We posted a blog in September 2010, Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. In this article, guest writer Julie Ruff pointed out things that we can do in San Antonio to reach a “tipping point” where we start to see dramatic results in our No Kill effort.
A thoughtful reader made a comment and said that “in order to get to the No Kill goal we need to make spaying and neutering more affordable and readily available.” She added that “popular opinion of spaying and neutering needs to be tweaked from something thought of as a good option, to being considered of the utmost importance. A campaign that outlines the benefits of spaying and neutering from not only a stray animal perspective but one of the overall health and wellbeing of the pet might provoke more people to do it.”
Thoughtful Reader was absolutely right–not only should we talk about the benefits of spaying and neutering to the community by reducing the number of dogs and cats roaming freely in the neighborhoods, reproducing freely, creating a nuisance and getting hit by cars; we should also talk about what she pointed out so well–the health and well-being of the pet. Here are just a few of the top reasons from the pet’s standpoint:
1. Neutering males eliminates their overwhelming desire to mate when they catch the scent of a female in heat. When they catch that scent, they have a mission and one mission only–to find that female and mate with her. That causes them to dig under fences, tear down screen doors, run out in front of cars, and show aggression to anyone or anything that gets in their way.
2. Spaying females eliminates spotting, yowling, and other physical behaviors associated with being in heat.
3. Similarly, neutering males (when done early enough) eliminates their need so spray or mark their territory in your house and on your furniture.
4. Spaying or neutering eliminates the possibility of your dog or cat getting ovarian/testicular cancer, or any other illness associated with the reproductive organs.
5. For both males and females, taking away the overpowering interest in mating makes them better pets for you–they care more about you than finding a mate.
6. The biggest reason of all is that they are not producing puppies and kittens. You don’t have to find homes for those puppies and kittens, take them to the vet, or take care of them until they are big enough to give away.
Dogs and cats do not need the “experience” of having a litter. It is not joyful or fulfilling for them. It’s simply biological. You can get them spayed or neutered as early as 8 weeks. In fact, the younger they are, the more quickly they recover from the surgery.
Similarly, dogs and cats are not romantic. They do not experience “romantic love.” They are not “Casanovas” and “Jezebels.” We are not depriving them when we have them spayed or neutered. The love they feel is the love they have for their owner. Mating for them is simply biological, it is not romantic.
There are many opportunities for people in San Antonio to get their pets sterilized. In addition to the many excellent private veterinary clinics in Bexar County, we also have six high-volume, low-cost clinics in San Antonio and Boerne. See www.talkaboutitsa.org/resources/clinics for a list of these clinics and links to their websites. For people who do not have the transportation to take their dog or cat to one of the clinics, Animal Care Services and SNAP each have a mobile clinic that they take to different locations around town several times each week. SpaySA has a Mobile Animal Surgical Hospital (MASH) that they schedule in different locations each week.
Many of the clinics are subsidized by the City of San Antonio or other grants, and the citizen only needs to pay for a rabies vaccination. San Antonio truly has developed the capacity for spaying and neutering that Thoughtful Reader pointed out —affordable and readily available.
So what’s keeping you from getting your dog or cat “fixed?”
- There are many options available.
- It is easy to find clinics that are very low cost, and many were the surgeries are fully subsidized (free).
- Clinics are available all over the city just about any day of any week.
- It’s good for your pet.
- It’s good for the community.
- It’s good for YOU!
Here’s a list of the clinics with their websites and their phone numbers to make an appointment.
|Animal Care Services (ACS)
4710 SH 151
San Antonio, TX 78227
(210) 207-4PET (207-6653)
|Animal Defense League of Texas (ADL)
11300 Nacogdoches Rd.
San Antonio, TX 78217
(210) 655-1481 x104
|Hill Country Animal League
924 N. Main St.
Boerne, TX 78006
|Humane Society of San Antonio
4804 Fredericksburg Road
San Antonio, TX 78229
|SPAYSA (Gladys Harborth Animal Resource Center)
1615 S. Laredo
San Antonio, TX 78207
|Spay/Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP)
6756 Ingram Rd
San Antonio, TX 78238
Talk About It! Care. Adopt. Neuter.