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pet overpopulation in usa

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

I am currently wondering the reason of the pet overpopulation in uSA.

When you think about it, all media related sources support neutering/spaying; all the pet magazines, internet etc. Also, USA has much better living standarts than most other countries in the world. Besides, there is no such thing as veterinerians being against neutering/spaying. Yet, %77 of cats & kittens and %55 of dogs & puppies are being euthanized annually and the rest mostly live miserable lives in shelters.

However in Turkey, almost everyone, including most of the veterinarians are against neutering/spaying!! Pets mostly live on streets in Turkey (there are shelters also, but with little financial support). People seem to care more about cats' sexual lives than their lives actually! I mean, the only reason they are against of it is because they believe that we don't have the right to take their sexual lives away from them; not the cost of the neutering/spaying operation or anything else! Most veterinerians also lack the recent scientific realities about neutering/spaying and tell people that the animals should at least breed once before getting altered.

Turkish Health Ministry recently suggested to euthanize the animals in shelters which are not adopted in a certain amount of time. (some people are trying to something in order to prevent this). They and some other people in TR ground their suggestions to the procedures done in countries such as USA. For example they say "if they euthanize, then why shouldn't we?"

I am getting soo pessimistic about solving this big problem throughout the world
post #2 of 20
Oh boy.... Not a good subject for me to get started on but I will anyway.

A big reason contributing to pet overpopulation in the US is backyard breeders. Now I am not refering to all breeders I am refering to the ones who purchase a purebred(cat or dog) and have the intentions of making their money back by breeding the animal without any reguard for the breed standard, health or the animal's best interest.

They also view it as fun or a good educational thing for the kids to see. They don't screen their buyers as long as they can pay. They'll breed to any intact member of the same breed no matter the bloodlines or breed standard. They don't screen for health problems, for exsample in dogs hip dysplasia and then the pups wind up like my Lab who just turned 7 and can hardly walk from this debilitating disease.

They often don't vaccinate or worm the puppies or kittens and in dogs they don't have the rear dewclaws removed(unless the standard calls for the rear declaws to not be removed). Basically they breed for their own selfish reasons.

Another big reason is as big as you think the spay and neuter message is there are still people out there who have not heard it or have misconceptions. They often don't think of the complications that can happen during pregnancy and delivery. You'd be surprised but a lot of people don't know how a cat is supposed to act when she's in heat and assume she's being annoying and maybe letting her outside will ease her, then a couple days later she comes back pregnant.

Then you have the people who still believe the things they hear from so and so or something that was "common knowledge" years ago. They think that fixing their animal will make it fat and lazy... Well yes... if you let it. Then you have the people who think the females have to have one litter because it will make them better pets. Some also think it's cruel and alot for the animal to go through. Well testicular cancer and a pyometra are a lot for an animal to go through and they both can be avoided.

Then there's the thought that it's unnecessary to spay or neuter purebreds because they are in such high demand.

I can go on and on about why this is still a problem but it won't solve it. Maybe the approach taken is wrong or there needs to be a fresh one but as long as there's money to be made or a misconception had there will be unnecessary breeding.
post #3 of 20
I also think cost is a big issue involved. I know how much it has cost me to have my cats/dogs fixed, and now I have a litter of kittens from a feral that will need to be fixed when they are older, and it just never is about $50 here to have a cat spayed/neutered...and I am sure that it is more expensive in other areas...but that really adds up if you have several cats you have rescued or have wandered onto your property, to be fixed.

I'm not complaining, I am taking care of it as it needs to be done. (when they are old enough) but I wish the vets didn't charge so much for it. If they even just charged $25 it wouldn't be so bad. And there is not a place near here that does this for free or for a lower price, like in some places...(humane society, etc)

I know several people where I live that have ALOT of cats, and they can't afford to have them all fixed, so the cats just keep breeding and the problem just gets worse.

I wish the government would stop handing money to freeloaders who could get off their butts and get a job, and instead use some of this money to fund programs in the area to have cats and dogs fixed for free or lower rates, depending on the number of cats to be done, and the person's income.

I believe the vets would be packed with cats to be fixed, if this were the case. It would way lower the over population problem.

