Originally Posted by TNR1
I think ALL pet quality animals should be spayed/neutered. Sorry Spotz..but how many animals get turned into shelters for behavioral issues that could have easily been solved by spaying/neutering. Plus...why should the shelter system bear this responsibility?? I don't think that is the right way of thinking at all. Also..many stray cats don't ever make it to animal shelters...and then become the burden of people who are trying to work on TNR. I just don't see any reason for non breeders to have intact dogs/cats.
I definately agree with you, but it shouldn't be a law. It should be understood. All responsible breeders will require the animal be S/N, unless otherwise agreed with the owner. Every rescue org that I know of charges an adoption fee, which basically covers the S/N and veterinary care. All Animal Control shelters I know S/N as a practice. Feral cats should be TNR'd if there exists no better alternative.
The problem with it becoming a law would be in the determination of Pet/Breeder. Most of the breeders I know, do not breed their cats like machines. They usually have a litter or two every other year or so, sometimes less frequently as demand isn't always high. These cats are bonded to them and behave very much the same way that domestics do. They could easily be classed as pets during the inactive seasons, and if law mandated that "pets" be S/N then AC could potentially take these animals and S/N them unless the breeder maintained a constant regime of breeding.
Every org that I know that requires S/N recovers most if not all of their cost, so it is not their financial burden, it is the owner's or the future owner's.
There is also a greatly debated topic regarding what age these animals can be safely S/N at. Making it a law would require setting a standard. The fact is, the only standard that will work is Early S/N. Granted no significant proof against this, but many vets still reccomend waiting longer than 8 weeks to S/N if for no other reason but to make General Anestesia safer.
There would have to be a set waiting period before S/N could be done by these orgs. Reason? What happens if for some unforseen reason, a breeders cat gets loose. Animal control or similar captures the animal before the owner does. If they S/N that animal ASAP then they've opened themselves to a lawsuit from the owner. If the animal goes unclaimed for X amount of time, then the animal would become classed as abandoned, and could both be S/N and adopted out to a new home, or at worst humanely euthanized. No responsible breeder would fail to notify Animal Control and such of an escaped/missing animal within a very short time period. If S/N was implemented ASAP at the Animal Control or similar, then the breeder would be much less likely to notify officials to help them find their missing cat. This serves no positive function.
Another hypothetical, what if the animal had a medical condition that put it at high risk for this(or any) operation? These orgs would have no medical history on this animal, and the animal would most likely die on the Operating Table. I've seen cats die on the Operating Table, even from something so routine as a S/N, it happens, but if a vet knew there was a preexisting condition in the animal they most likely wouldn't operate, and the animal would live. A responsible owner is likely to find the cat very shortly after Animal Control or similar did.
A S/N law is potentially riddiculed with problems, however a TNR law, and strict Animal Control policies plus strict Rescue and Shelter policies will significantly reduce the amount of sexually intact animals out there.
There should also be established standards for Breeders, set higher than those of pet ownership. Why? To discourage the less responsible from breeding. Animals should also be required to be registered and identified. Though that presents many problems also, due to a lack of identification standards.
Also...Vets must not be forced to work against owners...even though it would help in some cases...the vast majority of 'bad' owners would just stop taking their animals to the vet altogether if they knew the vet could get them in trouble. Most vets I know that have dealt with poor owners in the past have a relatively good policy on these people. They try to talk to them first, and if that doesn't succeed, they then refuse to do business with them, noting basic details on the animals medical records. When the owner goes to a new vet and they request the medical records, the new vet gets a good idea of the past and knows to look for something in the new client. Generally after a few vets, address the same issues, and sometimes even refuse to deal with the client, that person gets the idea that they need to change something. Also a law allowing or requireing vets to report abuse, opens them up for lawsuits. Conversely a law that allows a vet to report against owners, potentially gives the vet the power to manipulate the owner also. It's really a no win situation.
While mandated S/N would accomplish some, Feral populations and Stray cats are a bigger problem. These animals are the main contributor to the feline population, and these animals are dealt with by AC and similar. It falls into the hands of these orgs more than anyone else.
The biggest conflict with Mandated S/N for pets is Invasion of Privacy.
What needs to be established is that unless the ownership is transferred to someone else by a mutual agreement, whomever owns an animal must be held accountable to the actions and condition of the animal. Licensing/Registration of every animal would make establishing ownership much simpler, and would also allow animal control to process animals much more efficiently.
I could go on and on, and given sufficient time to write a truely coherent novel, I'm sure I could succeed on this issue alone. As it is currently, I am rambling and trying to briefly (ha!) touch on the major points brought up, only finding more to bring up...I could go on? I think I've hit enough for right now...I will let someone else ramble next
It remains my opinion that Mandatory Spay/Neuter and some other new laws would be counterproductive. I also believe that current policy vaires too much between organizations. There needs to be a minimal standard, something that establishes the basics of responsible ownership and responsible breeding. The reason I say minimal, is because every single time a law gets to specific, it starts to cause more problems than it solves. Spay/Neuter is a practice that should be...well....practiced. There are times and places where it is unnecessary, or undesired, but these circumstances cannot be used as an excuse for Irresponsible breeding, or even unintentional breeding. S/N is the simplest and the best form of breeding prevention out there, not to mention the numerous health benefits. Even so, it must not be forced on every single pet.