MSN Research Paper

This is a forum to discuss legislation and legal matters pertaining to the rights and welfare of dogs. Please remember to counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice and responses.

(Page 1 of 46: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  [Last 10 entry]  

Ethics Matter!
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 2:03pm PST 
ETA: OOPS! Forgot my intro. I did this research project last semester and received an A on it. I was just wondering if I could get some feedback from some dog folks on it? Thank you.


Mandatory spay and neuter legislation is a proven way to reduce the killing of millions of innocent animals, and it is drastically needed on a national scale. The animals which die in shelters are not primarily aggressive or sick, nor are they old or injured. Instead, they are simply victims of the overpopulation crisis which plagues our country, and they have no home to go to. They are killed for issues of time and space in a shelter system where there is always a line out the door waiting to deposit more sentient beings which will then await their turn to die alone. It is time to stop the killing.

The United States has more dogs per capita than any other country in the world (Golab PhD DVM 2001). Consequently, more than half of these dogs which enter the nation’s animal shelters leave in a body bag (American Humane 2008). Euthanasia is most commonly performed with the intravenous injection of barbiturates by a licensed veterinarian and a trained veterinary technician. It often provides a fairly peaceful death for the animal. However, some dogs can have violent reactions to the ketamine mixtures which are given as an initial sedative, or even to the actual euthanasia mixture moments before death. These reactions can include violent, sudden convulsions and erratic howling for seconds before the dog finally drops dead. An even more disturbing fact is that various municipalities throughout the nation still permit the killing of surplus dogs in animal shelters through utilizing a variety of inhalant agents within a gas chamber. Studies show that puppies one week of age or less survive an average of fourteen minutes in a gas chamber after being initially exposed to inhalant agents, whereas the survival time drops to three minutes if the animal is a few weeks older. Entire litters of puppies are often put to death by gas chamber in overcrowded animal shelters in states where the practice is still legal. The American Veterinary Medical Association claims that the use of a gas chamber is a humane practice. The Association also permits multiple animals of the same species to be subjected to this method of killing within the same chamber, causing additional stress and panicked confusion before death. It is worth noting that inhalant agents can cause convulsions in dogs, due to the amount of time it takes for this method of euthanasia to take effect. The term euthanasia was created from the Greek language. The term eu means good and the term thanatos means death (American Veterinary Medical Association 2007). Therefore, euthanasia is meant to mean “a good death.” However, asphyxiating in a dark, crowded chamber is far from what any compassionate pet guardian would consider being “a good death.”

In 2007, United States animal shelters killed 1.9 million dogs – nearly half of which were of the pit bull variety. Shelters in the Southern Atlantic region led the death toll with 459,485 cases of canine euthanasia, whereas Northeastern shelters were only responsible for 18,690 deaths. The other regions of the country ranged in number between the horrifying statistics of the Southern Atlantic and the slightly less disturbing of the Northeast. The Midwest came in second with a total of 137,050 deaths for the year. Next in line was the Gulf Coast with 378,395. The Appalachians followed with 187,882, the West Coast with 184,200, the Pacific with 145,069 and finally the Mid-Atlantic region with 80,490.

In the state of Tennessee, twenty-three out of ninety-five counties have no animal shelter. Kentucky, Arkansas and West Virginia suffer from a similar scenario. In these areas, surplus dogs are often killed by a gunshot to the head or drowning (Animal People News 2008). In 2008, the City of Los Angeles, alone spent over two million dollars on euthanization of shelter animals, killing 8,960 cats and 6,049 dogs (Hall 2008). That same year, Minnesota’s largest animal welfare organization - The Animal Humane Society - accepted 36,378 animals and killed 14,610 of them; 94% of that death toll being dogs and cats (Animal Humane Society 2008).