Just my two cents....I'm not saying that is the only reason, but I know it is a big part of it.
post #4 of 20
I also want to add, because I'm sure someone will mention it, that I DO realize that alot of these same people who can't afford to get their cats fixed, go out and buy other things that they could do without and don't really need, so the money isn't the only problem there, obviously, but...I still believe that they would take the time to have alot of their pets fixed, if the cost was lower.
post #5 of 20
Some of the problem lies in the vet community. Many vets charge a lot of money to spay and neuter a cat and many families (at least in my area) cannot afford the money it costs, or take the time to take the cat in and get it "done." There is a mobile spay and neuter clinic that comes to my area three times a year. You take your cat in, get it spayed or neutered for a donation, the ear is clipped just a little bit, and you go home. The waiting list is already filling up before the next year! I worked with one of these for an entire day, in return they spayed and neutered 6 of my feral kitties. I started at 5:30 a.m handling cages, traps and carriers full of kitties, and the flow did not stop till 7:00 p.m.! It was mind boggling to say the least.

The problem also comes with (again in my area) the backyard breeders or the kitty mills that pump out kitten after kitten and sell them to pet shops. Also there is a lack of education factor. A lot of people (again in my rural area) have no idea how many kittens a queen can produce and how many kittens her offsprings can produce if not spayed or neutered. They just look at how "cute" little kitties are, and how their daughter wants a little kitty. There is one family in my area, i would dearly love to break their necks. They had at last count over 35 ferals running on their farm, none of the cats have been vetted or anything, and the woman allows them to breed because her daughter loves "white kitties" When a white kitty is born, it is taken from the litter and put in the house for the daughter to raise.........sigh........The times I am called is when the kittens are so sick (inbreeding) that they have gross problems, and I am called to take care of it. I go over there and try not to cry as I see wounds from fights and sickness and disease and it just makes me nuts! And yes, I have reported them time and time again, but that is another story.

So the problem is just not ONE thing, if it was it would of been nipped in the bud long ago. There are many reasons why this is occuring, and it is not going away anytime soon.
post #6 of 20
You are SO right, Hissy!!! And man, I wish they had one of those mobile spay/neuter clinics that would come to THIS area a few times a year!!! I would even volunteer to help them!!! And for a know several people who would bring their pets in!!!!

I love our vet and his wife dearly, they are very good people, but they also have the biggest and nicest most expensive house in I wish they could lower the prices for spaying/neutering....but I will say, they have worked with me on this....they have given me discounts for bring ing in more than 2 cats at a time to be fixed, and also gave me cheaper rates for having them done in the winter months, when their business is slower.
post #7 of 20
Cost is another factor and I totally sympathize with those who WANT to fix their animals but cannot afford it. One would argue why should they have an animal in the first place but because that person cannot afford a costly surgery doesn't mean they shouldn't have an animal. That's why there is low cost spay and neuter certificates in my area which help out ALOT.

Unfortunatly many many people abuse the system and now the people who really need those low cost spays are being denied. A few people come to mind... One woman had a Coton De Tulear(however you spell it) imported from somewhere, paid big bucks for the dog and then got a low cost neuter certificate to have him fixed. I'm glad the dog was fixed but if she could afford the hundreds of dollars to buy the dog how come she couldn't pay the 70 dollars to have him neutered? The purebred price tag must have left her broke hmm?

Then there's the people who pull up in BMW's, plastered with gold jewery, lives in Florida in the winter and vists their summer home on the Cape but can't afford to pay the 60 dollars to neuter their cat.

Cost is an issue but it's not the only one and frankly I think it's used as an excuse a lot(around here anyway).

Many people just don't want to have it done. Brian at one time never wanted Scooby neutered because "God gave him his testicles" but really I think it was a "man" issue. Although after I lectured him on the types of cancer Scoob could get he changed his mind.

People are also afraid of their animals going under anesthesia as well. They WANT to but they're scared to because they've heard a few bad stories or have had a bad experience with it such as the animal dying or the incision site getting infected. There's only so much you can say to someone and if they have their mind set it's pretty difficult to change no matter what their reasons are.

