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View Full Version : Psychological cost of pet overpopulation (and euthanasia at animal shelters)


MaryL
January 27th 06, 07:34 AM
I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his cat
neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he thought the
cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from a
recent article on euthanasia in the Nacogdoches (TX) Daily Sentinel. The
animal shelter has a staff who work very hard to find homes for animals that
are under their care. Even so, statistics for 2005 show that they euthanized
*73 percent* of the animals that were left at the shelter (and that is
actually *less* than the rate of euthanasia in many communities).

The article actually concentrated on the psychological toll that is taken on
shelter workers who must carry out this horrible (but necessary) task --
something that I think we seldom think about. Here is one excerpt from the
article: "Shocking? Imagine how shelter director Gwen Gillespie feels. She
and one other shelter employee are responsible for euthanizing hundreds of
dogs and cats each month - many of which were healthy, loving animals -
bagging them and depositing them in the city landfill. Gillespie's
unfortunate job illuminates another aspect of massive animal euthanasia that
remains largely hidden from public view - the disturbing psychological toll
that killing so many healthy animals takes on the shelter personnel who
perform the deed." Further, the article notes that an American Veterinary
Medical Association's panel on euthanasia warned in 2000 that "constant
exposure to, or participation in, euthanasia procedures can cause a
psychologic state characterized by a strong sense of work dissatisfaction
and alienation." Other studies "have found that people who perform animal
euthanasias are an 'at-risk' population, at-risk for a variety of
psychological, emotional and physical ailments such as high blood pressure,
ulcers, unresolved grief, depression and even suicide."

So, failure to spay and neuter -- which has led to an extreme overpopulation
of cats and dogs -- brings tragedy not only to our four-legged friends but
also to people who must look at wonderful, healthy animals and know that
most of them are doomed. I know I am "preaching to the church choir" here
because most of the contributors to this newsgroup already are aware of the
necessity to spay and neuter, but I hope this will motivate some of you to
encourage your neighbors to also think about the problem.

You can read the full article here:
http://www.dailysentinel.com/news/content/news/stories/2006/01/25/20060125NDSanimal.html

MaryL

William Hamblen
January 27th 06, 04:47 PM
On 2006-01-27, MaryL -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
> I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his cat
> neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he thought the
> cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from a

I could point out the obvious: I've yet to see a tomcat have kittens.
There are good reasons to neuter a tom, but population control really
isn't one of them. Unless you can operate on all (or nearly all) of
the breeding population it isn't going to make much difference. One
intact tom can serve many intact queens. For population control put
your money on spaying queens, first.

--
The night is just the shadow of the Earth.

CatNipped
January 27th 06, 06:14 PM
"William Hamblen" > wrote in message
...
> On 2006-01-27, MaryL -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
>> I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his cat
>> neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he thought
>> the
>> cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from a
>
> I could point out the obvious: I've yet to see a tomcat have kittens.
> There are good reasons to neuter a tom, but population control really
> isn't one of them. Unless you can operate on all (or nearly all) of
> the breeding population it isn't going to make much difference. One
> intact tom can serve many intact queens. For population control put
> your money on spaying queens, first.

This makes no sense - you seem to be arguing against your point. If one
intact tom can service many queens then it would be more cost effective to
neuter the tom to keep him from impregnating many queens (and in actuality
is, since toms costs less to neuter than queens to spay). You are
preventing "many" pregnancies by neutering "one" tom. Yes, there are other
intact toms who will impregnate queens if you neuter only one, but there are
also other queens who will be impregnated if you spay only one queen - that
part of the argument is moot.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/



>
> --
> The night is just the shadow of the Earth.