Animal shelters have attempted for years to lower the numbers of animals entering their shelters, and thus their freezers, through public education and low-cost spay and neuter programs. Some communities even offer spay and neuter surgeries completely free of charge. However, countless dogs continue to die in shelters across the country. Not only do most animal shelters lack the proper funding, staffing and facilities to handle the amount of dogs entering the system, there are simply too many dogs being produced annually to be able to find homes for each and every one of them. Even no-kill shelters are overburdened by the overpopulation problem, as they often end up warehousing dogs in substandard conditions for years and closing their doors to the public when they are full. This creates a stressful and depressing situation for both the long-term animals and the shelter employees themselves. It also leaves community members with dogs in need of new homes with few, if any options.

California is one of the leading states in the humane legislative field. Stanislaus County enacted mandatory spay and neuter legislation at the beginning of 2006. In that year, the number of dogs taken into the county’s shelters declined nearly 10% to 9,549. In the previous year, the county had sheltered 10,400 dogs. Santa Cruz County passed similar legislation in 1995. Over the next eight years, the county experienced a 56% decrease in the number of dogs sheltered. The city of Watsonville, however, did not adopt the ordinance until 2004, and in the same eight years experienced an increase of nearly 400% in shelter dog intakes (California Taxpayers for Safe and Healthy Pets [A] 2008). The city of Lakeport enacted a mandatory spay and neuter policy in July of 2006. During that fiscal year, 75 dogs were euthanized at the shelter. The following year, only 43 met their deaths. Finally, in 2008, only 23 dogs were put to death in the Lakeport shelter. A steady decline is obvious – the mandatory spay and neuter policy in place is working. The county of Lake also passed the same ordinance as Lakeport in July of 2006. The first year it was enacted, 486 dogs were killed. What followed was a steady annual decrease to 325 and finally, in 2008, to a mere 160. The city of Clearlake also adopted the same policy as the city of Lakeport and the county of Lake. Again, the death toll steadily decreased in this city, dropping from 273 to 242 to and finally to 83, between the years 2005 and 2008 (Werner 2008).

Most mandatory spay and neuter policies on the books require dogs to be altered by six months of age. Some breeders challenge the safety of this requirement, claiming that the health risks far outweigh any positive effect the law could have. A veterinarian who is most often cited in defense of this position is Chris Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP. Having evaluated a wide variety of studies, Dr. Zink states that early spay and neuter (before six months of age) can cause a number of problems, such as an increased risk of a splenic tumor known as hemangiosarcoma. The study showed that female dogs which were spayed at an early age were five times more likely to develop this cancer than were intact females, however the exact cause for the increased risk was not identified (Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP 2005). It is also worth noting that hemangiosarcoma occurs most often in dogs with a mean age between eight and thirteen years of age, and that there is no clear sex predilection (University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine 2004). Splenic tumors are not a commonality in dogs, especially compared with the mammary neoplasia so often seen among intact female dogs. The likelihood of this mammary tumor forming increases each time a female dog experiences a heat cycle (estrous). The death rate for this disease is 15.2%. However, if said dog is spayed before her first heat cycle (often around six months of age), her chance of acquiring this disease drops to 0.05%. After a dog’s second heat, the chance of acquisition rises to an astonishing 26% (University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine 2003). In terms of these two diseases, it would clearly be wiser and more beneficial to spay a female dog as early as possible.

Dr. Zink also claims that dogs which are spayed and neutered at an early age are more likely to have sexual behavioral problems. He refers in this statement to a study done four years ago (Slauterbeck 2004). However, nowhere in this study is early sterilization mentioned in relation to increased sexual behaviors problems. Dr. Zink also references to another study that was completed that same year (Spain 2004); the study shows that behaviors such as escaping, separation anxiety, and urinating in the house when frightened were actually found to decrease if dogs were spayed and neutered prior to five and a half months of age.

