Wednesday, February 27, 2013

World Spay Day & Catvocacy

World Spay Day has come and gone. I chose to wait until after the event to write about this annual push for spaying and neutering pets because I have some very specific views on it.

World Spay Day was started by the actress/singer Doris Day and was originally called Spay Day U.S.A. She had someone lobbying in Washington for spay/neuter.  While there are excellent reasons to spay and neuter the zealots have gone too far. I can hear them screaming at me now because I dared to say that.  Let me be more specific. I expect my readers to be reasonable and not scream before trying to understand what I'm saying.

I am, without doubt, an advocate for spaying and neutering pets. I believe that some of the pet overpopulation talk is not valid in many places. For example, where I live the shelters import pets not just from other States but from outside the 48 contiguous States. One shelter had to be closed because the dogs they brought in from another country had brought disease with them, and I don't mean kennel cough.  

We have too many mixed breed dogs and in that I include the "designer" breeds. These are not purebred dogs. They don't have a set breed type, nor will they. Nor are those alleged breeders likely to do genetic health testing before breeding. They are the result of someone wanting a quick buck.  Those dogs and puppies should be spayed and neutered.

There are also health reasons for spaying and neutering. A female has zero chance of getting breast cancer if she's spayed before her first heat. The longer the owner waits, the higher the chances of cancer developing. Neutering male dogs completely eliminates testicular cancer. And males are less likely to roam. Neutered males may, or may not, continue to lift their leg when urinating.

All are excellent reasons to spay and neuter. There is no need for a dog or cat to have a litter first. They do have every chance of complications during birth and some die.  As for those who want to show their children "the miracle of life," there are videos available and they won't add to the pet population.

That said, let's remember that there is nothing wrong and everything right with purebred dogs and cats who are bred by ethical responsible breeders who do the necessary health screenings before breeding, socialize their puppies and kittens, keep the litter together with their mother for at least three months and then carefully place their puppies or kittens in carefully selected homes with responsible owners who are ready, willing and able to keep those pets for his or her entire life. And the responsible, ethical breeder will take back a dog or cat of their breeding, no matter how old. They created that life and are always ultimately responsible for it.  

It's quite likely that I will explore these topics in future blog posts.  There's far too much for just one post. The point is to be fair to everyone and respect all life. 

On another note. I'm pleased to tell you that I have been selected as a Catvocate by World's Best Cat Litter.  This is an honor as only a limited number of cat writers/bloggers were chosen. It represents that we are dedicated to bringing good information to cat owners. 

Let me be clear, I'm not paid by World's Best Cat Litter. That said, it is the litter that my cat, Aimee (GP Sinaye's Plaisir D'Amour of Ajolie) uses. It's the substrait she prefers. It would, therefore, have been accurate if Aimee had been named a Catvocate. She's well-mannered, intelligent and certainly knows all there is to know about cats. She's doing a good job of helping round out my education.

As a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant (both cats and dogs), I am dedicated to making life better for our companions. It's the least we can do for them when they do so much for us!


Rescuegal said...

800Once again, Ms. Arden has written an excellent and informative blog. She advocates spay/neuter for animals, but also recognizes the validity of "GOOD, RESPONSIBLE" breeders. It is a fair and balanced blog.

I also want to congratulate Darlene Arden on being chosen "World's Best Cat Litter" Catvocacy.

Vicki Stringfellow Cook said...

Darlene - thank you for sharing your views on World Spay Day. You're right - there is nothing wrong with responsible breeders who do health screenings before breeding, socialize the puppies/kittens, keep them with their mothers for the necessary amount of time, and find them forever homes with responsible owners. That is the goal for ALL pets (purebred and mixed breed)! That's why I support World Spay Day - because I want to see less dogs and cats end up in shelters.

roz korn said...

well done on the award Darlene,and the blog,all true!!

Darlene Arden said...

Thank you Rescue Gal, Vicki and Roz. I truly appreciate your comments.