Ron Herfurth
January 27th 06, 09:56 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
> "William Hamblen" > wrote in message
> ...
> > On 2006-01-27, MaryL -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
> >> I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his
cat
> >> neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he thought
> >> the
> >> cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from a
> >
> > I could point out the obvious: I've yet to see a tomcat have kittens.
> > There are good reasons to neuter a tom, but population control really
> > isn't one of them. Unless you can operate on all (or nearly all) of
> > the breeding population it isn't going to make much difference. One
> > intact tom can serve many intact queens. For population control put
> > your money on spaying queens, first.
>
> This makes no sense - you seem to be arguing against your point. If one
> intact tom can service many queens then it would be more cost effective to
> neuter the tom to keep him from impregnating many queens (and in actuality
> is, since toms costs less to neuter than queens to spay). You are
> preventing "many" pregnancies by neutering "one" tom. Yes, there are
other
> intact toms who will impregnate queens if you neuter only one, but there
are
> also other queens who will be impregnated if you spay only one queen -
that
> part of the argument is moot.
> Hugs,
>
> CatNipped

It makes no sense the way you phrased it
But if you have a colony of 10 males and 10 females and you trap and neuter
9 males, all 10 femles will get pregnant from the one male you didn't get.
In fact I'll bet if you neuter all 10 males the females will all still get
pregnant from a roaming tom that hears 10 females in heat.
You need to spay as many females as possible to keep them from making
kittens.
Unfortunately I don't know how to trap just females so I fix what ever winds
up in the trap.
ron

MaryL
January 27th 06, 11:00 PM
"William Hamblen" > wrote in message
...
> On 2006-01-27, MaryL -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
>> I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his cat
>> neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he thought
>> the
>> cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from a
>
> I could point out the obvious: I've yet to see a tomcat have kittens.
> There are good reasons to neuter a tom, but population control really
> isn't one of them. Unless you can operate on all (or nearly all) of
> the breeding population it isn't going to make much difference. One
> intact tom can serve many intact queens. For population control put
> your money on spaying queens, first.
>
> --
> The night is just the shadow of the Earth.

Please note that I said "spay and neuter." I referred to my message to
someone in anecdotes who had a male cat, but I believe that as many *cats*
as possible -- regardless of gender -- should be spayed or neutered. That
is the only way cat population will ever be controlled, and it is also
better for their health.

MaryL

Phil P.
January 28th 06, 12:17 AM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
> "William Hamblen" > wrote in message
> ...
> > On 2006-01-27, MaryL -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
> >> I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his
cat
> >> neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he thought
> >> the
> >> cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from a
> >
> > I could point out the obvious: I've yet to see a tomcat have kittens.
> > There are good reasons to neuter a tom, but population control really
> > isn't one of them. Unless you can operate on all (or nearly all) of
> > the breeding population it isn't going to make much difference. One
> > intact tom can serve many intact queens. For population control put
> > your money on spaying queens, first.
>
> This makes no sense - you seem to be arguing against your point. If one
> intact tom can service many queens then it would be more cost effective to
> neuter the tom to keep him from impregnating many queens

Actually, queens determine population- not toms. For example:

100 queens + 100 toms = 100 litters
100 queens + 50 toms = 100 litters
100 queens + 10 toms = 100 litters
100 queens + 1 tom = 100 litters
100 toms + 50 queens = 50 litters
100 toms + 1 queen = 1 litter

The best solution is neuter all the cats. If you can't, neuter the queens.
It will have more of an affect on population control and they will derive
more health benefits. Males can track a cycling queen miles away. So
neutering local females will control the local population.

Phil

CatNipped
January 28th 06, 12:59 AM
"Phil P." > wrote in message
ink.net...
>
> "CatNipped" > wrote in message
> ...
>> "William Hamblen" > wrote in message
>> ...
>> > On 2006-01-27, MaryL -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
>> >> I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his
> cat
>> >> neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he thought
>> >> the
>> >> cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from a
>> >
>> > I could point out the obvious: I've yet to see a tomcat have kittens.
>> > There are good reasons to neuter a tom, but population control really
>> > isn't one of them. Unless you can operate on all (or nearly all) of
>> > the breeding population it isn't going to make much difference. One
>> > intact tom can serve many intact queens. For population control put
>> > your money on spaying queens, first.
>>
>> This makes no sense - you seem to be arguing against your point. If one
>> intact tom can service many queens then it would be more cost effective
>> to
>> neuter the tom to keep him from impregnating many queens
>
> Actually, queens determine population- not toms. For example:
>
> 100 queens + 100 toms = 100 litters
> 100 queens + 50 toms = 100 litters
> 100 queens + 10 toms = 100 litters
> 100 queens + 1 tom = 100 litters
> 100 toms + 50 queens = 50 litters
> 100 toms + 1 queen = 1 litter
>
> The best solution is neuter all the cats. If you can't, neuter the
> queens.
> It will have more of an affect on population control and they will derive
> more health benefits. Males can track a cycling queen miles away. So
> neutering local females will control the local population.
>
> Phil