That said, the need for mandatory spay and neuter legislation is now even clearer. Only so much can be done in the way of humane education. Until members of society value the individual lives of animals over the almighty dollar, education alone will not be enough to end the overpopulation of dogs and cats in this country. Needless deaths will continue to occur across the nation. The hardest hit will always be the undersized and under funded inner city shelters. Staff members of these shelters see a different picture than the one that is conveyed through closed doors. These people have go home each night and cry for the lives they were not able to save that day, while the public looks on in ignorance.

American Humane (2008). Animal Shelter Euthanasia. Retrieved from http://www.americanhumane.org/about-us/newsroom/fact-sheets/animal-s helter-euthanasia.html

American Veterinary Medical Association (2007). AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. Retrieved from http://www.avma.org/issues/animal_welfare/euthanasia.pdf

Animal Humane Society (2008). 2007 Annual Report. Retrieved from http://www.animalhumanesociety.org/PDF/AnnualReport.pdf

Animal People News (2008). U.S. shelters killed 2.3 million cats & 1.9 million dogs last year. Retrieved from http://www.animalpeoplenews.org/ap7808.htm

Bekoff, Marc (2008). The Emotional Lives of Animals: A leading scientist explores animal joy, sorrow, and empathy - and why they matter. New World Library.

California Taxpayers for Safe and Healthy Pets [A] (2008). Universal Spaying and Neutering Worked for Santa Cruz County. Retrieved from http://www.cahealthypets.com/pdf/2008 Santa Cruz Works.pdf

California Taxpayers for Safe and Healthy Pets [B] (2008). Rebuttal to Misleading Effectiveness Claims. Retrieved from http://www.cahealthypets.com/pdf/2008 Rebuttal to Effectiveness Claims.pdf

Golab PhD DVM, Gail (2001). A Model Community Approach to Dog Bite Prevention. American Veterinary Medical Association 140th Annual Convention proceedings. Abstract retrieved from the American Veterinary Medical Association http://www.avma.org/advocacy/state/issues/dogbite_summary.asp

Hal l, Carla (2008, February 1st). L.A. Weighs Mandatory Spaying and Neutering. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://articles.latimes.com/2008/feb/01/local/me-spay1

In Defense of Animals (2008). About IDA – History. Retrieved from http://www.idausa.org/about.html

Lake County Animal Care & Control (2008). Spay / Neuter Ordinance. Retrieved from http://www.co.lake.ca.us/Residents/AnimalsAndPets/SpayNeuter.htm

No Pit Bull Bans (2008). Mandatory Spay/Neuter and Microchipping. Retrieved from http://www.nopitbullbans.com/?page_id=35

Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (2008). Notice of Fee Increase. Retrieved from http://www.offa.org/feeincrease2008.pdf

Slauterbeck JR, Pankratz K, Xu KT, Bozeman SC, Hardy DM (2004). Canine ovariohysterectomy and orchiectomy increases the prevalence of ACL injury. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2004 Dec;(429):301-5

Spain CV, Scarlett JM, Houpt KA (2004). Long-term risks and benefits of early-age gonadectomy in dogs. JAVMA 2004;224:380-387.

State Board of Equalization (2008). Sales of Dogs, Cats, and Other Animals are Taxable. Retrieved from http://www.cahealthypets.com/pdf/BOE-18-08-G.pdf

The Akita Association (2008). Canine Hip Dysplasia. Retrieved from http://www.akita-association.org/hip_dysplasia.htm

The Guardian Campaign (2008). Do You Live in a Guardian Community? Retrieved from http://www.guardiancampaign.com/guardiancity.html

University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine (2003). Canine Mammary Carcinoma. Retrieved from http://www.vet.uga.edu/vpp/clerk/mccarthy/index.php

University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine (2004). Canine Hemangiosarcoma. Retrieved from http://www.vet.uga.edu/VPP/clerk/frankhauser/index.php

Werner, Paula (2008). Lake County Animal Care & Control Program Coordinator. Annual Euthanasia Statistics. Received from personal e-mail interview October 29th, 2008.

