dogs and cats the nation’s most popular animals? It doesn’t seem so when millionsof
healthy dogs, cats, puppies and kittens have to be killed each
year in private andpublic shelters due to lack of responsible
starve or freeze to death, are killed by humans or animals, or
die from untreatedillnesses and injuries after being abandoned
to fend for themselves.
If given the chance, most of these animals wouldhave made
breeding rate of puppies and kittens greatly exceeds the number of
homesavailable to animals. Negligent
individualswho fail to have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered
to prevent reproduction,commercial and hobby breeders, and puppy
mills, continue to bring more puppies and kittensinto an already
overpopulated world, thereby ensuring that the vast majority of
animalsbrought to shelters will not be placed in adoptive homes.
way by which many people acquire animals also contributes to the
mass killing. Instead of
adopting from a shelter and signing anadoption contract, many
“free to a good home”or “animals for sale” ads.
from a pet shop.
from a breeder.
a puppy or kitten from aneighbor’s or friend’s unwanted litter.
animals from the above sources condemns shelter animals to death. Only 2.2 to 15% of dogs and .2 to 3% of catsbrought
to shelters are placed in
homes. The rest are killed, or
worse, turned over to dealers or laboratories. On average, 25% of animals killed in shelters
arepurebred. In some
regions, 50% arepurebred. The
most popular breeds areoften found in shelters in the greatest
endless killing perverts a major purpose of humane societies, which
is toprevent suffering and to investigate and prosecute cases of
animal cruelty. Vast numbers
of animals briefly cared for and thenkilled in shelters are an
enormous drain on both public funds and on private philanthropy. Governmental agencies and humane societies
areforced to devote their resources to processing and killing
animals, while education,investigation, and prosecution go
solution is to adopt animals only from shelters and have them spayed
orneutered to prevent the cruel overpopulation that condemns
millions of animals a year todeath in the United States.
We may facilitatethis solution with the following actions:
forthright discussion of the problem,in which humane societies
and shelters disclose the number of animals they are forced
tokill (see ISAR’s Special Report entitled “Model
Euthanasia StatisticsStatute,” which contains model
mandatory adoptionsterilization in every state, requiring every
dog, cat, puppy and kitten adopted from ananimal shelter to be
spayed or neutered as part of the adoption contract (see ISAR’s
SpecialReport entitled “mandatory Adoption Sterilization
Statute,” which includesmodel legislation).
of mandatory spay/neuterlegislation to dramatically reduce the
number of unwanted animals (see ISAR’s SpecialReport
entitled “Model Mandatory Spay/Neuter Statute,” which includes
low cost spay and neuterclinics.
Areas with efficiently run clinicshave seen dramatic
reductions in the number of animals killed in shelters. Vancouver, British, Columbia, and Las
Vegas,Nevada, are two examples.
media coverage of the dailykilling at shelters, combined with
public appeals to spay and neuter companion animals,and to adopt
from shelters rather than buy animals from pet stores or
the public on the tragedy ofpurebreds.
The unnatural process ofinbreeding causes painful and
life threatening conditions. Hip
displasia in the larger breeds, spinal disc ailment in
dachshunds, andrespiratory distress in short-nosed breeds are
only a few of the more visible problems. See ISAR’s AKC Special Reportfor
of animal sales by pet storesand commercial and hobby breeders. Animalsshould only be
acquired from shelters. Theyare
not commodities. They
should not be sold.
Please see ISAR’s Special Reporton puppy mills
for information on how these deplorable breeding factories
contribute topet overpopulation.
OF SPAYING AND NEUTERING
and neutering not only saves countless lives by preventing the birth
ofmore animals into an overpopulated world, there are also many direct
advantages to bothguardians and animals when pets are spayed or
Benefits – Spayingeliminates reproductive cycling.
Therefore,a spayed dog or cat will not attract packs of
male animals. The
spayed animal is content to stay at home and is not inclined to
roam and annoythe neighbors. Spayed
animals are less likelyto bark or howl excessively.
Spaying alsoprevents personality changes caused by
Benefits – Spayingeliminates false pregnancies, uterine
infections and the possibility of uterine or ovariancancers. Spaying also greatly
reduces therisk of many diseases, including breast cancer. SeeISAR’s Special
Report on Juvenile spaying and neutering for more
The idea that an animal will become fat and lazy
if she is spayedis untrue. Inactivity
and overfeeding causeweight gain and laziness, not spaying.
