Won’t encouraging people to spay and neuter their pets lead to no pets at all? If you fix them all there won’t be any more!
Many people DO pose this question to those of us working for shelters and other animal protection agencies. Though the reasoning behind the question makes it a valid question, you have to be realistic about your expectations as well.
First of all let me say over 200 breeds of dog and cat are registered with the AKC (American Kennel Club) and TICA (The International Cat Association) as of today. An animal of any breed can average anywhere from 1 to 24 children per litter! You can imagine a lot of those will be producing litters in coming years as well. These pets aren’t going to disappear on us any time soon. Plus, this is just registered pure-bred data.
If you share my passion for a good ol’ Mutt you can still rest at ease. Designer dogs are available and they are mutts; As were all other breeds before they established a reputation. Dogs have been ‘designed’ by human breeding for centuries. For example: A Doberman is a terrier/greyhound/shepherd/pincher…. You get the point. Also, for every responsible pet owner there is at least one irresponsible one. The latter of the two alone could keep the pet population growing and genes intermingling indefinitely.
Let me put everyone’s mind at ease- house pets are no more in danger of extinction than the cockroach.
Spaying and neutering are part of how we keep the number of homeless animals down. We want all animals to have loving homes and never end up in the shelter. It would be ideal for us (shelters) to put ourselves out of business by spaying and neutering! However, as long as people continue to move, pass on, and lose pets- our doors will be open.
What confounds me is that it seems more people fuss about adopting a pet that is fixed than fuss about the many dogs that are euthanized each year. We are able to be a no-kill shelter by keeping our incoming animal numbers down through spay and neuter programs in the community.
If you are still concerned the dog and cat population is in danger I have 2 solid sources of proof for you:
First, go to PetFinder.com and look around. All of these animals are the unlucky homeless that we KNOW about. Today’s number says there are over 300,000 animals listed. There are more we have yet to find that are out there breeding.
Second, volunteer at your local shelter for 2 months. In this short amount of time you will see for yourself the overwhelming number of animals coming in daily. You can see this with just one visit, but 2 months gives you enough time to notice the turnover rate (the amount coming in/leaving on a regular basis).
Please don’t litter: Fix your critter.