ANIMAL BIRTH CONTROL
OUR #1 PROBLEM
YOU must make the decision whether your pets should add their litters to the already over-populated dog and cat world. We ask you to make that decision on the basis of fact, not sentiment.
Do you have a registered purebred animal? Are you willing to study carefully everything you can find on genetics, dominant and recessive genes, inbreeding and line breeding? Will you do scientific research so that you can IMPROVE the breed, not just increase its numbers? Have you enough money to support yourself AND your animal families? You aren't likely to make a profit; few breeders do so consistently.
If your pet is a female mixed breed animal, DO NOT BREED HER. She is a charming accident herself and lucky to have a good home with you. Her offspring might not be so fortunate. If you have a male, remember he can impregnate as many females as he chances to meet, so HAVE HIM NEUTERED.
The importance of finding GOOD HOMES for all the puppies and kittens cannot be overemphasized. Apart from the natural revulsion we all feel at the thought of any living creature being cruelly treated or neglected, there is the very real danger that neglected animals roaming the streets, without vaccinations or veterinary care, serve as a disease pool which can bring illness to your own pets or children.
Why is neutering necessary? The numbers speak for themselves: in the United States about 30 million puppies and 40 million kittens are born each year while only about 1.5 million homes and apartment units are constructed in that period.
Consequently, humane societies are FLOODED with these animals. The responsibility rests squarely with those people who permit their pets to have litters which they cannot or will not keep and properly maintain. Suppose your cat or dog had a litter. Perhaps you carefully and conscientiously found good homes for each infant animal. Your conscience is at rest .... but should it be? Your litter found homes, while others had to be destroyed. So long as there are more healthy dogs and cats than there are good homes, any litter is surplus. If you permit your male animal to roam and sire uncounted litters (even though these creatures are not your personal worry) you must share equal blame.
What does "neuter" mean? For the female is means surgically removing the entire reproductive system. The operation is known as an ovarian-hysterectomy. Neutering a male means castrating it, removing his testicles. Both operations are performed by veterinarians while the animal is anesthetized. The surgery is routine and the animal recovers very quickly, especially males, who usually are running around a few hours after the operation. It might be a few days before the female completely recovers from the soreness around her abdominal incision, but any discomfort is mild.
The neutering operation can be performed at any time after the puppy or kitten is five months old, but discuss the proper timing with your vet. It is usually not recommended that a female be spayed during estrus (her heat period) or while she is pregnant.
Is there an alternative to surgery? Abstinence is the only other way, but few fences can keep a female in heat from unwanted suitors. Unaltered males tend to roam, sometimes in packs, chasing females in heat. The "pill" for pets has yet to be perfected. Scientists working on the problem say that any hormonal solution to the problem is still years away. There are powders and sprays available which help to mask the mating scent, but they don't inhibit conception.
Neutered animals make more satisfactory house pets. They remain alert and protective. They won't get fat unless YOU overfeed them. They are less prone to developing tumors. They generally live longer.
Love and responsibility go hand in hand. You pets give you pleasure and companionship. You give them good care. Neutering should be included in that good care.
PREVENTING ANIMAL BITES
OUR #2 PROBLEM
An estimated 4.7 million people in the United States are bitten by dogs each year. While some 2,500 of these are letter carriers, children are the most common victims of severe dog bites. Dog-bite injuries are a serious problem in our country, but they’re a problem we can solve. Here’s how:
Spay or neuter your dog. Dogs who have not been spayed or neutered are three times more likely to bite than are dogs who have been spayed or neutered.
Train and socialize your dog so that she is comfortable being around people including friends, neighbors, and children.
Never play “attack” games with your dog. He won’t always understand the difference between play and real-life situations.
If you don’t know how your dog will react to a new situation, be cautious. When a letter carrier or other service person comes to your door, be sure your dog is safely restrained or confined in another room before opening the door. Don’t allow your dog to bark, jump against the door, or bite the mail as it comes through the mail slot; this will only teach your dog to attack the letter carrier.
If your dog exhibits behavior such as growling, nipping, or biting—even on an occasional basis—seek professional advice from your veterinarian, an animal behaviorist, or a skilled dog trainer.
Never approach a dog you don’t know or a dog who is alone without his owner, especially if the dog is confined behind a fence, within a car, or on a chain.
Don’t disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or caring for puppies.
Don’t pet a dog, even your own, without letting him see and sniff you first.
When approached by a dog you don’t know, don’t run or scream. Instead, stand still with your hands at your sides and do not make direct eye contact with or speak to the dog. Teach children to “be a tree” until a dog goes away and to practice with a stuffed toy dog.
If you are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your ears. Lie still and keep quiet until the dog goes away. Teach children to “lie like a log” until a dog goes away.
If a dog attacks, you may be able to decrease injury by “feeding” him your jacket, purse, bicycle, or anything else that can serve as a barrier between you and the dog.