Why Spaying and Neutering Are More Important Than Ever

It doesn’t take an advanced degree in economics to understand the direct impact our current economy has on dogs. “Economic euthanasia,” is a phrase that is being applied to many of the “solutions” that are forced on some dogs. The number of dogs and other animals placed in the shelter system because of the economic downturn, has become so overwhelming that many shelters are euthanizing animals within 72 hours of arrival. Because of the economy, owners are being forced to make hard choices when it comes to their pet’s health care, as reported in this recent article on msnbc.com. Yet, with all the problems facing dogs, there are still people breeding them for reasons that to me, are incomprehensible.

There is a ton of good, sound, scientific information available about the benefits of spaying and neutering. Articles like this one from the Humane Society of the United States, dispel the myths that many people have about spaying and neutering. However, as the following story illustrates, the myths and misconceptions are hard to shake.

I recently had a “friendly” discussion with a woman who said she allowed her dogs to have puppies, to teach her children about birth and responsibility. I asked her if she had a plan for the puppies after they get older. She told me that she would probably keep one, and give the rest away. I wanted to know how she would find homes for the unwanted puppies. Somewhat annoyed, she replied that they weren’t unwanted because she never had problems giving puppies away before. Then I asked, “So the main reason for the puppies is to use them as a teaching tool for your children?” She asked me what was wrong with that, so I asked her a question in reply. “If you allow your dog to have puppies, to teach your children about birth and responsibility, do you take your children to the animal shelter and watch dogs being euthanized, to teach them about death and irresponsibility?” Needless to say, the woman was shocked and angry that I suggest such a thing. I explained to her that I used such a stark analogy not to be mean, but to show her that other “living things,” are affected by her decision to have those “teaching tools.”

To be honest, I don’t know if I made a dent. But I do know that adding to the current pet population, for reasons like the ones given by this lady, are irresponsible and misinformed to say the least. If you know of someone that needs to hear this message. Send them a link to this article or any one of the following links.