Shelby County: spay and neuter your pets

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ever since I began working at the paper, I have always struggled with coming up with subject matter for my columns. Sure I could talk about myself or my husband, or stories I didn&8217;t have time to get to throughout the week, but I never felt a really strong opinion about a certain subject. When I looked at Shelby County and the many problems or situations we deal with on a regular basis, they didn&8217;t fire me up. We have problems like every other county, or so I thought. Traffic, overcrowding in schools, politicians that let us down – why get upset about something, I think to myself. We are working toward fixing the situation, and people we elect and should trust will lead us towards new solutions. I have been very complacent, not stepping on anyone&8217;s toes in offering my opinions.

No longer.

My stomach churns as I write this, because I am so furious at the way Shelby County handles domestic animals. There are no leash laws, no spay and neuter laws and thus, the Shelby Humane Society is packed with animals who need homes. They have to kill poor innocent puppies everyday, and you know what Shelby County – IT&8217;S NOT THEIR FAULT.

If you don&8217;t spay or neuter your dog or cat, it&8217;s your fault your animal gets pregnant and you have to give up the puppies. This is absolutely the number one problem when it comes to pet over-population. Every time I talk to Shelby Humane, they tell me SPAY AND NEUTER YOUR PETS needs to be a front-page headline. There is NO reason not to neuter your pet, unless you are planning on beginning a breeding program with the very best purebred dogs in your area. NO REASON. If you think it&8217;s too expensive, think again. Talk to your vet and find out how much it costs. In many cases, discounted spay and neuter certificates are available.

Dogs and cats are not people; they are pets. Dogs don&8217;t lose their doggy man-hood when they are neutered, and female dogs aren&8217;t angry with us when we take away their ability to be mothers. They are pets, not people. We neuter horses, why should your dog be any different.

Last time I went in, I saw a 12-year-old Basset hound which was pregnant. In dog years, that&8217;s the equivalent of an 84 year-old grandmother being pregnant. It made me furious and depressed.