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Spaying/Neutering Pets

I noticed in the commentary after one of the recipes a brief side discussion went on regarding spaying/neutering pets, and that it’s “wrong.”

I’m wondering as to your thoughts on this? I’ve worked in an animal hospital, and continue to work in animal rescue, fostering dogs and pulling them from county kill shelters through rescue groups. Personally I firmly believe spaying and neutering your pet is incredibly important and the most responsible choice you can make in long term animal welfare (and perfectly humane when done by an experienced veterinarian). This controls breeding, an absolutely VITAL necessity with the amount of unwanted animals dying in shelters every single day. Cats can sneak out, dogs can jump or dig under fences, especially when unfixed, as the instinct to roam to breed is so strong.

Consider this statistic: every day in America, about 10,000 humans are born. And every day, about 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. That leaves over FIVE MILLION animals to die in shelters every year. An absolutely staggering number of loving, helpless animals dying because they have no homes, because humans have not controlled their breeding. I’m shocked that any of us who choose our diets to save the lives of animals can live with those numbers.

The problem is worse in more rural communities. I work with a Siberian husky rescue group…the last husky I fostered was pulled from a rural Georgia shelter literally seconds before euthanization. That particular shelter has 97% kill rate. That means 97% of all the animals in that shelter, whether taken in as strays, owner turn ins, whatever, will be KILLED within a week of their intake. There simply isn’t the space to keep them, and the people to adopt them. This is why spaying and neutering is so vital.

Please watch this video slideshow about the problem of pet overpopulation in the US and how we can help so these precious creatures don’t have to die. I warn you there are photos from inside shelters. It’s not easy to watch. http://www.brightlion.com/InHope/InHope_en.aspx

What are your thoughts?

Here are all of the wonderful dogs I’ve fostered so far, all saved narrowly from death at shelters due to lack of space and overbreeding. Blue, my first husky since I was little. An absolute powerhouse athlete, full of so much joy and love he can’t help but bounding completely over my head at the site of me! I took him in from owners that couldn’t take care of him anymore, before they took him to the pound.

Hope. The absolute sweetest, shyest, most loving little girl in the world. Still in love with her! A tiny Alaskan husky, rare to see this far south outside of professional mushing territory. She weighed only 30 lbs when we pulled her, and her thighs and groin were full of buckshot. :( Her owner hadn’t spayed her, and when she got pregnant, he shot her in the groin to get rid of the puppies. I cried like a baby and held her for hours when I found out what she’d been through.

Greydin, an absolutely stunning wolf lookalike. Strong and regal and wonderfully loyal.

And my little pug, Frankie. He just got adopted on Saturday and I cried like a baby! He was my best friend in the world and I miss him so much.

Comments

  • I agree with Bob Barker on this one.

  • What’s Bob got to say?

    (besides come on down) :p

  • My cats are both fixed. I am a nurse and I am amazed that animals don’t get pain medicine, esp female cats. I see humans getting abdominal surgery and compared to animals they kinda look like wimps! That’s really awesome that you help so many of these guys!!!! I just had a big scare with my cat and called to get an appointment and the nurse there actually called 20 minutes later to give me advice on the issue. So compassionate! Made me question my field! (people are cool too though! Animals are just so pure.

  • Branwyn32 – I am sitting at work and I am all teary eyed! If I was at home I would be balling. I can’t even comprehend what kind of a monster could shot a living creature in the groin to get rid of her puppies. It was his fault she got pregnant in the first place. If I knew who he was I would love to show him the same treatment. How sad and what a lovely person you are to be involved with animal rescue.

    I live in Korea and have 3 rescue dogs. I have a 6 month old Malamute, 3 month old yellow lab and a 10 year old yorkie. It’s really hard because I get harassed by Koreans because they don’t think large dogs should be pets (here they are raised for meat and beat before they are slaughtered because it is believed that dog meat makes men more viral). My Mal, Soju, is the most intelligent, sweet dog ever. And to think that he was a “dead dog walking” hours before he was rescued. Homer the Lab is too cute for words, in fact I am always breaking the rules and let him come and sleep with me in my bed. Old Dog, yorkie, is a pet whore. He loves anything that involves him getting petted by a willing party. I actually have to move because my apartment building says big dogs aren’t allowed which isn’t true but it easier to leave than to argue.

    I agree that domesticated animals should be fixed. It keeps them healthier, less likely to wonder off and helps fight unwanted animals that live on the streets or ones that will lead very short lives in shelters.

    Bob Barker is a big supporter of having you pets spayed or neutered. In fact every episode ends in an advertisement to do so.

    Did you see that Oprah show on puppy mills?

    Good luck from one dog lady to another!

  • I did not have my dog fixed. He is an indoor dog and when out side he is on leash or in our yard with me there at all times. He is 3 years old and never has had the male leg problem or trying to get at a female dog. The vet said if they never got any, they may never want any. I don’t trust that theory tho. So am very careful.

