Spay Day 2012-The Big Fix

What is it going to take for everyone to understand how VITAL it is to spay or neuter their pets-and not only just their pets, but to make CERTAIN that stray, abandoned and feral cats have the same consideration?

In Connecticut, alone, a tiny state, there is estimated to be between 500,000 and 1,000,000 free roaming cats-and the number is growing!

If we don't, as a community, come together and work hard to resolve this problem, we will NEVER see an END to the merciless, brutal, killing of cats in shelters across the country. 11,000 cats and dogs are killed EVERY DAY. EVERY DAY!!!!!

Every day that you get up, go to work, spend time with your family, laugh at a joke, have a cup of coffee…11,000 animals are being killed for no other reason than there just isn't room for them in the shelters due to ever exploding pet population.

I wish it was enough that each of us be responsible for our own cats, but it's not. Even running a cat rescue, I'm not doing enough. I know right now there are 10 kittens in a shelter in the south that will probably die because I have no space to take them. Every day I get 20 or 30 emails begging for help for adult, hard-to-place cats. This is INSANE and it needs to STOP NOW. WE ALL HAVE TO GET INVOLVED TO CREATE A WORLD WHERE PET OVERPOPULATION IS A THING OF THE PAST OR WE WILL NEVER SEE AN END TO URGENT PLEAS FOR HELP TO SAVE ANOTHER CAT'S LIFE OR CRY WHEN WE FIND OUT ANOTHER ONE DID'T “GET OUT ALIVE.”

There is no excuse to put off sterilizing your cat. If it's over 8 weeks of age or 2 pounds in weight, it can be spayed or neutered. Early age S/N has been done for over 10 years. There's no indication that it causes any health issues and does not stunt growth. I do it to my kittens. I've overseen the procedure being done. The kittens recover MUCH faster than adults and have less pain. There is NO REASON TO ALLOW ANY ANIMAL THAT IS ADOPTED TO LEAVE A SHELTER AND NOT ALREADY BE S/N.

It's NOT expensive. There are low cost S/N clinics all over the country. Want to find one? PetSmart Charities’ programs include a $1 million national grant to fund high-quality, affordable spay/neuter operations and feral cat Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs If you visit their site, you'll see a form to input your zip code. Enter the information and you'll get a list of places where you can get your cat S/N for under $80.00. If you can't afford that fee, call around to your local rescues and ASK for help. They may have resources or offer you a voucher to have it done for FREE. It's easy to find your local rescues and shelters by visiting Petfinder. Do a search for shelters “by state” and you'll get a huge list.

Nappy Time sm.jpg
©2010 Robin A.F. Olson. I love kittens, but without being S/N, we know these four will quickly become 20 or more.

If you feel overwhelmed because you put off getting your cats S/N and they are already having litters, then ASK FOR HELP NOW. The sooner you deal with the problem, the better! You MUST deal with keeping your own cats S/N as a top priority so YOU never have to suffer being inundated by cats you can't afford to provide care for, who can easily overtake your home. You don't want that. We don't want that for you. Reach out. There is help available.

Feeding a friendly stray or feral cat? Then you MUST also do the right thing and get that cat S/N. If you need to trap the cat, your local Animal Control can probably loan you a trap and show you how to set it up. If you're too scared to do that or don't have time, contact your local rescue group. They will know someone who does TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return) who can help you, but DO NOT ASSUME they will make your problem go away. They may request that you become the caretaker for that cat, provide it shelter and food for the rest of its' life if it is feral. It's a small price to pay to know you are ensuring there is one less cat who can breed and make your simple problem of one cat, quickly become too many to handle.

Capn Jack Crying copy.jpg
©2012 Bobby Stanford. King was born outside with deformed hind legs and survived for a year in dangerous conditions before we rescued him. What kind of life is that for a cat?

Where is the Legislation for MANDATORY S/N?

I honestly have no idea why, since there aren't enough people doing the right thing for their pets, that there aren't strict laws regarding S/N of pets? It's far beyond the point of it needing to be addressed. How many animals have to die before we DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?

In 2010 I spoke with Dr. Katrin Warren a Vet from Australia who was hosting a show on Animal Planet about cat care. I was stunned when Dr. Warren nonchalantly told me that there was 98% compliance with the Spay/Neuter laws in the country! Why can't WE DO THAT HERE?