BTW I am using cost references from the clinic I work at. It's 60 dollars to neuter a cat and 70 to have a dog under 30 pounds neutered. Not sure on the prices around the country.
post #8 of 20
I paid $150 to have Cleo spayed. Yes, that's a lot of money for the operation. That's what my vet charges people who can afford it. I can, and I know that by paying that much I'm subsidizing my vet's volunteer work with a local no-kill shelter. I figure I paid for at least two other cats to be altered, so I didn't mind paying that much.
post #9 of 20
I totally agree that some people use cost as an excuse. But the fact still remains that they are not having these pets fixed, and I do believe if it was cheaper, they might. I think they use the money for other things instead. But some of the people I know who have lots of cats have taken in cats off the streets, etc or had ferals wander in, and they end up with so many cats there isa no way they could afford to fix them all. And that is thanks to other people who maybe can afford it, and just don't.
post #10 of 20
Ooh and one more thing and I'll shut up(for now)

The cost of the surgery isn't as outrageous once you break it down. Um.. for a normal cat spay is 95 dollars(At my work it's a bit higher if the cat is in heat or pregnant). Now you figure the sedative the cat is given let's say Ket/Ace and the additional gas anesthesia, and there is a big portion of the cost. At the very least there is one tech working with the doctor who is proforming the surgery so their time has to be paid. Now the supplies like the scub, the betadine, gauze and the drapes, the oxygen, the heating pad, the face masks, the surgical gloves, a new surgical blade, suture.

Let's say the average spay takes 20 minutes more or less. So while the doctor is proforming the spay you have a tech monitoring the cat's heart rate, breathing and standing by to assist the doctor if need be. There's instruments that are used and those need to be cleaned and sterilized so that's another 15 minutes AFTER the surgery just to clean and put the pack together and 45 minutes in the autoclave. Once the surgery is done, the cat is weighed, cleaned up, nails trimmed, checked for fleas, given eye drops and placed in it's cage with blankets and warm water bottles and closely monitored until she's completely awake.

The cat spends the night where she is checked on several times during the night. Oops and I almost forgot the presurgical exam that's not even changed for in the bill.

It adds up quickly doesn't it?

There has been a low cost clinic that has been trying to open up nearby with no such luck. Medical supplies are so expensive and finding enough volunteers has been difficult. Even with all the donations that have been given it's not enough. Too bad the medical supply companies can't donate some equipment to help out.
post #11 of 20
It is $30.00 to have a male done, and $60.00 for a female here. There is one clinic in Salem that does the male neutering for $10.00 and the females for $20.00 but that is a long way from us to carry feral kitties who can't be stressed out much.
post #12 of 20
Holy cow - I wish I could get Ophelia done for those prices. I have checked quite a few vets in my area and it is going to cost probably more than $200 all told. The basic cost is around $170. The base price for males is around $80. Those costs are not inclusive, either. I have no doubt there will be additional charges when I get Ophelia done, like there were when I had Trent done.

I completely agree with Debby - the money is a problem. I haven't had Ophelia spayed yet simply because I am barely paying bills right now, let alone have $200 to get her fixed. I'm not trying to justify myself, she will get spayed ASAP, but I do know I am not adding to the problem since she does not go outside, ever (she's afraid of the front door), and Trent is neutered.

I think the other part of the problem that goes along with not spaying and neutering is the attitude of pets being disposable. I know all of you who do rescue understand this all too well. They say that a couple months after big holidays there is a surge of animals surrendered. Little Janie wanted a kitten for Christmas, but once it wasn't so cute anymore she didn't want to take care of it. Of course, Janie will want a puppy next Christmas...
post #13 of 20
200 dollars is a lot of money!! And I thought the Cape was expensive!!

Heidi, at least with responsible people like you who can't afford to pay that much money right now, you want to have your kitty fixed and will take the proper precautions to make sure she doesn't get pregnant until she can be spayed.

But there's also people who really can't afford it either BUT they don't care or don't realize what happens when Fluffy has a litter. I know I've been there. When I was younger I lived with my mother after my parents got divorced. We had cats and they would come and go and my mom never fixed them. The main reason was because we were poor and I mean welfare poor but the our little kitty would go out and come back pregnant.

