Rural Animal Welfare Resources
Empowering You to Respect and Care for Animals

Neutering

Sat, 01/05/2013 - 17:59 -- dev_rawr

Over 300,000 kittens are born in Ireland every year and of those 180,000 will die before they are 4 months old.

In 2011 almost 5600 dogs were destroyed in Irish pounds.  These statistics are a direct result of overpopulation of pet animals and human neglect, cruelty and indifference.

RAWR supports a simple solution, reduce pet animal births and increase human responsibility.

Neutering your pet animals is one of themost important things you can do for them, their health and wellbeing.  Neutered pets will, generally,live longer healthier lives than un-neutered ones.  Here are some of the reasons why:

  • spaying female dogs and cats, especially if carried out when they are young will greatly reduce the risk of breast cancers and infection of the womb - these are common and frequently fatal conditions in older, un-neutered females.
  • Both pregnancy and giving birth carry significant risks to the mother.
  • Many female dogs will have a false pregnancy following their season.  While this is natural, it can lead to behavioural and medical problems.
  • In male dogs castration will significantly reduce the incidence of prostate disease, reduces the risk of some cancers and totally eliminates testicular cancer.
  • Pets that are not neutered and are confined can become frustrated and unhappy.  They will often make determined efforts to escape to find a partner.
  • Neutering male dogs and cats reduces their urge to roam and to fight which means they are less likely to go missing or be injured or killed on the road or fighting.

Your Home

  • An unspayed female must be confined during her seasons if she is not to become pregnant.
  • If she does become pregnant there is the responsibility of caring for her through to the birth, possible vet fees and the rearing of the litter.  Then you will face the challenge of finding good homes for the puppies or kittens.  A female cat can produce up to 6 kittens 3 times a year and dogs may produce as many as 12 or more puppies twice a yearFemale dogs in season can be messy, producing a bloody discharge for three weeks or more and attracting all the neighbourhood dogs to your door.
  • Un-neutered female cats often come into season  over and over again so that they may be alsmost continuously on heat.  This can be exhausting for both the cats and their owners and attracts amarous, noisy tomcats to the house.
  • Un-neutered male cats will frequently mark their territory with a powerfully unpleasant smelling urine which is not usual in neutered cats.
  • Male dogs have been known to break down doors and fences in their attempts to follow the alluring scent of a female in season.  In the absence of a female they will mount toys, cushions, furniture and visitors' legs to the embarrassment of the owner.  They are also more likely to be aggressive
  • Your cat may be contributing to the population of feral cats in your area without your knowingl.

Frequently Asked questions

Will my pet's personality change?

No, but unwanted behaviour such as roaming, scent marking and fighting may be reduced.  The primary influence on an animal's personality is training and care.

What about the risks of surgery?

Every surgical procedure carries a small degree of risk, but modern anaesthetics and surgical techniques are very safe.  The risks of leaving your pet un-neutered are much greater.

Should I let my pet have one litter first?

NO!  This is a common myth, there is no good reason for letting your pet have one litter before she is spayed  Dogs and cats do not form a lifelong bond with their offspring and do not miss the experience.  Just one litter hurts - affecting thousands of animals every year.

Will my pet get fat after neutering?

No.  Your pet will only get fat if it is fed too much food and not exercised enough.

When should my pet have the operation?

Generally speaking, as early as possible.  Most veterinarians recommend that a female be spayed before her first season at around 4-6 months old.  a male dog or a tomcat can be neutered at 6 months to a year old, but there is no harm in treating him earlier.  Younger animals tend to recover much faster.  Ask your vet to recommend the best time for your pet.

What Will It Cost

It depends on the sex and type of animal and to some extent it can differ between vets.  Ideally you should ask your vet before you bring a pet into your home.

some charities and vets offer subsidized or discounted neutering schemes to elligible owners. RAWR offers a scheme  each year whereby cats can be neutered for €35 (the cat must be ear-tipped as part of this procedure) and a contribution of €40 is paid towards the neutering of dogs - whilst funds are available.   Call into the RAWR shop  in New Street, Bantry, County Cork for a leaflet. See also www.dogstrust.ie for their neutering schemes.

Trap Neuter Return

One of the ways that RAWR aims to reduce the number of unwanted feral cats is Trap Neuter Return (TNR).  This applies to feral cats.  Feral cats choose to live close to humans for two reasons: there is a food source (intended or not) & there is shelter (intended or not). Feral cats are domestic cats, but are not socialized and are therefore unadoptable. Feral cats lead healthy lives on their own, content in their outdoor home.
Catching and killing feral cats is one of the traditional approaches to deal with feral cats. These attempts will only temporarily reduce the number of feral cats in a given area. However, intact survivors continue to breed, and other cats move in to the now available territory. This is a called “the vacuum effect” and it is documented worldwide.

Apart from being a less humane option, catching and killing feral cats does not work.  The result of this option leaves a space, a territory once occupied by the euthanized cat which is soon filled by another cat moving in from outside or by one of the offspring of the euthanized cat..  This is called the vacuum effect.

Trap Neuter Return is internationally recognized and is proven to work.

Trap Neuter Return involves trapping, neutering, and returning feral cats to their outdoor homes. The breeding stops and the number of feral cats stabilises. The returned neutered cats’ lives are improved because behaviours and risks associated with pregnancy and mating (hormones!) are reduced or even stopped. Discontinuing pregnancy after pregnancy improves the health of the female cats and stops all sorts of health issues related to the interbreeding. Not only does Trap Neuter Return make good sense, it is also a responsible, humane method of care for outdoor cats.  The colony of cats is stabilised and numbers reduce over time naturally.