Porky & Buddy’s Pet Health: Cutting Down on Strays

Dear Porky and Buddy,

I have been reading about the statistics on the numbers of cats and dogs that have to be euthanized every year because there is no room for them in shelters and they have no place to go. The figure is in the millions! I think that is just a disgrace. Is there anything that I can do as just one person to help solve this problem? I love my pets and when my cat had kittens I found good homes for them and then had her spayed, but what can I do about all the others?


Dear Mike,

Thanks for asking such a serious question and thanks for taking good care of your own pets.

Tremendous as the problem of pet overpopulation is, it can be solved if each one of us takes just one small step, starting with not allowing our pets to breed, not at all, not even one litter. It’s good that you found homes for the kittens that were born, but in all likelihood they, too, were not spayed or neutered immediately and we wouldn’t be surprised if some of them had litters before that happened, and then those litters had to find homes, and you can see how the problem just perpetuates itself, even when people have the best of intentions.

The solution is this: only by implementing widespread sterilization programs, and only by spaying and neutering all companion animals, before they have that first litter, will we get a handle on pet overpopulation. Consider the fact that in six short years, one
female dog and her offspring can give birth to hundreds of puppies. And, in seven years, one cat and her young can produce literally thousands of kittens.

We know that carefully planned and implemented sterilization programs can produce a dramatic reduction in the number of unwanted companion animals born. In fact, in places that have implemented such programs, the number of companion animals that had to be euthanized has declined dramatically. Here in Oswego County we expect that the Humane Society’s spay/neuter clinic for pets in low income households will eventually have a similar impact as the Humane Society continues to expand the program.

But responsible pet owners can also do their part by having their companion animals spayed or neutered right away, before they reproduce at all. This is the single most important step you can take. Have your pet sterilized so that he or she does not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem, and adopt your next pet from an animal shelter or rescue group.

If you need help with the costs of spaying or neutering there are several options available. First, talk to you own veterinarian about the costs and about any payment or credit plans that he or she may have available. You can also contact the Friends of Animals website atwww.friendsofanimals.org to purchase a certificate for a reduced cost surgery and to obtain a list of local vets who will accept them. Or you can contact the SANS clinic in Syracuse to schedule a lower cost surgery. The phone number is (315) 422-7970, and the website iswww.spayandneutersyracuse.org.

And make sure you talk to, and if necessary nag, your friends and neighbors about this issue and the importance of all of them having their pets spayed or neutered too. The more people know about this important issue, the more we will all make progress toward becoming a place where every pet has a happy home.

And speaking of happy homes why not adopt a new pet during the Humane Society’s Home 4 the Holidays campaign. Those pets are already spayed or neutered and ready to make your days merry& bright! You can see all of them online at www.oswegohumane.org.

The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County. Our office is located at 265
West First Street, Oswego, New York. Phone (315) 207-1070. Email:
[email protected] Website:www.oswegohumane.org.