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Clear The Shelters 2016: ADOPTED!

[UGCDFW-CJ-dog days]Photo for Clear the Shelters!
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Click on the links below for photos of the animals adopted at all the participating South Florida shelters during #ClearTheShelters Day 2016.

These will be updated throughout the day, so keep checking back!

Last week, in preparation for Clear The Shelters, I shared my thoughts on South Florida’s alarmingly high shelter pet population.  Additionally. I shared my thoughts on our community’s low spay/neuter compliance rate, and the correlation between that, and the need for what is becoming an annual adoption event.

 

There are many reasons why conscientious pet owners do not spay or neuter their pets.  Some pets are poor candidates for anesthetic procedures, others still may benefit from waiting until adolescence or adulthood before having said procedures performed.  Such animals, however, are the exceptions, rather than the rules.

 

I also detailed whom I was not addressing in my “why do you have an intact pet?” rant, and offered some solutions for pet owners who are genuinely struggling.  In case you missed it, let me go over it again:

 

If your pet is not a candidate for an early spay/neuter procedure due to a legitimate veterinary concern, this next bit is not for you. Carry on, and spay or neuter your pet if and when your veterinarian decides the time is right. Ditto for those of you whose pets are not healthy enough to have surgery.

 

Additionally, if you are a licensed, responsible breeder of healthy, purpose-bred dogs, I am not addressing you either. Ditto for those of you with genetically strong specimens whose bloodlines will truly benefit future generations of the breed. Thanks for not sending me hate mail. Keep up the good work.

 

And once again,  if you would absolutely love to get your pet spayed or neutered, but simply cannot afford to do so, I am not calling you out either. I am no stranger to financial hardship. Trust me, you won’t see any poor shaming here. Click here for a list of organizations that will spay or neuter your pet at a steeply reduced price, or perhaps even for free. http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Low-Cost-Spay-and-Neuter-Clinics-in-Miami-Dade-Broward-Palm-Beach-Monroe-Counties-386355091.html  These organizations are here to help, and would love for you to take advantage of their services.

 

If none of the above reasons apply to your pet, you undoubtedly have a reason for having an intact pet. Chances are, I’ve heard it before; and chances are, it’s bunk. Sadly, these misconceptions have been around for so long, that we tend to assume they are true.  So let’s do a little veterinary “mythbusting” as I share some of the most oft-repeated excuses for spay/neuter non-compliance.

 

“It makes them lazy and boring.”

 

While spaying and neutering will reduce a pet’s sex drive, that’s the only type of drive it affects. They will still retain their play drive, prey drive, activity level, protectiveness, eagerness to please, ability to work, and all the other things you love about them. In fact they will be more focused on the things you love about them because, as my wife so eloquently puts it, they will be thinking with the correct organ! The sex drive of a pet dog or cat can make them extremely unpleasant to live with. They can yowl, escape, fight, roam, and spray foul-smelling urine. Intact dogs are involved in roughly 90% of serious attacks on humans. https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/dogbite-summary.aspx These are the pets who bolt into traffic, dig under fences, destroy property, and make your neighbors hate you. They are often deemed “out of control” and surrendered to shelters - along with the unwanted offspring they produce. Both of our dogs were spayed and neutered before they were five months old. Grendel will swim until she is blue and shivering. Zohan is the Ironman of play. Lazy and boring? See for yourself.

 

Grendel running.jpg
Z pool small.jpg

 

“It’s just so unnatural.”

 

So is killing over two million pets via lethal injection every year because there aren’t enough homes for them all. http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

 

Cats and dogs are the quintessential genetically modified organisms.  There is no such thing is a free-ranging Schnauzer or an indigenous Golden Retriever. There is nothing natural about them.  Why we suddenly go into “granola mode” with regards to their reproductive organs is utterly beyond me.

 

A colleague of mine sometimes chides his clients by reminding them that rattlesnake venom is 100% natural and organic. In other words, not everything that’s natural is automatically good.

 

A spayed pet has a zero percent chance of developing a life-threatening uterine infection known as pyometra. Ditto for the risk of testicular cancer in neutered pets. The risk of metastatic breast cancer in intact female pets increases drastically with each heat cycle - and let’s not forget, our pets generally have between eight and ten breasts! And in nearly 20 years of practice, I’ve seen just one case of prostatic cancer in a neutered dog. For an intact male, this condition is almost inevitable -  dare I say, a “natural” progression of events.