Thethought that a dog or cat should be permitted to have one
litter before being spayed isalso mistaken, as is the notion that
children should witness animal births.
For those who want their children to witness“the miracle of birth,”
consider instead offering them a valuable lesson inresponsibility. Responsible people would
notwant children to witness the killing of animals in shelters
because caretakers did nothave their animals spayed or neutered.
Benefits – The neuteredmale cat does not spray or fill the house
with an obnoxious odor, as does the unneuteredmale.
Unaltered males are more likely toexert dominance over
family members and are more apt to bite than altered pets. Neutering curbs aggression, fighting,
andexcessive barking and howling.
Neuteringreduces the tendency to roam and prevents
the male from trying to get out to pursuefemales in heat,
thereby decreasing his likelihood of becoming lost or being
injured byother animals, unkind humans, or being struck by
Benefits – Neuteringeliminates or greatly reduces risk for the
testicular tumors; perianal tumors and hernias;prostate
enlargement, infections, and cancerous tumors; and, neutering
reduces the chanceurinary problems which tend to occur in
later life among many unaltered male animals.
to health and behavioral benefits, spayed and neutered animals live an
averageas twice as long as their unaltered counterparts.
are also human safety benefitsderived from spaying and neutering
dogs. Themedia reports
horrifying accounts of people being knocked down, bitten and
sometimeskilled by dogs or dog packs.
Few peoplerealize that the cause is often that the child or
adult has been near an unsprayed femaledog and the scent of that dog
is on the person, thus attracting the unneutered dog ordogs.
According to the Associated Press, Dr.Richard Fondrk of
Hope Veterinary Hospital, said the female’s smell would prompt
maledogs to compete for her attention even if she was absent and
“cause some aggressivebehavior in the pack.”
the interest of safeguarding human life, responsible people have
their animalsspayed or neutered.
NEGLECT, ABUSE AND INDIFFERENCE
can teach respect for sentient life to children by being responsible
in our careof animals. In
turn, children will realizethat all life deserves respect and care.
HOW TO HELP
your animals spayed or neutered.
friends, relatives, neighbors, andco-workers to do the same. The
overwhelmingimportance of spaying and neutering warrants you to
encourage acquaintances, perfectstrangers, and even mortal
enemies to spay or neuter their companion animals.
adopt your companion animalsfrom shelters.
Encourage others to do thesame.
shop at pet stores that sellpuppies or kittens and be sure to
let them know why they won’t be getting yourbusiness.
Suggest instead that they offeradoption days in
conjunction with local shelters.
Likewise,be sure to write a letter of appreciation to
pet stores that do not sell animals.
For stores that wish to take a stronger standagainst pet
overpopulation, you may wish to suggest they offer a discount
one day a weekto guardians who provide proof that their pets
are spayed or neutered.
your local shelters do not operate alow cost spay/neuter clinic,
ask them to contact ISAR for information on how to establishone.
introduction of a mandatoryspay/neuter statute, euthanasia
statistics statute, and adoption sterilization statute(available
from ISAR) in your area.
or coordinate a candlelightvigil for National Homeless Animals’
Day, sponsored by ISAR.
Contact ISAR for information on this annual eventheld on the
third Saturday in August in remembrance of homeless animals.
us spread the word!
There are many ways you can help us to educateothers about the
tragedy of pet overpopulation and its solutions. Please inquire for information on how to be
avolunteer for ISAR.
local schools and othergatherings of young people and speak
about pet overpopulation and the importance ofresponsible pet
care. ISAR is
developing aneducational program designed specifically for
children. We will
provide literature for distribution to various age levels.
displays in public libraries,malls, schools, etc. which focus on
pet overpopulation and set up information tables atcommunity
are availablefrom ISAR.
your local radio and televisionstations to air ISAR’s Public
Service Announcements on pet overpopulation. We currently have radio PSAs recorded by
BobBarker and Brandon McKennah.
Soon, we willalso have a radio PSA by Steve Allen. TV PSAsare
available by Bob Barker.
a letter to the editor of yourlocal newspaper on pet
are available from ISAR.
stickers and t-shirts are aneffective way to state your message. Contactus for a
current listing of merchandise with our important spay/neuter
copies of this SpecialReport, available without
charge from ISAR.