4/16/2009 7:14:00 PM What spring means to your pets
The Verde Valley Humane Society “Pet of the Week” is “Maggie” a young female Calico beauty. Maggie is a sweet petite lady that loves to be loved. She likes to purr and cuddle close to you. The spay/neuter portion of her adoption fee has been discounted by $20 thanks to a generous grant from Pedigree.
Sandra Trautman Verde Valley Humane Society
This week's column was to be about the new Adoption Center here at VVHS, but first things first.
I am going to do everything possible first to head off over population problems this year.
We are already faced with an issue that needs to be addressed right now, not in a couple of weeks.
As we think of spring here in the Verde Valley we know that the trees will be budding, the plants will awaken from their long winter's sleep and that we will no longer have to scrape the ice off our windshields in the morning.
Are you wondering what spring has to do with anything pertaining to the Verde Valley Humane Society? My answer to you is "plenty."
It means we are heading for a population explosion of unwanted cats and dogs. We have a very hard time appreciating the weather when there are so many additional lives to think about.
You're probably thinking, here she goes again on the spay/neuter rampage that she goes on several times a year.
You are exactly right, because we have already gone through an influx of pregnant dogs and too many puppies.
Now the cats have started their contribution to the already over populated world of animals.
For cats the months ahead will be totally out of control with unwanted pregnancies.
Shelters all over the world wouldn't be so overpopulated if people took spaying and neutering seriously.
Maybe this year with all of the spay/neuter assistance being available and all of the low cost clinics coming to town, more people will have their pets altered.
Each year there are millions of kittens and puppies born in the United States. Unfortunately too many born for the number of people willing to adopt them.
Some of these animals will be abandoned or homeless. Many will have to be euthanized because shelters simply do not have room to house all of them.
How can you help? By getting your own animals spayed or neutered. If you have already been a responsible pet owner, please speak to people that haven't taken the step to do their part.
The Verde Valley Humane Society has a program called "Spay/Neuter Assistance" which helps animal owners get their animals altered.
It only takes a few minutes out of a busy schedule to fill in paperwork. After you are approved and a date has been set for the surgery, a check is made out to the vet of your choice.
Another way you can help is by becoming a foster parent for newborn puppies or kittens.
Keep watching the Verde Independent as we will be announcing free classes for people that would like to become foster parents.
We will begin with "Kittens 101" in early May. The classes will be held in the evening right here at the shelter located at 1502 W. Mingus.
VVHS literally runs out of room when it comes to housing all of the pets left to fend on their own.
Not to mention the extra care that these animals need. It is fantastic when a human takes a litter and cares for them until they are old enough to be adopted.
People use many excuses when it comes not spaying or neutering their pets. I think I've heard just about all of them, but before I go into "facts and fiction" I'd like to ask a question that I really need explained.
When I recommend that a male dog get neutered to help alleviate some of his negative behavior, many times I have heard that the owner wants the testicles to be seen. Come on folks, what is that about? He's still obviously a male dog so why the need for the testicles to be there?
Some other excuses that are used to not have an animal spayed or neutered are nothing more than myths. Today I will share some of them with you by giving "facts and fiction."
Fiction: I want a cat/dog just like the one I have.
Fact: Animal's come from generations of other animals. Just because you have a litter doesn't mean that you will get a replica of your pet.
Fiction: It's all right to breed a purebred.
Fact: One out of four pets brought into shelters across the U.S. are also purebreds. We see purebreds right here at VVHS. It doesn't make them better than any of our other animals.
Fiction: Spay/neuter surgeries are just too expensive.
Fact: This cost which is relatively small when compared to all of the benefits to the animals. It's a very small price to pay for the health of your "furry best friend." Many times on S/N assistance applications it states the animal was "purchased" at a pet store, but yet the owner won't assume the responsibility of getting the animal altered. We still give assistance; the animal needs to be altered.
Fiction: It's better for my pet to have one litter first.
Fact: It's a proven fact that females spayed before their first heat cycle are typically healthier animals.
Fiction: I want my dog to be guard my family and home.
Fact: Genetics and environment are what forms personalities, not sex hormones. When your dog protects your family and home, it's due to natural instinct.
Fiction: Spaying or neutering produces fat and lazy animals.
Fact: That problem goes back to the owner. We are known to overfeed and not provide adequate exercise for out animals.
Fiction: If I let my wonderful pet have a litter, I'll find homes for all of them.
Fact: Even if you do find homes for the litter, when that litter produces who's going to take those offspring's? Do you realize how often homes can't be found for one or two in the litter. That takes up another cage in already crowded facilities.
Now this is my "all time" favorite.
Fiction: My children need to witness the miracle of birth.
Fact: This is called a "hot button" in any Humane Society. Our daily mission is to find homes for all of the animals and you are trying to create more lives in order for your children to watch?
If you really feel it necessary for them to see a live birth, get a fish. A Black Molly will provide them with a vision of a live birth and it won't take up a cage in a Humane Society.
That idea doesn't work for you? Try calling around to different facilities such as fish hatcheries, farms and places that breed for a reason. Maybe a tour would help you on your mission.
Let's create something positive in our children's mind. It has been said that children should be taught that the real miracle in life is preventing birth in some animals. By looking at things in this manner it teaches them that spaying/neutering may save the lives of animals already brought into this world.
Some hard facts about "why" you should spay/neuter your pets include the following.
Pets are likely to be more loving, affectionate companions.
It helps your pets live longer, healthier lives.
Spaying eliminates the possibility of ovarian or uterine cancer.
Spaying reduces the incidence of breast cancer.
Neutering decreases the chances of prostrate disease.
Neutering provides the elimination of testicular cancer.