Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Throwaway Society

Sadly the world is a throw away society and it is shown in the care of their animals. All to many are dumped in favour of a younger, newer, fitter model.

The great news the other day was that Los Angeles is getting hard on owners. Last year LA animal shelters took in 50,000 cats and dogs and destroyed approximately 15,000 at a cost of $2 million. Now any dog or cat over 4 months old has to be neutered.

The ordinance does exempt some animals, including those that have competed in shows or sporting competitions, guide dogs, animals used by police agencies and those belonging to professional breeders.
The average pet owner, however, must have their dog or cat spayed or neutered by the time it reaches 4 months of age (as late as 6 months with a letter from a vet).

First-time offenders will receive information on subsidised neutering services and be given an additional 60 days. If they still fail to comply they could be fined $100 and ordered to serve eight hours of community service. A subsequent offence could result in a $500 fine or 40 hours of community service.

I wonder if apart from guide dogs that owners of unneutered animals have to pay a whopping great yearly licence fee. I understand this is the case in Germany, but there is no news on that being part of the LA ordinance.

Recent reports state in UK say that over 100,000 strays were collected in 2007. These had to be cared for by local councils or charitable organisations, and a huge number were destroyed.
The best present would be to hear that the LA law was being enacted in UK as well, and a big yearly fee for unneutered animals paid, l can but hope.

In UK vets do not like to neuter under 6 months the excuse is that animals bodies have not had time to form correctly and bitches risk getting bitch spay incontinence.
I find Tony Boardman MRCVS comments on lack of confidence in their own skills by vet’s to be more realistic. Finding immature sexual organs can be difficult but with practice it is not that hard.

USA have been spaying dogs and cats from 2months (females) 10 weeks (males) for years. You can bet that if there was a risk, being USA and with their litigation culture they would not do it.
Males are slightly older when castrated usually over 10 weeks when their testis have descended.
One UK vet l spoke to that is happy to neuter young animals said that a study he read was that there can be at most 1mm difference in mature growth size height.

My Wibble was spayed at about 10weeks old, is now 15 and never had a problem. Santa (now deceased) was about 2years old (a stray) and ended up with bitch spay incontinence from about 10years old.
l had any stray pups done in the K9 rescue kennels from about 2 months old or as soon as Tony arrived on a working trip. When we caught any feral kittens, the same rules applied they were spayed or castrated. All of them the younger they were the faster they recovered.

Quite frankly unsubstantiated (to my mind) comments on problems from neutering early are immaterial to the reality of the present out of control animal situation.
Those who think it is wrong to neuter young should be the ones that pump pentobarb into animals veins that are fit, young and healthy. Not one animal, thousands of them, just because there is no where for them to go.
Some people say animals should not be "just put down". Well keeping an animal for months, even years in a cage, that grew up in a family is a cruel sentence and many animals mad.
Death is a better option than life, Life would have been better not formed in the first place.

Included with spay/castrate to stop the stray problem is to have all dogs and cats microchipped.
Next to an animal having no chip, the worst is an animal having one that has no contact details. Either the owners had the pet id chipped but never sent the paperwork in or they have changed address or phone and not updated the chip company.

Dog wardens usually do id chipping at a greatly reduced rate. And if you are having an operation done on your pet (say neutering) then often id chipping is done at a reduced rate by the vet.
Even if you have a cat that never goes out, it can still escape, and the only real hope of rejoining you is an idchip.
Id chips are put into every animal including parrots, tortoises, fish (Koi), zoo animals etc. Even expensive plants are often idchipped.

Have your pet spayed or castrated, have them microchipped and have them insured. And do not forget.

******* An Animal is For Life, Not Just For The Present*******


No blogging tomorrow. I've spent the week working halfway down the country at an amazing referral practice and drive home after work tomorrow night.

“Normal services should be resumed Saturday night”

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