to find out about low cost options for having the procedure done.

And if you're thinking about getting an animal, please consider a shelter pet, or if you're looking for a purebred, do an internet search for breed rescue organizations.


Jennifer said...

Hear, hear!
Well said.
The only way I could volunteer at an animal shelter is if we lived on a farm. I'd need the room for all the creatures I would bring home with me :-)

Where did you go to school for vet technician?

Youvegotmaille said...

I didn't. I'm one of those "home grown" techs (though if I wasn't a single parent at the time I'd have gone to Ohio State for sure). In the end I decided the profession didn't pay enough to make paying for college worth it... it'd have made about a $1.50 difference per hour, and probably not that big a difference in the things I was able to do. I really miss working with animals.

I'd have to say the same about volunteering... as it is fostering cats has ended me up with 5 of them... but I DID find homes for more than that. :)

Athena's Armoury said...

I couldn't agree more. My heart breaks to think about it. I signed up and even went to the initial volunteer training at my local Human Society before realizing that I couldn't do it. My cat has FIV (long, heartbreaking story) and if I volunteered, I ran the risk of getting him sick. I was so upset that I couldn't help, so I am also a huge advocate for the fur people when ever I get a chance.

Anonymous said...

We always have more than one dog. But we always get the males castrated, because it is not as intrusive as getting the female spayed. Our garden is secure, so even a female on heat cannot escape! And even castrated the males still have a try.

But seriously speaking I endorse your concern. If one can't keep the offspring then don't have any!

tstreasures said...

Amen! Great information and right now it is even worse for shelters with people losing their homes and the animals ending up on the street.

Youniquely Chic said...


Youvegotmaille said...

I want to interject one more thing... when I worked as a vet tech, we treated a big handsome lab who had gone through a plate glass window to get to a female in heat. Not HIS, the female's owner's. Are you sure she's secure? Only one thing's 100%.

Your choices are yours to make with your animal, and if you choose to leave your dogs unaltered but otherwise provide them with excellent care and take all other precautions to make sure unwanted puppies don't happen, I applaud you. Still... don't think it's impossible. I don't know how many times I've heard "I don't know how it happened, I watch her all the time outside...." Nature sort of tends to find a way :)