Posted by: celticanglican | April 11, 2008

Sheesh, who’s the mean one here?

This post was originally written April 11, 2008.

I was once asked by someone why my Weimaraner (rescued from the streets of suburban Houston) was neutered, saying that it was “mean” and implying he was no longer a real male. Said uninformed person has one family member whose dog and cats have litters all over the neighborhood, eventually ending up at the pound. Another member of this person’s family is a backyard breeder who produces “designer” breeds. <rant mode on> Both of his family members are probably contributing to some shelters’ euthanasia rate, yet he accuses someone who choses not to have their pet contribute to this problem of being mean. Go figure!<rant mode off>

Okay, angry rant aside, here are some statistics for consideration: 6.5 million likely adoptable animals, either owner-relinquished or strays, enter shelters every year.  Happily ever after, right? Think again: 1.5 million of them will be euthanized.

How, you may wonder, does the population get so out of control? Both cats & dogs can produce numerous offspring. Cats can have up to six, and possibly more, kittens three times a year. Dogs can have up to 10 puppies twice a year. Intact males of either species are capable of fathering an infinite number of offspring.

Backyard or “designer” breeders are often contributers to the problem because most aren’t careful about who they sell their puppies/kittens to. A lot of these pets will end up in shelters, as will products of accidental breedings. Incidently, animals coming from responsible breeders seldom end up in shelters because of their careful screening of new homes and the fact that most will take the animals back if problems occur.

Which is actually mean: to prevent an animal from producing offspring that may be unwanted and end up euthanized, or to willingly allow your animal to produce unwanted offspring? I’ll leave it to the reader to decide.

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