 

“I really want one of his/her puppies!”

 

Just as every family has it’s black sheep, there is no guarantee the traits you love will be passed to the next generation. Breeding for temperament is something best left to qualified, experienced, professional breeders who know what the heck they are doing. I am nothing like anyone in my family, and I’m convinced my wife was left on her family’s doorstep by the fairy folk. Personality is not always an inherited trait.

 

If you still insist on breeding for “one of the puppies”, I would strongly encourage you to closely examine that sentence. There is a word included therein that saddens the hell out of me, and it should sadden the hell out of you too. Do you see it? Look closely...

 

One.

 

You want one of the puppies. She may have four. Or nine. Or twelve! What will become of the rest of them once you select the pick of the litter?

 

Don’t answer that. I know what you’re thinking. (I’ve been at this a while.) You’re thinking of the friends, coworkers and family members who have told you they would line up for one of Snowflake’s puppies! And yet what people say and what they ultimately do are often two separate things. Life changes quickly, and those surefire homes may be relocated, foreclosed upon, filled up with babies, or occupied by someone else’s surplus puppy.  Guess where that leaves Snowflake’s litter? You guessed it! Your friendly neighborhood shelter. If your friends and family members have puppy-ready homes, great! There are plenty in our shelters. And if we want said shelters to maintain their much-lauded, “no-kill” status, we as individuals must get our own houses in order. No-kill shelters are not sustainable in communities whose residents do not spay and neuter their pets. Period.

 

Folks, we all like to think our pets are special. I am absolutely besotted with mine. But in terms of the pet population’s gene pool, well...they’re not. I love them to pieces, but truth is truth. And if my dogs aren’t special enough to warrant a genetic legacy, chances are, yours aren’t either.

 

Next time, we’ll discuss even more of the reasons we don’t spay and neuter our pets! I’m sorry, did you think I was done? Like I said I’ve been at this a while, and I’ve got some good ones. Manliness, motherhood, miracles, educa

Last week, in preparation for Clear The Shelters, I shared my thoughts on South Florida’s alarmingly high shelter pet population.  Additionally. I shared my thoughts on our community’s low spay/neuter compliance rate, and the correlation between that, and the need for what is becoming an annual adoption event.

 

There are many reasons why conscientious pet owners do not spay or neuter their pets.  Some pets are poor candidates for anesthetic procedures, others still may benefit from waiting until adolescence or adulthood before having said procedures performed.  Such animals, however, are the exceptions, rather than the rules.

 

I also detailed whom I was not addressing in my “why do you have an intact pet?” rant, and offered some solutions for pet owners who are genuinely struggling.  In case you missed it, let me go over it again:

 

If your pet is not a candidate for an early spay/neuter procedure due to a legitimate veterinary concern, this next bit is not for you. Carry on, and spay or neuter your pet if and when your veterinarian decides the time is right. Ditto for those of you whose pets are not healthy enough to have surgery.

 

Additionally, if you are a licensed, responsible breeder of healthy, purpose-bred dogs, I am not addressing you either. Ditto for those of you with genetically strong specimens whose bloodlines will truly benefit future generations of the breed. Thanks for not sending me hate mail. Keep up the good work.

 

And once again,  if you would absolutely love to get your pet spayed or neutered, but simply cannot afford to do so, I am not calling you out either. I am no stranger to financial hardship. Trust me, you won’t see any poor shaming here. Click here for a list of organizations that will spay or neuter your pet at a steeply reduced price, or perhaps even for free. http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Low-Cost-Spay-and-Neuter-Clinics-in-Miami-Dade-Broward-Palm-Beach-Monroe-Counties-386355091.html  These organizations are here to help, and would love for you to take advantage of their services.

 

If none of the above reasons apply to your pet, you undoubtedly have a reason for having an intact pet. Chances are, I’ve heard it before; and chances are, it’s bunk. Sadly, these misconceptions have been around for so long, that we tend to assume they are true.  So let’s do a little veterinary “mythbusting” as I share some of the most oft-repeated excuses for spay/neuter non-compliance.