    I do believe if you cant be with your dog 24/7 than have them fixed.(spayed or neutered)

  • we have an unnaturally high level of cats and dogs as we want them for pets, so its our responsibility to get them fixed. i dont generally believe in messing with nature but we are the ones that messed with nature in the first place by breeding in puppy mills etc. I always get my cats and dogs fixed, i would never buy an animal, and only ever get animals from sanctuaries. my kitteh was orphaned and found with her dead mother and her siblings in a barn, shes been with me since she was palm sized, but this is what happens when they arent fixed, feral cats adding to the problem, and they suffer younger deaths and more disease, makes me sad :(

    we have an older cat too, who is also fixed. I hate to see them come through the anesetic looking so sick and in pain, but i would rather that than see a whole bunch of extra kittehs searching for homes when there are already so many waiting to die at killing centres.

    i think its our duty to be responsible

  • dodo I completely agree. I took my dog (puppy) because no one wanted a timid dog. Couldnt see him put down just because of his personality. Tho since I am the only one that can handle him, I felt He has no way of getting a romance going. His breed is a one person dog. Sticks like glue.

  • I agree with the “fixing” argument, so many unwanted and mistreated animals, suffering, we can minimise this just by making sure no more unwanted animals are born.

    BTW, I had a hamster who had an op (no I didn’t get her fixed lol!) she escaped and got hurt so I paid 200 english pounds – about 370 dollars – to put her right and they did give her pain relief, so not all animals go without pain relief when they get operated on:-)

  • spay and nueter is one of the most responsible things a pet owner can do…Beany i applaud your vigilence with you dog…do check into the health risks you are exposing him to as an intact male and consider what will happen to him should he “escape”. On my small farm every spring i recieve unwanted boxes of kittens and puppies abandoned at the end of my drive way….Its sickening. these little beings are usually infested with some illness or paratsite. I try to place them if i can then its a trip to the no kill shelter which is usually full so then its on to the shelter where several of my friends work killing 100s of animals daily for months in the summer. dont fool yourselves, jsut because its a baby doesnt mean its more adoptable. sometimes they are euthenized as a litter right away because they are sick and there is no space, no money no interest…..fostering is limited. and in these economic times i shudder to think… please consider the alternative when making a choice to keep animals viabley reproductive.

  • sid23 Animals do, or at least they should, get pain medicine along with their antibiotics after surgery, just like us. We always prescribed a pain med called Tramadol along with an antibiotic, usually Clavamox, after surgery. Depending on the surgery or injury if that’s the case, they might get an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory) called Deramaxx, Metacam, or Previcox. But generally the post desexing meds are Tramadol and Clavamox. If your vet doesn’t prescribe any pain meds after surgery I would go to another vet! Oh and if nothing else, I can definitely tell you you’re making alot more money in human healthcare than animal healthcare. :) But personally I like animals more than people! :p

    misslizzy Sorry to make you cry! I totally understand though. With humans I’m a pacifist and bleeding heart liberal, but when someone hurts an animal…it enrages me like nothing else and makes me want to put them through everything they’ve done to the poor creature. And kudos to you for taking in the rescues, especially in light of living in the culture you are living in. BTW, malamutes are my absolute FAVOURITE! I would love to just have a whole pack of huge mals and huskies and learn to mush with them!

    beany Your vigilance with your dog is very commendable! I don’t trust what your vet said though, dogs’ desire to breed is a very strong instinct, not a case of they can’t miss it if they don’t have it. Do be aware though neutering does drastically cut the rates of testicular cancer and other health problems, if nothing else. (and as omshanti said, what if he did escape somehow one day?) What breed do you have? I could never have a male husky or malamute that wasn’t fixed…their instinct to run and roam (and thus escape!) is so unbelievably strong solely due to what they were bred for (running hundreds of miles a day in the harshest arctic conditions, tirelessly and joyfully..they are amazing animals!), that compounding that with the instinct to roam to mate is a disaster waiting to happen! Mals and huskies are a very special, challenging breed…and I love them!

    omshanti you are 100% right! It’s heartbreaking what happens to animals because of pet overpopulation and uncontrolled breeding. Puppies and kittens die just as often as adults, because there’s just not enough people to adopt them all. Especially now as the economy is getting worse…people cannot afford pets and are giving them up every day. Rescue groups just don’t have the resources to take them all in. There aren’t enough foster homes, and there’s never enough money, even though rescues may charge anywhere from $100-$300 adoption fees for dogs…we still lose money on every adoption because of the money that goes into pulling them from the shelters, vet care, flea/heartworm prevention, spay/neuter, gas to and from, food, meds, toys, etc etc etc. My little pug I was fostering had a $250 adoption fee…he was rescued from a puppy mill last February, and is vet bill still has a balance over $2000 for all the medical care he needed!

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