Zink DVM, PhD, DACVP, Chris (2005). Early Spay-Neuter Considerations: One veterinarian’s opinion. Retrieved from http://www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html

Edited by author Wed May 27, '09 2:05pm PST

Granite- Gables Lets- Show'em

Lets Show'em- what WE are MADE- OF
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 3:03pm PST 
So this means breeders will have to spay/neuter their dogs too? ……
How is this suppose to work? So you fix every last dog…..so then what happens to dogs after that? Are there limitations to this law? Dose every last dog have to be fixed, responsible breeders dogs too? If this happens won’t it mean dogs will become extinct because there are hardly any in tacked dogs left?
You know I can see where this would do good but I can see where it could also do bad …… …. …… a lot of bad
Granite- Gables Lets- Show'em

Lets Show'em- what WE are MADE- OF
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 3:04pm PST 
other then not saying what the other effect could be its a nice paper.way to go

Edited by author Wed May 27, '09 3:05pm PST



Ethics Matter!
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 3:06pm PST 
Right now I'm actually working on a paper regarding implementation of the law. It covers issues specifically that have been brought up. This paper was just the "recognizing a need" for the law paper. Thank you for the feedback, I'll post the second half when I get it finished.

Changing one- mind at a time - APBT style
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 4:22pm PST 
The problem is that mandatory altering laws have had little effect (and some actually made things worse) in places where they have been enacted. I've listed some examples below. The other problem with MSN is that it doesn't target pets being relinquished to shelters for reasons completely unrelated to altering, including:

* dogs being dropped off due to behavioral issues (one survey conducted by an animal welfare organization and rescue showed that 95% of dogs in the shelters who provided canine impoundment statistics had received NO obedience training whatsoever before being relinquished).

* Dogs being dropped off because they are sick and the owner can't afford or doesn't want to pay for veterinary care/surgery/medication

* The owner dying or being taken for a long hospital stay and the family relinquishing the dog to a shelter

* Owner(s) moving to a place that does not allow dogs

* Landlord problems regarding the dog

* Dogs being given up do to "liability" or home owner's insurance issues (there's a "black list" of breeds that can get someone's home insurance yanked from underneath them just because the dog is a certain breed)

* Dogs being brought to and euthanized in shelters in accordance to breed bans (in some places, the owner has only 30 days to remove the dog from the city/state/county or they are impounded in a shelter and/or euthanized).

* Job loss and/or the current economic downturn

* Owner(s) surrendering the dog(s) because they "aren't cute anymore" or "got too big"

* Relocating to a home/apartment that doesn't have enough room for the dog(s)

* A change in the owner's work schedule, making them unable to spend as much time as they would like to with their dog(s).

Several of those are from the top 10 reasons people relinquished their dogs to animal shelters in the U.S. Of all the dogs surrendered, almost 60% of the dogs were already altered, and 33% of the dogs had recieved little to no veterinary care before being relinquished (reference: Dr. M. D. Salman, Dr. John G. New, Jr., et al., in the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 1(3), 207- 226).

This is a list of MSN laws that passed and failed horribly:

San Mateo County, CA

Shelter euthanasia rates for dogs increased by 126%, dog licensing compliance declined by 35%

King County, WA

Euthanasia rates fell at a slower rate after passage of the ordinance, Animal control expenses increased 56.8% , ense compliance decreases since passage of the ordinance

Camden County, NJ

PAWS NJ, an animal welfare rescue group, commented 5 years after the MSN law passed that, "An analysis of these statistics shows the Humane Society of Southern NJ which operates the Camden County Animal Shelter, to be consistently one of the leading, if not the leading killers of animals in the state of New Jersey."

Los Angeles, CA

Shelter euthanasia rates and impounds increased by 20%

Santa Cruz County, California

Animal control costs doubled after MSN passed, shelter euthanasia rates for dogs did not change, Capitola canceled animal services contract with county due to rising costs.

Montgomery County, Maryland

The mandatory S/N was repealed after dog licensing compliance dropped by 50% and shelter euthanasia rates declined more slowly than before the bill passed.

