November 7, 2018 was the third annual Provincial Spay Day promoted by the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association. The Dauphin and Ste. Rose Veterinary Clinic have participated all three years at the Dauphin location, and this year was once again a success. We performed 11 surgeries including 5 cat neuters, 2 cat spays, 2 dog spays and 2 dog neuters.
The focus of this day is to promote spaying and neutering of pets. There are health benefits for the individual pets including reducing the chance of mammary cancer, prostate cancer and uterine infections to just name a few. There is a much greater focus and this is the reduction of unwanted pets. Humane Societies, other shelters and rescue groups are overrun with cats and dogs that do not have a home, and simply spaying and neutering cats and dogs could significantly reduce those numbers. In some cases, cats and dogs are simply abandoned and left to fend for themselves. In other cases, if these pets become pregnant, they are turned away or sent to shelters because their owners do not want to be responsible for a litter of puppies or kittens. They are cute but they can be a lot of work, and have a cost attached to them.
I was struck by a comment that my own daughter said to me, and maybe this is a misconception of many other people out there. She said that she would never just abandon a pet and leave it to fend for itself, but she would be responsible and bring it to a Humane Society. Hmm, this brought up a conversation that we need to be responsible for our pets. Certainly the Humane Society has a place. More importantly, in most circumstances, pet owners need to understand that when they take in a pet, that they are then responsible until the end of that pet’s life. There is a commitment that is made to look after that pet. This includes looking after providing their basic needs of food, shelter, play, and freedom from stress, and of course looking after their medical needs. A pet should not be disposable, and dumped on someone else when they become inconvenient.
It may be cute to have a litter, but keep in mind that all those cute puppies and kittens grow up and will need a home. Think carefully about the long term before allowing your pet to have a litter. Consider adopting pets from a shelter and do your pet in helping control the cat and dog population and spay or neuter your pet.