Fixing What’s Not Broken

I’m familiar with the need to spay and neuter an animal from several perspectives. As a child on our farm, we had kittens tossed onto our property on a regular basis. If we found them, we either adopted them or found them a good home. I seriously doubt if we found all of them, which is sad.

Now that I live in a city, I can see another aspect of the problem. A former neighbor got a cat and turned it loose on the neighborhood. The situation became a problem about five cat generations later; they ended up in our yard.

Ours was the only yard without a dog, so it was a logical place for the mama cat to have her kittens. She had a litter of five, and we began to try to take care of them. The first kitten out of the nest was named Marco Polo. After she got big enough to tell gender, she was called Marco (the girl) Polo.

We didn’t object to buying cat food for these poor creatures, but something needed to be done. We decided to spay the two females, as that would more or less stop the problem of repeat litters. I’ll be writing about the program that helped us with this issue in my next article on this topic. It is an amazing organization.

The national statistics on cat/dog euthanasia are shocking. A survey was sent out to various shelters. Of them, only 1000 sent in figures, so you know that the numbers are much higher. This survey was done many years ago, which may also mean higher numbers.

64% of the animals that went to those shelters were put down. More cats than dogs were euthanized, because cats are less likely to have tags. There are also more feral cats than dogs.

There are legal issues as well. At least 30 states require animals adopted from animal shelters be fixed. In fact, if the pets are old enough, it may be done before you can bring the animal home. While mandatory spay/neuter laws are not in place, many states have tried to pass them.

None of us want to see these animals die simply because there are too many of them. It’s time for each pet owner to step up to the plate and have their animal fixed. If you live near a colony of feral animals, see if there is a program to have them fixed. That will stop the needless slaughter.

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