Fort Worth, TX

Licensing compliance dropped as did numbers of dogs being taken in for rabies shots, which resulted in an increased incidence of rabies in the city.

Even the ASPCA, an organization that highly advocates voluntary altering of companion animals, has put out an official standpoint on MSN stating that "The ASPCA is not aware of any credible evidence demonstrating a statistically significant enhancement in the reduction of shelter intake or euthanasia as a result of the implementation of a mandatory spay/neuter law.".

Several animal welfare organizations including the ASPCA have offered alternatives to MSN, including but not limited to:

*A community, adequately funded, readily accessible, safe, efficient, affordable spay/neuter program.

* Education classes about the work and expensives involved with pet care and ownership, starting in grade schools

* Changing shelter policies (extending shelter hours, a policy change to give legitimate rescue groups and individuals priority on all adoptions and to allow them to adopt animals the shelter now euthanatizes, temperament testing dogs prior to being available to the public).

* The creating of a facility that cares for dogs of individuals who have had to move without their pets to a shelter (for example, most abused women's shelters do not allow pets and do not have a facility for the pets to be taken care of at, so they are often left behind with the abuser or permanantly relinquished to a shelter).

The city of Minneapolis has had success with the alternatives to mandatory altering laws and breed specific laws; they made a law that would require owners to be responsible for the actions and all care of their pets.


Clancy, E. A., Rowan, A. N., 2003. Companion animal demographics in the United States: A historical perspective. In: Salem, D. J. & Rowan, A. N. (Eds.), State of the Animals II: 2003. Humane Society Press, Washington, DC, pp. 9-26.

The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare (FIREPAW). 2004. Cross-program statistical analysis of Maddie's Fund programs, Williamstown, MA.

Frank, J., 2001. Executive summary of research results for: the economics, ethics, and ecology of companion animal overpopulation and a mathematical model for evaluation of the effectiveness of policy alternatives. Houston, TX: The Foundation for Interdisciplinary Research and Education Promoting Animal Welfare.

Handy, G., 2002. Animal Control Management: A Guide for Local Governments. International City/County Management Association, Washington, D.C.

Irwin, P. G., 2001. Overview: The state of animals in 2001. In: Salem, D. J. & Rowan, A. N. (Ed.), The State of the Animals 2001. Humane Society Press, Washington, DC, pp. 1-19.

Levy, J. K., Gale, D. W., Gale, L. A., 2003. Evaluation of the effect of a long-term trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population. Journal of the American Veterinary Association 222, 42-46.

Lord, L.K., Wittum, T.E., Ferketich, A.K., Funk, J.A., Rajala-Schultz, P., Kauffman, R.M., 2006. Demographic trends for animal care and control agencies in Ohio from 1996 to 2004. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 229, 48-54.

Marsh, P., 2008. Analysis using data from New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (1998) and the California Department of Health Services (1995).

National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy, 2001. Exploring the surplus cat and dog problem: Highlights of five research publications regarding relinquishment of pets. New London, MN. Online at petpopulation.org.

Natoli, E., Maraglioano, L., Cariola, G., Faini, A., Bonanni, R., Cafazzo, S., Fantini, C., 2006. Management of feral domestic cats in the urban environment of Rome (Italy). Preventative Veterinary Medicine 77, 180-185.

Office of Legislative Oversight, OLO Report 97-3: An evaluation of Bill 54-91, Revisions to the county's animal control law. June 24, 1997. Montgomery County, MD.

Patronek, G. J., Lawrence, T. G., Glickman, T., Beck, A. M., McCabe, G. P., Ecker, C., 1996. Risk factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 209, 582-588.

Patronek, G. J., Lawrence, T. G., Glickman, T., Beck, A. M., McCabe, G. P., Ecker, C., 1996. Risk factors for relinquishment of dogs to an animal shelter. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 209, 572-581.

