Opinions From the Life Experience of a Spay/Neuter Advocate (or, why it’s stupid not to alter your pets)

My daughter is pregnant.  She is 18 years old; dad is 17 years old.  Dad’s mom & I are the same age and have had similar experiences in our lives.  I call her “the other grandma,” because that’s easier than saying, “My friend whose son impregnated my daughter.”  I say, “the other grandma,” and my friends and coworkers and family immediately know to whom I am referring.

Tuesday evening the other grandma was on her way to work in Winston when she saw something in the road ahead of her.  It took her a moment to realize what she was seeing; as soon as reality hit, she slammed on her brakes, slammed the car into park, and further risked her life by leaping into the midst of heavy traffic and snatching a tiny baby kitten from the jaws of sure death.  

Baby daddy is allergic to cats; so is the other grandpa and the six year old aunt.  So the other grandma called me and asked if I knew of anyone who could take baby kitten.  The other grandma loves cats, and would love to have one – she’s hoping that her little daughter will either outgrow her allergy or outgrow the severity of it and that she’ll one day be able to have a cat.  Tuesday, of course, was not that one day.  So I agreed to swing by when she got home from work and take baby kitten off her hands.

Baby kitten is sick.  She’s seen two different vets, with the same general diagnosis and prognosis:  Mild thickened conjunctivitis, a pretty serious crusty urinary tract infection, FeLV/FIV negative (best news of all), definitely too young to leave mama… and, thanks to the other grandma, who is currently on the hero list of many fans, one lucky miracle kitty.

Of course, kitty wouldn’t be costing me an arm and a leg if someone out there had had the common sense to spay and neuter their cats.  Somewhere out there an idiot (or perhaps two) has an unspayed female cat and an unneutered male cat who are happily reproducing.  This chart, which I found on the Stanford University site, pretty much sums up the stupidity of those cat owners:

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Spay USA offers a great nationwide referral service.  There are plenty more great spay/neuter clinics that aren’t affiliated with Spay USA.  Google “Low-cost spay neuter {your zip code}” and you’ll get links to the ones in your area.

I work for a non-profit, high-volume spay/neuter clinic.  We’re struggling right now to stay open because we just aren’t getting any business.  I remember when I used to take my own animals and Stokes County Humane Society foster animals to this same clinic and the line would be around the lobby, out the door, and down the sidewalk.  I don’t for one minute believe that we’ve spayed all of the animals in the Piedmont-Triad area and that we’re no longer needed.  

I’m out $200 and counting on a kitten I don’t want whose life was in danger because of someone else’s stupidity.  I’ll be the first one to tell you that there are worse fates than death… but when I say that, I mean death by humane euthanasia.  The death this kitten faced was not humane.  She was either going to be crushed to death by a passing car; or, if she’d made it out of the road, she’d have died of starvation, or illness, or as a meal for some hungry dog or wild animal.  None of those deaths are humane, and this kitten, that I don’t want, did NOT deserve any of those deaths.  

My hat is off to the other grandma for snatching baby kitten out of traffic that day.  The other grandma put her life on the line to do the right thing – and she continued to do the right thing by contacting me, and she has offered to help with the medicals because she feels responsible.  I think the other grandma is a wonderful person, and it warms my heart to know that she is willing to accept financial responsibility for an animal for which she is by no means responsible.  

No, the responsibility goes back to the party or parties who took on the ownership of cats without being willing or able to take on the responsibility that goes along with pet ownership.

Live in the PIedmont-Triad area of North Carolina?  Call Central Spay, Neuter and Wellness for an appointment today.  Our prices are low, our staff is amazing (no lie, I work there, I know), and we know what we’re doing.  Check out our website – http://www.centralspay.com.  

In case you’re still not convinced that you need to alter your animals, I have a couple more Spay USA images for you:

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Still not convinced?  Then you, my friend, need serious help.

For myself, I feel that baby kitten’s story is all the convincing anyone should need.  Not every kitten is lucky enough to have someone like the other grandma come along to save it.

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