Spay Day: 2/23/10

Vote for Miss Moneypenny in the Spay Day Photo Contest!

As many of you may know, I am not the biggest fan of HSUS because of their archaic beliefs in regards to animal rights and welfare.  In case you do not know, HSUS is as anti-nokill as an animals rights group can get (they are right up there with the ASPCA).  They prefer to kill an animal rather than have it be homeless, believe that feral cats should all be killed, wanted Vick’s dogs to all be killed (see a pattern here?).  Unfortunately, HSUS believes that doing business as usual like they have been for decades is the way to go.  I understand that it is hard to admit that what you have been doing for so long is not the best way to go about things.  But these are living creatures we are talking about, so HSUS needs to suck it up (to put it eloquently), admit their mistake, and make the switch to the nokill philosophy.

Now, let’s be honest, while I do not approve of all their tactics I do support some of the things they do (it’s pretty hard for an animal rights group to be 100% bad).  HSUS has the money to air rather emotional television advertisements that educate the viewer on adopting rather than buying.  They also have Spay Day…

Spay Day, taking place Tuesday, February 23rd,  is an amazing event where shelters across the nation fix as many animals as possible in a day (some shelters actually take more time!).  And these animals are not just their own.  In fact, the majority of the animals being fixed are those already in homes or feral cats.  So this is a great event for getting the word out about spaying/neutering as well as actually getting a lot of unaltered animals fixed so we don’t have to worry about them having any more litters (or health problems such as cancer).  

So your vote donation is not directly going to HSUS, but actually going to the organizations participating in Spay Day; they will use your donation to help pay for the surgeries.  Plus your vote goes towards supporting Miss Moneypenny in her attempt in becoming the cutest puppy mill rescue of all time!  This little lady was rescued from Wallace Haven’s “Puppy Haven” facility, where at the ripe old age of one already had had a litter, had two ear infections, two bad knees requiring surgery, was completely matted, and was covered in urine since cleaning cages or letting dogs out of cages aren’t really a priority at puppy mills.  Penny now spends her days sleeping on couches and beds, cuddling with her humans, eating really expensive dog food, going for walks, and playing with her mouse toy. 🙂

So please support Spay Day and vote for Miss Moneypenny!  And if you are interested in spaying/neutering your pet, please contact your vet!  It is the best thing you can do for your companion animal.  If you need more information on the benefits of spay/neuter, please see here:

TNR – The feral solution

Most communities hold the belief that if there is a stray and/or feral animal “situation” or “overpopulation” in their area, the best way to handle it is to trap these animals and kill them.  However, it has been proven time and again that removing a population slowly and killing them does not have a negative effect on the stray population.  Rather, (channel high school biology!) the ecological system of a specific community can support a certain number of stray dogs and/or feral and stray cats.  Let’s pretend that number is 100.  If you trap and kill ten, you still have ninety and since the environment can support 100, those ninety will quickly reproduce and get back to their capacity in no less than two months. 

Granted those numbers are completely made up, but biology teaches us that there are ecological niches and a general number of a certain species can be supported by it.  So the best way to control the strays is not to try to trap and kill all of them.  You will never get to all of them, and they will reproduce just as fast as they can be caught and killed.  This has been proven time and again in communities all over the world.  The community recognizes that they have a lot of strays/ferals, and maybe one of these animals hurt a person so the government is now paying attention.  They decide the best course of action is to trap all these animals and kill them, yet months or even years later the number of animals has not changed.

The best way to handle a stray and/or feral population is to trap, neuter (and vaccinate) and release the animals (TNR).  Once released, they are unable to reproduce, are vaccinated with a three year rabies shot so rabies will not be an issue, and hold the ecological niche population in place.  Most communities that have implemented this way of handling their stray and feral populations have also found that some of these animals are adoptable (not completely wild).  These animals are then fixed, vaccinated and adopted out to a loving home.  The animals that are trapped that prove to be wild are therefore simply returned to their habitat once they have recovered from their vet visit.

Please contact your local shelter/animal control facility and ask them what their procedure is for feral cats/dogs.  Strongly encourage them to adopt the Trap/Neuter/Release program for the ferals that cannot be domesticated.  I can provide you with specific evidence of how this works better than trapping and killing if you feel you need it to make your case.  For more information about TNR and other nokill solutions, check out Nathan Winograd’s book, Redemption.  Thanks!