 

“It makes them lazy and boring.”

 

While spaying and neutering will reduce a pet’s sex drive, that’s the only type of drive it affects. They will still retain their play drive, prey drive, activity level, protectiveness, eagerness to please, ability to work, and all the other things you love about them. In fact they will be more focused on the things you love about them because, as my wife so eloquently puts it, they will be thinking with the correct organ! The sex drive of a pet dog or cat can make them extremely unpleasant to live with. They can yowl, escape, fight, roam, and spray foul-smelling urine. Intact dogs are involved in roughly 90% of serious attacks on humans. https://www.avma.org/Advocacy/StateAndLocal/Pages/dogbite-summary.aspx These are the pets who bolt into traffic, dig under fences, destroy property, and make your neighbors hate you. They are often deemed “out of control” and surrendered to shelters - along with the unwanted offspring they produce. Both of our dogs were spayed and neutered before they were five months old. Grendel will swim until she is blue and shivering. Zohan is the Ironman of play. Lazy and boring? See for yourself.

 

 

 

“It’s just so unnatural.”

 

So is killing over two million pets via lethal injection every year because there aren’t enough homes for them all. http://www.aspca.org/animal-homelessness/shelter-intake-and-surrender/pet-statistics

 

Cats and dogs are the quintessential genetically modified organisms.  There is no such thing is a free-ranging Schnauzer or an indigenous Golden Retriever. There is nothing natural about them.  Why we suddenly go into “granola mode” with regards to their reproductive organs is utterly beyond me.

 

A colleague of mine sometimes chides his clients by reminding them that rattlesnake venom is 100% natural and organic. In other words, not everything that’s natural is automatically good.

 

A spayed pet has a zero percent chance of developing a life-threatening uterine infection known as pyometra. Ditto for the risk of testicular cancer in neutered pets. The risk of metastatic breast cancer in intact female pets increases drastically with each heat cycle - and let’s not forget, our pets generally have between eight and ten breasts! And in nearly 20 years of practice, I’ve seen just one case of prostatic cancer in a neutered dog. For an intact male, this condition is almost inevitable -  dare I say, a “natural” progression of events.

 

“I really want one of his/her puppies!”

 

Just as every family has it’s black sheep, there is no guarantee the traits you love will be passed to the next generation. Breeding for temperament is something best left to qualified, experienced, professional breeders who know what the heck they are doing. I am nothing like anyone in my family, and I’m convinced my wife was left on her family’s doorstep by the fairy folk. Personality is not always an inherited trait.

 

If you still insist on breeding for “one of the puppies”, I would strongly encourage you to closely examine that sentence. There is a word included therein that saddens the hell out of me, and it should sadden the hell out of you too. Do you see it? Look closely...

 

One.

 

You want one of the puppies. She may have four. Or nine. Or twelve! What will become of the rest of them once you select the pick of the litter?

 

Don’t answer that. I know what you’re thinking. (I’ve been at this a while.) You’re thinking of the friends, coworkers and family members who have told you they would line up for one of Snowflake’s puppies! And yet what people say and what they ultimately do are often two separate things. Life changes quickly, and those surefire homes may be relocated, foreclosed upon, filled up with babies, or occupied by someone else’s surplus puppy.  Guess where that leaves Snowflake’s litter? You guessed it! Your friendly neighborhood shelter. If your friends and family members have puppy-ready homes, great! There are plenty in our shelters. And if we want said shelters to maintain their much-lauded, “no-kill” status, we as individuals must get our own houses in order. No-kill shelters are not sustainable in communities whose residents do not spay and neuter their pets. Period.

 

Folks, we all like to think our pets are special. I am absolutely besotted with mine. But in terms of the pet population’s gene pool, well...they’re not. I love them to pieces, but truth is truth. And if my dogs aren’t special enough to warrant a genetic legacy, chances are, yours aren’t either.

 

Next time, we’ll discuss even more of the reasons we don’t spay and neuter our pets! I’m sorry, did you think I was done? Like I said I’ve been at this a while, and I’ve got some good ones. Manliness, motherhood, miracles, educational value...I’ve heard them all. And next time, so will you.

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go answer some hate mail…

tional value...I’ve heard them all. And next time, so will you.

 

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go answer some hate mail…

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