VeggieBoards banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(this was sent to me and I thought I'd share)

Who Does It Hurt?

Here we are, almost knee-deep in another kitten season. More than half the calls we get at Adopt A Pet (a California canine rescue group), are cat related during kitten season. The feline rescue groups are totally overwhelmed. Why don't people realize there is a simple solution to the problem?

Who does it hurt? The public pocketbook. For every 11 cats that go into this country's pounds, only 1 makes it out alive. An estimated $35 is spent to handle each animal in the pound (includes overhead, housing, feeding and lethal injection). By taking advantage of spay/neuter assistance programs, your cat's surgery can cost half that price, and maybe even less.

Considering that over a million cats are killed in this country's shelters each year, that means that over $35 million dollars are spent just to kill cats. Instead of spending so much of our tax dollars on killing our companion animals, that money could be used to help homeless people, abused children, or even just reduce our taxes. Just think -- your neighbors negligence or your own is causing higher taxes. Is that acceptable to you?

Who does it hurt when you don't spay or neuter your cat? ME! It hurts me when after the 40th call of the day, trying to give the best advice I can to people who have unwanted kittens, I answer the phone to someone who angrily accuses me of not caring, wanting to know what I think I'm being paid for (I'm a volunteer), and then proceeds to try to intimidate me with the horrible things she is going to do to her unwanted kittens.

Who does it hurt? Neighbors who find litters of kittens deposited on their front doorstep, or abandoned under their house and are now forced to make a decision that the irresponsible "owner" couldn't make. There are simply not enough homes for all of the cats born in this country. So this kind soul has sleepless nights because he may be forced to take the animals to the pound to be destroyed, while the irresponsible "owner" sleeps peacefully in the erroneous belief that the kittens will have found good homes. Or worse yet, the owner may not even know that his cat has produced kittens. Is this fair?

Who does it hurt? I received a call from an elderly lady who is deathly allergic to cats, and all the cats in the neighborhood have taken up residence in her yard. She is finding it difficult to get in and out of her own home, having to hold her breath to walk as fast as she can to her car, fearing that the cats, trying to rub against her legs, will trip her. This desperate woman has tried calling every cat group and found that they are all full, and the cutbacks in state services have reduced the help that Animal Control can give.

Who does it hurt? The children whose parents thought it educational to show them the miracle of birth and those same children who first suffer grief and then quickly learn lack of compassion when kitten after kitten are killed by cars and they have to see these squashed little cat bodies while walking to school. The children who quickly learn that life is cheap. The children who are in danger of contracting rabies from cats that are seldom given rabies shots and who at any time may come into contact with skunks, bats, or other wild animals who may be infected with this deadly disease.

Who does it hurt the most? The animals are the ones who truly suffer. The 3-day-old kitten who dies slowly of starvation under a bush. The kitten that climbs into a warm car engine for the night and gets chopped up by the fan belt when the car starts in the morning. The cat that never having been treated kindly by humans, needs extra restraints without the benefit of even that last tender moment during euthanasia, because it is just too scared to hold still.

The cats that become coyote food. The cats given away in front of supermarkets to "good homes" that are abandoned shortly after. The cats that should have expected that since they are domestic animals, whose birth can be controlled, they would not be born if they weren't wanted by people who would protect and care for them for the rest of their lives.

Are you one of those people who are hurting all of us by allowing your cat (or dog) to go unspayed or unneutered? If you cat is not "fixed," you are the problem. Don't adopt a cat/kitten unless you are ready to make the appointment for spaying or neutering. If you have a cat, DO IT NOW. All cats should be spayed / neutered by 6 months of age and can be safely done as young as 8 weeks. NO - it is not healthier for an animal to go through it's first heat before altering. NO - it is not better for an animal to have one litter. And NO - we will never run out of cats.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,022 Posts
God bless you. I believe, unless you intend to breed, and are a responsible breeder, that you should have any animal, cat/dog/whatever, fixed. I live in Baltimore City, and I can't count the number of "stray" animals walking the streets at any given time, and how many more get picked up by animal control and sent to a shelter to be euthanized. The cat ratio is so much higher than dogs too. I can sit on my stoop out front and have many cats wander up for a stroke or two.

