Spay/Neuter Programs Save Lives
Dogs and cats are born five to ten at a time and are adopted out one at a time.
“Do the math and you’ll see, spay/neuter programs are a matter of common sense and compassion,” says Judy Kishner, Board President of Spay Oklahoma on Spay First’s website.
Cost is an issue
Veterinary care can get expensive, especially when vaccinations need to be current before surgery. Help is available. Cities like St. Louis offer free spay/neuters for city residents. Humane Societies host low cost clinics. Often, vaccinations and microchipping are available at a reduced rate. Call a local shelter or Humane Society to find similar programs.
The ASPCA in New York City offers a special rate for clients who receive assistance like Medicare or Medicaid. In addition, a rabies shot, some vaccinations, nail trim, tattoo (advises she’s been spayed) and an Elizabethan collar (also known as a Cone Head) to keep the pet from licking the incision or removing the stitches are included. A microchip can be implanted at the same time.
Breed Specific Programs
Shelters often see more of one kind of dog than another, a sign of overbreeding. To reduce the problem, clinics target them specifically. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, pit bulls, mastiffs, shepherds and Rottweilers are altered at no cost.
Thanks to Hollywood and cute-animal movies, it’s not just the large breeds who turn up in shelters—Chihuahuas and Dalmations have a presence too.
Public transportation like the subway or bus won’t allow pet passengers. Some cabbies veto the idea too. Maneuvering a crate or an anxious dog on a leash can be a challenge for anyone traveling with kids.
In New York City, the ASPCA has mobile veterinary hospitals to bring services to those who need them most. They visit New York neighborhoods on a rotating basis for both regular veterinary care as well as spay/neuter. There are veterinarians who make house calls too.
Spay First founder Ruth Steinberger, says, “For feral cat colonies or remote areas, we use non-surgical methods to spay/neuter pets. It’s less invasive with faster recovery and a lowers the chance of infection.”
Although the common belief is dogs and cats can’t get pregnant until they’re at least six months old, it can happen as early as four months—it’s dangerous for a puppy to have puppies.
Non-surgical sterilization for dogs involves sedation under a veterinarian’s supervision. Calcium chloride in ethyl alcohol is injected into the testicles which causes them to atrophy instead of being surgically removed.
Feral cats can be cage savvy and hard to trap. Megestrol acetate, added to food provided by caretakers, acts as birth control. At a cost of about $7.00 a year per cat, it’s a cost effective way to control the number of cats in the colony.
Spay/Neuter Saves Lives
The plain fact is, more puppies and kittens are born each year than find homes. Spay/neuter results in a calmer pet, less frustration for all concerned, and fewer pets in overcrowded shelters. Do the responsible thing. Spay and neuter.