Patronek, G. J., Beck, A. M., Glickman, T., 1997. Dynamics of dog and cat populations in a community. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 210, 637-642.

Ralston Purina, 2000. The state of the American pet: A study among pet owners.

Secovich, S. J., 2003. Case study: companion animal over-population programs in New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Maine and a new program for Maine. Master's thesis, Public Policy and Management. University of Southern Maine.

Zawistowski, S., Morris, J., Salman, M. D., Ruch-Gallie, R., 1998. Population dynamics, overpopulation, and the welfare of companion animals: new insights on old and new data. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science 1, 193-206.

I'm sticking my- tongue out at- you!
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 4:25pm PST 
Your paper is seriously flawed. MSN is not a good thing. PETA is for it and so is HSUS but that doesn't say much in favor of the laws.

First, MSN laws are almost impossible to enforce and extremely expensive to try to enforce. Second, MSN laws do nothing to ensure animals will get spayed or neutered. Actually, they are more likely to ensure that pets will not get needed medical care. Third, altering a large/giant breed prior to maturity can CAUSE serious health issues later in life and more and more research is showing that the risks of altering a large/giant breed before maturity (which is generally age 2) outweigh the risk of waiting.

Then, there's the issue of our rights as Americans. When we freely give our rights away, the government feels freer to take even more of them. I have the right to decide if to alter my dogs and when to do so. It is not the role of the government to tell me when I have to. These laws actually punish the majority for the sins of the minority.

Lets not miss the forest for the trees either....If you could wave your magic wand and have every homed pet altered today, the only ones breeding would be the feral ones. What would that do, in a very short period of time, to the species? You're looking at virtual extension. If you do all but the high dollar pure breeds, that's not much better because they would be forced to cross breed to avoid severe inbreeding or would have severe health problems within the breeds. Wait, there already is severe health problems within breeds due to inbreeding. What would happen if MSN became nation wide.

I understand that there is a pet overpopulation problem and that there is a major problem with BYBs and Mills. But, forcing everyone to alter is not the answer. What is needed are strict and enforced abuse and neglect laws (failure to alter is neither abuse nor neglect). The actions that lead to BYBs and mills, however, are actually abuse and/or neglect. I'm talking about breeding bitches every heat, having them live in horrible situations, failing to have the necessary medical care prior, etc...

There are also other ways to deal with the pet overpopulation problem. For example, a "puppy railroad" (which Mission Orange is at least trying to do) where pets in an overpopulated area are moved to shelters in an underpopulated area and so on until they are adopted.

Add to that is education. You, in reality, can not force people to alter their pets, but if done right, you can make them want to. If they want to do something....they will.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 4:33pm PST 
Well, my post with hyperlinks just got blown up by Internet Explorer shock .............. so I will just make a few quick comments.

If you want to have a balanced perspective, please research why the AVMA, the ASPCA, and Nathan Winograd oppose mandatory spay/neuter laws. thinking

If you are truly concerned about the killing of dogs in shelters, please google "10 Steps to a No Kill Nation."

Mandatory spay/neuter laws are not an effective way of reducing the number of pets killed in shelters.

Although Zink is commonly cited, that's certainly not the best source for the down side of early spay/neuter and spay/neuter in dogs. There are serious orthopedic and other medical concerns. Try searching PubMed using the words "neuter" and "canine" for recent articles. Also google "Rottweilers osteosarcoma."

BTW, I'm not trying to be obnoxious or anything. smile This is a highly controversial topic....... and as in life, nothing is simple! thinking

Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

Barked: Wed May 27, '09 5:11pm PST 
Windy, your paper is well researched, well written, and well cited.applause

Of course you recognize the difference between the concept and need for MSN, versus effective & reasonable implementation -- (such as addressing Granite Gable's concern for allowing responsible breeding to continue) -- and you know that's another paper!!