Unfortunately due to severe family alllergies I can't keep cats, or else I'd be a true "cat lady."

Rant on, Kpickell...I am a supporter of spaying/neutering, it can be done so inexpensively and/or free through humane societies. It's a shame that more don't take the responsibility.

P.S. When I adopted my male dog (he was neutered) but the SPCA policy was - If you adopt an animal that isn't altered you have to return with a cert. that says you had it altered within a specified amount of time. They even provided certificates for low cost altering. When I "rescued" my female from a backyard breeder that was the first thing I did - call the SNAP (spay and neuter all pets) program to get a "discount" coupon to present to my vet to spay her.

(edited to ad post script)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,374 Posts
I've had as many as three at a time, but when I have a decent-sized house someday, that record will be broken (and I'll probably add a couple of dogs), and they will be spayed or neutered.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,745 Posts
I think I'm going to copy that and email it to everyone in my address book.

I think a big part of the problem is the cost of spaying/neutering. Some areas have fantastic programs. When I lived in Hemet, Ca every so often there would be coupons in the paper to get your pet neutered for free or spayed super cheap. Yet here in Hinesville, Ga they talk like $100 spay is cheap.

Sometimes people take in strays and provide for them as best they can because they don't want to take them to a shelter to be killed. They give them lots of love and plenty of food even though they never planned to have them. Yet they just can't afford to get them spayed or neutered. It's so sad. There really should be more done about the cost.

I made the mistake of not having Nermal spayed right away. She use to live with many other cats that bred like crazy, but she never got pregnant. It was assumed she was sterile. After a litter of four male kittens, we discovered that assumption was wrong! She is now spayed and all the boys got neutered. I kept all four kittens because I didn't want to risk them being abandoned by military families that eventually move. That is a huge problem out here. 8 of my cats are fixed. I'm just waiting for the 9th to be old enough. Then she'll get spayed too.

Tim was furious that I had Gavin neutered. He wanted to breed him once so that we could have one of his puppies. But what about the other puppies in the litter? What would happen to them? He's still bitter about that.

My sister always wanted un-neutered male dogs because she thought it made them tougher. Well, not a single one worked out. They always ended up as guard dogs for her husbands auto shop. Then they'd find a way out and a couple were killed by cars. When she finally adopted a pair of puppies from the shelter, she had to sign an agreement to have them fixed by a certain date. They were just under 5 months old. It was too soon. The little girl died. I was furious that they did it that young. Every vet I've gone to has always refused to do it under 6 months. But she had to meet that deadline. My niece and nephew were devastated and the other puppy seemed heartbroken. Now my sister is back to not getting pets fixed.

Wow, I just rambled way too much. I got carried away. Sorry.

Remember folks:

To neuter is cuter!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by Erin_Sword2Sky

When she finally adopted a pair of puppies from the shelter, she had to sign an agreement to have them fixed by a certain date. They were just under 5 months old. It was too soon. The little girl died. I was furious that they did it that young. Every vet I've gone to has always refused to do it under 6 months.
What do you mean, too soon? I would suggest spaying at 8 to 12 weeks of age. Sorry to hear that her puppy died. Nowadays most vets and all Humane Societies advocate early spay and nueter as being easier on the animal. Of course you'd want a vet who was trained in early spaying and neutering though.

National Humane Education Society: "The low body fat makes these surgeries easier to accomplish and puppies and kittens tolerate the procedures very well and recover more quickly than do older animals. Some veterinarians use the two-pound guideline. As long as a puppy or kitten is healthy and weighs at least two pounds, they may be spayed or neutered safely."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm glad you had Gavin altered. I understand Tim's feelings, of wanting a puppy like the dog you currently have. But you did the right thing. The puppies of course wouldn't be carbon copies of their parent, and even if you had found homes for all the pups, that just means less homes are available for all the good adoptable puppies that are stuck in shelters waiting for a home to come before their number's up.