I understand that, but also know that

100 queens + 1 *NEUTERED* (former) tom = 0 litters

But what it comes down to is that until *all* cats in a colony are desexed
there is a chance of pregnancy either in that colony or in a neighboring
colony. Spaying your queens and ignoring the toms is only moving the
problem into another neighborhood.

--

Hugs,

CatNipped

See all my masters at: http://www.PossiblePlaces.com/CatNipped/

Phil P.
January 28th 06, 01:36 AM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
> "Phil P." > wrote in message
> ink.net...
> >
> > "CatNipped" > wrote in message
> > ...
> >> "William Hamblen" > wrote in message
> >> ...
> >> > On 2006-01-27, MaryL -OUT-THE-LITTER> wrote:
> >> >> I just posted a message in rpca in which I urged someone to have his
> > cat
> >> >> neutered as soon as possible. His cat is 14 months old, and he
thought
> >> >> the
> >> >> cat needed to "grow fully" before having him neutered. I quoted from
a
> >> >
> >> > I could point out the obvious: I've yet to see a tomcat have kittens.
> >> > There are good reasons to neuter a tom, but population control really
> >> > isn't one of them. Unless you can operate on all (or nearly all) of
> >> > the breeding population it isn't going to make much difference. One
> >> > intact tom can serve many intact queens. For population control put
> >> > your money on spaying queens, first.
> >>
> >> This makes no sense - you seem to be arguing against your point. If
one
> >> intact tom can service many queens then it would be more cost effective
> >> to
> >> neuter the tom to keep him from impregnating many queens
> >
> > Actually, queens determine population- not toms. For example:
> >
> > 100 queens + 100 toms = 100 litters
> > 100 queens + 50 toms = 100 litters
> > 100 queens + 10 toms = 100 litters
> > 100 queens + 1 tom = 100 litters
> > 100 toms + 50 queens = 50 litters
> > 100 toms + 1 queen = 1 litter
> >
> > The best solution is neuter all the cats. If you can't, neuter the
> > queens.
> > It will have more of an affect on population control and they will
derive
> > more health benefits. Males can track a cycling queen miles away. So
> > neutering local females will control the local population.
> >
> > Phil
>
> I understand that, but also know that
>
> 100 queens + 1 *NEUTERED* (former) tom = 0 litters

It doesn't work that way in real life. If a cycling queen can't find mates
in her colony, she'll roam until she does. IOW, where there's a cycling
queen, you'll find a tom.

>
> But what it comes down to is that until *all* cats in a colony are desexed
> there is a chance of pregnancy either in that colony or in a neighboring
> colony. Spaying your queens and ignoring the toms is only moving the
> problem into another neighborhood.

I didn't say ignore the toms. This is hypothetical either/or. I said
neutering the females will have a greater effect on the population than
neutering males-- which it does. If all the females in one colony are
neutered, intact strays and toms from another colony can't do any damage.
Also, don't forget free roaming owned toms.. They're the wild cards.

Even though you can neuter 2 or 3 males for the same cost of neutering 1
female, that one neutered female will have a greater effect on the
population than the 2 or 3 neutered males.

Urine from a cycling female makes excellent bait for trapping toms from all
over the place and toms you've never seen before.

Phil

Ron Herfurth
January 30th 06, 02:51 PM
"CatNipped" > wrote in message
...
>
> I understand that, but also know that
>
> 100 queens + 1 *NEUTERED* (former) tom = 0 litters
> CatNipped

I a closed, fenced in colony, yes.
In the real world nature will find a way.
ron