I'm going to say something very unpopular-I also think that we have to put a moratorium on breeding cats and dogs until the overpopulation problem is contained. While I find “pure” bred animals to be just as worthy of being adored and getting great homes as any cat, it's just adding to the problem of cat overpopulation to allow cats to breed more cats! Their “pet quality” offspring, deemed unworthy for the show ring are adopted out, compete with shelter cats, who often don't stand a chance, OR they are dumped at shelters or euthanized. Does this make sense to you? I'm not saying no purebeed cats ever, but-I'm saying NO BREEDING CATS FOR ANY REASON UNTIL THE CAT OVERPOPULATION PROBLEM IS WORKED OUT AND THEN ONLY BY BEING MINDFUL ABOUT THE EFFECT BREEDING WILL HAVE WHEN STARTING UP AGAIN. WE NEED TO THINK ABOUT CATS AS A TREASURE-EACH AND EVERY ONE-NOT PUT CERTAIN CATS ABOVE OTHERS IN THE HEIRARCHY AND SAY THEY DON'T HAVE TO BE S/N BECAUSE THEY ARE SOMEHOW BETTER and more worthy of being bred.

The Cat Fanciers Association lists 600 member locations worldwide and 400 cat shows-and that's just CFA members and shows. There are many others not part of CFA. There are 40 pedigreed breeds of cats. It doesn't take long to realize that there are significant numbers of cats being breed, on purpose and to make a buck, that contribute to the problems with cat overpopulation. Their position on cat overpopulation, frankly, is pretty lame. They basically state, they don't want needless euthanasia and urge their breeders to be responsible, but to say: “The responsible breeding of pedigreed cats is of value to society in order preserve the domestic cat breeds and to provide animals with desirable and predictable physical and personality characteristics. Further, our position is that we are opposed to any law or regulation which would prevent the exercise of these activities.

They're contradicting their own position! They oppose legislation that would impose S/N laws on their breeders even though it would end the “needless euthanasia” they make in their first point. We have to look at the global picture. It's a picture of death to cats-millions of them. I have no problem with having pedigreed cats IF we didn't have rampant overpopulation. It would be fun to go to a cat show under those circumstances. I find when I go to one now, I think about all the cats who are going to die because we agree it's OK for these special cats to keep breeding and adding to the problem. The problem is too big to say breeding of ANY kind is OK; maybe someday, but not now. What is the significance of a “purebred” cat versus a “mixed breed” cat? Thinking you can predict a personality trait through breeding is ridiculous. Take that away and the only reason for breeding is all based on what the cat looks like. That's it. So just because a cat looks a certain way it shouldn't be considered in any S/N legislation? Or worse..we shouldn't have S/N legislation at all?!

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©2009 Robin A.F. Olson. Just a few days old. So perfect. So innocent, yet if it wasn't for me, this kitten and her siblings would have died. She was lucky, but thousands of other kittens never had a chance. There's just no space to take them all so many must die.

We have caused this problem, now we have to clean it up-even if we already did the right thing for our own cats and dogs. The problem is too big to solve if we don't each do MORE. Make certain our neighbors S/N their pets. Make sure our friends and family do the same. If we ALL take responsibility for EVERY CAT-not just our own, it will be a thing of the past to see animals suffering death in a gas chamber, by heart-stick, by injection.

We don't want this to happen-all this death. Our eyes are red from tears, mourning for the millions already lost to us. Let us stop this now-work together, and by “FIXing” all cats, we FIX the problem for good.

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Comments

I like your stance on this,

I like your stance on this, Robin. Mine are all spayed or neutered before there is a chance for a first litter.  And we've been able to help the neighbors find reasonable cost spay and neuter services so all of the 10 cats on are block are 'fixed'.  I've seen services as low as $20 for a spay here from some non-profits.  Not much excuse for accidental litters, dog or cat.  And yet they happen.


Another initiative I'd like to see is for landlords to be forced to make reasonable pet accommmodations.  I've seen so many cases where people give up pets because they are forced to by a rental situations. 

Here Here!! Unfortunately

Here Here!!


Unfortunately not breeding pure bred cats unti the over population is under control would result in the death of these breeds.  Although if it were able to be done, you can darn tootin be sure that the CFA and the AKC would throw all kinds of money at the problem to make sure it was taken care of in time to keep their breeds.  (not that I think in a million years that a law like that would ever pass)

Legislation

Hi Robin! I'm quite amazed that there's no legislation in the US for that! Here in Belgium, since 1st January 2011, cat owners have to spay their cats, and if they don't they have a fee. 

I don't know about the breeders, but I think it doesn't apply to them...

Mandatory S/N

Mandatory S/N has proven time and time again to result in MORE shelter deaths, not less.  The real key is low cost/free S/N with publicity and availablity to the folks who need it.  And that may mean transportation to and from a clinic for some, or a van going into neighborhoods for others or a visit to the local elementary school, etc. 

The other thing we need is education.  Too many otherwise caring pet owners don't understand the benefits of S/N.

 

 

 

You bring up very good

You bring up very good points.  I couldn't have said it better myself.  I know I had 3 cats spayed for a total of $105.  All it takes is a little time and research, and you can find an affordable spay/neuter organization.  I have 6 cats.  I wanted 6 cats and I made sure I would only have 6 cats.  No more excuses.  Get your animals spayed/neutered.

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