My parent's bred our cocker spaniel (this was 13 years ago) so that we could keep one of the pups. We did keep one, and found homes with family and friends for the pups. But it was a mistake. We bought the mother from a home breeder, which is also something we never should have done! I still really love both of those dogs, and wouldn't wish it any other way, but when I think about the homeless dogs that were displaced because of our choices made in ignorance it makes me sad. We knew nothing about dogs in animal shelters at the time and our only thought was "that's a cute dog." I guess that's why I'm so adamant about teaching people about spaying and neutering and adopting vs buying and breeding, because I know what it's like to just not know any better. BTW, the mother dog is now 14 years old, blind and deaf but still carrying on, and has outlived all 8 of her pups.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
All of our pets (2 cats, one dog) are spayed/neutered. I'm a big advocate of it - I just don't think that there's any reason NOT to do it.

Also, I had my puppy neutered at 4.5 months. I asked the vet if it was too early, and she said no - that he was plenty big enough (52 pounds at 4.5 months!). So maybe it has something to do with size, not age? And my cats were both spayed at 4 months.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,745 Posts
Hmm, well this was several years ago. Maybe things have changed. But I distinctly remember calling all of the other vets in the area and although many said they would perform the procedure on cats that young, they all said they would not do it on puppies.

I agree that all pets should be spayed or neutered. I always remind people of that when they tell me they adopted a new animal. I'm just extra cautious about how old they are when I do it now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
kpickell is right. I've read the same studies about early spay/neuter. Erin, I think the problem was with the vet, not the procedure. (Or else the pup may have had a heart defect or some other condition that wasn't discovered and which would have yielded the same result even if the pup had been older when she had the surgery.)

The rule in our house is:

If you spend the night, you get neutered!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Erin, you're right, a couple years ago the standard was to wait till they're 6 months old. The procedure is done slightly differently for prepubescent dogs and cats, and up until probably the last couple of years many vets were not trained in early spay/neuter. Today I think it's standard practice at most vet offices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
kpickell, can i cut "who does it hurt?" and turn it into a brochure, or do you know of a place where i can get brochures - and lots of them?

my own vet is opposed to early spay, so we've had to wait until the six months.

i absolutely agree that the cost to spay/neuter is TOO HIGH. i don't know why vet clinic don't provide "free for the month of July" spaying/neutering or something like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,090 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Turning it into a brochure is a good idea. (Slip it to your neighbors, hehe). I just recieved it as an email forward, so I don't know it's source or if it's in print form somewhere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,541 Posts
Erin, I'm so glad you had Gavin neutered. Most people cannot handle a wolf or wolfdog as a pet, and too many end up dumped because of it.

Most rescuers I know desex early and none have had any problems. Mojo was desexed at 10 weeks with no ill effects.

Kpickell, that was fantastic. Thanks for sharing...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
0 Posts
Well I have 3 things to say hehe. I love this post. It's great. Second our humane society spays and neuters the animal before you adopt it but of course the prices for the humane society around here are hideous. And last but not least I have a rant about my next door neighbors. GRRR They have about 11 or so dogs give or take a few. About 8 of them are wolf/part wolf? can't really tell. The also have a rottie and an older very small dog and about a month old puppy all OUTSIDE!!! I don't think any of them are "fixed" they are kept in seperate cages, the girl in one and the guys in another. Then the older dog is in a very small cage outside. The rottie is in a larger maybe handmade cage that it can get out of which it has, and the puppy is in a cage built about a plastic out door table. That cage is soooo small that it's sad. That poor puppy has like no room to move around in. It just lays under the table. People like that make me soooo
I just wanna
them. Kinda knock some sense into them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
Excellent post kpickell!

I have my two siamese neutered for all the reasons stated here. People are not responsible because they're not well educated about this. That's why I decided not to have kids. Because I don't want that responsibility. But people don´t think this way when adopting an animal. They just think an animal is just an animal.

And then, you hear all that stupid mumble "oh, if you love animals so much, you should let them roam freely unneutered"...


dawngirl, if you are just allergic to cat hair and love cats, you should meet a Sphynx. Sphynxes are great for people with allergies to cats, they're great companions, but they are a little different from the rest: they have little or no hair. CFAINC says "In 1966 a domestic cat gave birth to a hairless kitten in Toronto, Canada. It was discovered to be a natural mutation and the Sphynx cat, as we know it today, came into existence."

http://www.cfainc.org/breeds/profiles/sphynx.html

I'd love to have one, but people are not used to see a dog-like cat...
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Top