Daddy, just because MSN (or even, let's just say for the sake of avoiding that particular controversy, "increasing spay and neuter within the community" -- by whatever means), does NOT necessarily address ALL issues that cause pets to end up in shelters, it would keep MANY of the animals out of the shelters. Here at our local Animal Services Department, 45% of what they receive are puppies and kittens. Basically you can chalk those up to direct victims of pet overpopulation. If you could decrease kill shelter admissions by 45% -- by getting people to fix their animals -- even though that wouldn't be a magic bullet decreasing shelter admissions by 100 percent!!!! -- that would still be well worthwhile.

And really, the whole supply/demand equation ultimately ripples beyond puppies, too. Where there is less pet overpopulation, puppies AND dogs become more of a commodity, more valued. Too many puppies in a given area also means too many dogs for that area to support, that goes hand-in-hand. And the reverse seems true as well.

Hershey, large scale puppy mills aside, most laws that could be enacted to target BYB's would be just as "intrusive" as MSN. How is anyone going to know WHETHER, in your example, you are breeding your bitch on every heat cycle? Only by, I suppose, sending inspectors to your home? The problem, I think, is that there are puppy mills (black) and responsible breeders (white), and then there are so many grey shades of BYB's. They are not necessarily abusing their dogs -- but they are contributing JUST AS MUCH as the puppy mills to the pet overpopulation crisis, in fact speaking for my own community in which I know the details intimately, far FAR more. Our local kill shelter very seldom receives a dog that was originally bought from a pet store, and the BYB's here are on every corner and very flagrant about what they do. And it is very culturally supported.

Which I think is one of the most interesting points of Windy's paper. Those regional differences are STAGGERING. And not even necessarily reflective of the many poorer regions of the high-kill states, in which, as she notes, there aren't shelter euthanasia figures because there aren't shelters -- just dogs getting shot, puppies being drowned, or abandoned, or chased off to starve, or otherwise disposed of.

Because I'm- Duncan, that's- why

Barked: Wed May 27, '09 5:53pm PST 
....Why MSN....?

As an example of the problem regionally, I'd cite Hershey's closest home shelter, the excellent Humane Society of South Mississippi.


They are VERY transparent about their numbers which is good, as their community needs to be educated and grasp this problem. This is a progressive shelter doing everything on Mr Winograd's checklists (yes, I have read his works). They are still killing upwards of 6000 pets per year, mostly for lack of space.

Their figures are improving, as they are doing a lot right, and yes it is having an impact. They are also doing a ton of transporting, as you noted Hershey. And I guess y'all know I believe in that. But it is really more of a band-aid. At some point we need to address the problem within our own area.

Something needs to change within the prevailing cultural ethic. That which makes it perfectly acceptable in casual conversation between strangers to discuss breeding their pet dogs together. It needs to become less about the RIGHT of breeding and more about the RESPONSIBILITY that should entail.
Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
Barked: Wed May 27, '09 6:12pm PST 
I'm certainly in favor of increasing spay/neuter. But that does not mean mandatory spay/neuter to me. That means both education & increasing access to low cost spay/neuter clinics (the latter is something that is not being addressed in L.A.).

Depending on the breed, the circumstances, etc., one may wish to keep his/her dog intact. I don't have a problem with paying extra on the town dog tax for keeping an intact male. (I have an intact male, a neutered male, and a spayed female.) But if you have an intact animal, you do need to be responsible.

I would love to find some good studies that explain why people don't have pets spayed or neutered -- other than say because they want to breed or due to health concerns.
My only experience is anecdotal, but I do know several people who think it is too expensive. I tell them about low cost clinics & our local scholarship program, but they still don't do anything about it. They don't feel like they have the time, even when they do. If they have the $20 or $30, (or you give it to them), they blow it on something else. It's very frustrating to me. These are generally the same people who don't bother to update shots, the local dog tax, etc. I don't think they would care if they got fined -- they'd ignore it, just like they ignore keeping their car insured, etc. shrug
  (Page 1 of 46: Viewing entries 1 to 10)  
Page Links: 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  [Last 10 entry]