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06 April 2010


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If I could get my vet to talk to me about spay &neuter for certain humans that would be a good conversation.

Gina Spadafori

I have a list of candidates ...

H. Houlahan

Wow Christie, the SFGate brain trust is really jammin' their Symposium of Deep Thought in the comments!

Some particularly nice ad hominem work there. You filthy breeder, you. (Bet that's not a pejorative that you, of all people, would expect to stick.)

Pet sterilization propaganda is the Reefer Madness of the dog & cat world. If I have to lie to force people to do what I want them to do, I better lie as loudly and as indignantly as possible.

Get people all het up about how The Apocalypse will ensue if a poodle keeps her ovaries; the True Believers will continue to shriek their slogans and go hysterical in the face of any nuance. OMG! NOTHING ELSE MATTERS! BUCKETS OF DEAD PUPPIES! BUCKETS I SAY!

Meanwhile, regular people, faced with a cat that really does get fat after he's castrated, or a bitch that leaks urine her whole life after being spayed at four months of age, will inevitably cultivate a distrust of the vets, shelter workers, and other "experts" who whitewashed the downsides and delivered propaganda rather than information.

Besides, have none of these people ever heard of a LEASH?

Gina Spadafori

I believe Christie is like Mark Morford at this point: She doesn't read the comments. :)

Gina Spadafori

Well ... I DID read the comments, and aside from the predictable "she's a filthy breeder" -- which she hasn't been for years and may never be again -- and the predictable "so a few pets die, it's worth it to save MILLLIONS from dying!!!" Kool-Aid, I'm actually pleasantly surprised that quite a few people actually understood the point.

The rest? Well, they PROVED her point: That a lot of animal activists would rather LIE than give up their "until there are none ... " mantra, which logically eads to ... well, NONE, but no one ever said zealots have to make sense.

The overwhelming majority of pet-owners will choose spay-neuter even after the pros and cons are explained. I do, for the overwhelming majority of my dogs and ALL my cats and bunnies. But of course, I AM a filthy breeder, having rescued and fostered in the neighborhood of 200 or more pets in 30 years and chosen to bring six puppies into the world one time.

And people who don't spay-neuter WOULD do it, if offered free or incentivized programs that go into their communities, since money and transportation is a challenge for many poor pet-owners.

But no, it's easier for middle-class, white activists to trash the poor and the non-white as being "bad" pet-owners, not worthy of the truth and incapable of making their own decisions. It's so much more personally satisfying to feel superior than to actually help with respect for the PEOPLE you're helping.


I would guess that most Veterinarians are about as likely to sit down with clients and explore the complexities of spay-neuter as they are vaccination or homemade pet food vs. packaged pet food.

Gina Spadafori

I would guess that most Veterinarians are about as likely to sit down with clients and explore the complexities of spay-neuter as they are vaccination or homemade pet food vs. packaged pet food.

Comment by YesBiscuit — April 6, 2010

Why, Miss Shirley! Do I detect a note of sarcasm? :)

Yes, I wish ALL veterinarians would discuss the pros-cons of various health-care options, possible side-effects, counter-indications, etc.

But hell ... I wish MY doctor would, too, and she doesn't. I'm on a fast-track to check-out, unless I go in informed and ask questions. If I do, then she's great. If not, well ... good luck to me!

It's too bad that my mechanic takes more time to discuss my old pickem-up truck than my MD does discussing my body. But at least I have a great veterinarian.

By the way, Pet Connection BFF Dr. Patty Khuly has mentioned more than a few times how people try to get veterinarians to offer human medical advice. Drives veterinarians crazy, it does. But just now, I wonder if it's because they don't get thorough care from their own doctors (if indeed they have one) and so figure they'll ask the veterinarian, since they're there?


This sounds like a swell option for the uninsured - ask your Vet!

When you're done looking in Fluffy's ears, can you give me a mammogram?

Janet Boss

Balancing my role of pet-owner educator, former chair of a committee that put a mobile s/n unit on the road and supporting s/n of shelter pets with my concern for the health of my pets and all pets, is not simple. I try to provide as much information to students as possible, so they can make the informed decision of what is best for them and their pets. I still support shelter s/n due to the huge task of placing already unwanted pets. For my own dogs and anyone choosing a pet from another source, honest education is important.


A retired vet in my neighborhood told me he believes wholesale s/n has lead to a lot of skin problems. Skin problems lead to overuse of antibiotics and steroids, which in turn do a number on the immune system, cause insulin resistance, etc. I wish more vets would give full disclosure.


What about breeder contracts that require S/N when the dog is not a show/breeding prospect? I understand that they want to prevent accidental or backyard breeding of these pets but given that usually it is the most responsible owners that obtain their pets from these sources, it seems overly restrictive.


I've been hearing about more and more large breed breeders requiring in the contract that pet quality pups be neutered after maturity--there's a cutoff date by when it needs to be done, but also a date prior to which it cannot be done. It's not every breeder, not even every responsible large breed breeder, but breeders are starting to incorporate these concerns into their practices.

H. Houlahan

That's in my contract now -- no early neutering. Rather than a sterilization requirement (I don't produce "pet" and "show" puppies) I have a list of conditions that must be met before a pup is bred -- age, health testing, etc.

Someone who wants to breed willy-nilly will run off when they see the contract.

Thus far, none of Pip's 18 offspring have been bred. One of her six-year-old sons had a date set up, but the bitch turned out to be mildly dysplastic, so her owner will not be breeding her. The two-year-olds are just coming to an age where it's a consideration.

Gina Spadafori

We did something very similar with the ZInKuties, which is to say, we put them in homes with intelligent, well-informed grown-ups who knew the breed, were capable of high-level training and understood the requirements of owning a high-drive working dog.

One of the boys and one of the girls is already altered. I would have waited a few more months on that mysellf, but again, these are intelligent people who weighed the risks and benefits and made the decision that was right for their own dogs.

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