The female cats we had didn't have to go outside but my mom didn't want to deal with a litter box so out they went. So when the cat had kittens it was all fun and games blah blah blah and once the kittens found homes out mamma went again and more babies were on their way.

I love my mom but she is NOT a responsible cat owner. She thinks having kittens are fun and since she cannot afford to fix her cat it's an added bonus. I can tell her about all the animals that die in shelters every year because they don't have homes, I can tell her about all the sick starving cats that are trying to make it out on the streets and the tireless efforts of dedicated rescuers who don't gain a thing from helping these cats other than the satisfaction of keeping one cat from having any more litters and finding them good homes.

None of it phases her and frankly I don't know what more I can say or do. She has a kitten who is now 6 months and I've been after her to neuter him but she hasn't. I know money is an issue and I've been urging her to check into some low cost organizations in her area but she won't. It's only a matter of time before he ends up being thrown outdoors once he starts spraying.... Which leads me to ask, anyone know of or can point me in the right direction of where I can find a low cost clinic or group in RI?
post #14 of 20
Bad Habit,

How about an organinzation like Friends of Animals? When I first took Ivo in, I got in contact with this group, and they gave me the name of a vet in the area who worked with them. I would send the organization money (I think it was $35), and they would send me a certificate. I would then take the certificate to the vet, and that would cover the spay. I'm sure there would have been other charges, but $35 for the base price seems good compared to the numbers I've seen here.

In my case, I decided to take Ivo to a cat-only vet practice. It ended up to be a good choice for us, because she had already been spayed, and I would have "lost" the $35 for the low-cost spay. But Friends of Animals seems to be nation wide. I found this website:
Maybe this will help!
post #15 of 20
What you said is So true. It is really bad in the area of Texas that I live in. We have no shelter for folks living out in the county. Just City Shelters.....I am with a Local Humane Society and have been for 13 years. We have tried to get the county to build a shelter & have a Low Cost Spay & Neuter program. Do you know what the good folks at Texas A&M told us? If the local Vets did not want a new Vet to come here & do Low cost surgeries. A&M would not send a Vet. And of course the local Vets Had a fit.....Takes $$$ out of their pockets. I understand making a living but...They could help the animals. Its not just the Vets in our county but the Vets in surrounding areas. Its a sad thing the way the animals are treated. Prayers,
post #16 of 20
Christy, thanks for that link. It had a couple of numbers to organizations in her area so I copied them and e-mailed them to her. Hopefully she'll look into them. Thanks again!!
post #17 of 20
The Humane Society is the best place. I had Rascal done and it ony cost me $19.95. It was a special deal. So people have to look around for information. Here in utah there is a clinic that specializes in spay/neuter. And there is also a van operated by NoMoreHomelessPets, a best Friends oganization. They go around and the prices range from $10 to $20. I agree about people not affording to neuter their pets but have tons of money for other things.
post #18 of 20
Thanks for that link. I checked it, but all the places listed were many miles away from our area. So I guess i will just continue to pay the high cost. I have an appointment for this Thursday for two more cats that need done. They would have been done sooner, but both of them are cats that only come around once in awhile, and stay for a few weeks then take off again, This time I am not taking any chances, they are going in ASAP. They have already had kittens here, and the one litter I have inside in a big cage, and will have to have them fixed as well down the road, and the other litter I can't even touch...they get within 6 feet, then run off as soon as I make a move toward them.
post #19 of 20
I copied all the information you guys posted so that I can translate it in spanish and find spanish communities to post it on. I know for a fact that many hispanics do not spay or neuter their pets. One friend of mine told me I was cruel to take his natural insticts to mate. I told him its even more cruel to let a dog or cat mate and they have babies and no one wants them. Many of them end up euthanized. I've seen many homeless cats and dogs in Mexico looking for a bite to eat. Many dogs are skinny and have fleas and ticks. There are no shelters that I am aware of. I will look around and see. But thanks for all this info. I could really use it.
post #20 of 20
We have an organization, here: Animals' Crusaders. I've used them for most of my pets, for 16 years. It has been $21.50, for males and $27.50, for females. They have vets on their list all over Southern Arizona. It is more for dogs but, not much. I don't hold with indiscriminate breeding - for animals OR people! If you can't feed 'em - don't breed 'em!
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