Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
6 December 2000 Issue

by [email protected]

As our longtime readers will hopefully remember, I have written several articles on the benefits of early spay/neuter, and, for lack of a better solution, I have been an advocate of early sterilization as a humane means of controlling the overpopulation of unwanted companion animals.

In my travels as an advocate, I come into contact with people who have differing solutions and ideas, opinions and projects that deal with the so-called, "pet-overpopulation" problem. (I see this as a misnomer since the ones we are killing are no longer, or perhaps never were, anyone's pet.)

My research has turned up several surprising contradictions in that I cannot find a precise number of animals killed annually in the United States. The numbers, I have found from visiting the websites of various humane societies and animal-rights organizations, is that this number varies from 5 million, to 7.5 million, to 12 million and sometimes even higher than that! There is no doubt that this is a serious problem that should be addressed aggressively. I realize that the animal-rights community has, for the most part, left this particular issue to the animal-welfare community. If this is indeed the case, it seems equitable since the animal-welfare activists have this as practically their sole issue since the other main issue, animal cruelty and neglect, DOES get the attention of animal-rights activists. So the humane societies and animal-control agencies muddle along, trying to make a difference in the numbers of animals they kill each year, trying to find homes where there are none to be had, working to get the word out about early sterilization, and passing laws and ordinances across the land that amount to leash laws and laws against rescue groups placing intact animals. And when the leaders of rescue groups come together to talk about this common goal, and this horrific problem, on this they can all agree: THE SLAUGHTER OF HEALTHY ANIMALS MUST STOP.

And veterinarians and scientists and friends of animal-welfare agencies all nod their heads in sympathy and agreement.

But there is something very wrong.

In one of my articles I stated that in Europe, dogs and cats are not routinely spayed and neutered, or, as some would have us say, castrated. Yet, inexplicably, there is a nonexistent pet overpopulation problem, and the Europeans are not killing millions of unwanted animals every year as we are. True, Americans are much more prone to commodification of animals and are given to waste and buying disposable items, but that is not the entire problem. In this article, I attributed this lack of mass killing to the concept that the animals are all kept on leads with their guardians, which is true. Or that animals are allowed to go into stores and restaurants with their guardians, also true. But, it would appear that these are NOT the reasons their animals are not reproducing at a rate that produces more dogs and cats than there are homes for.

There is another reason. And when you hear it, you will exclaim, as I did, "You've got to be kidding!"

A mentor of mine who is now the director of our animal control agency here in Palm Beach County is also a veterinarian, and a very smart lady. She told me that, in Europe, the animals are not surgically rendered unable to reproduce because it is unnecessary: they have Delvosterone, an injectable birth control solution. Yes, That's right. This veterinarian also shared with me that she has approached the Doris Day Animal League about taking up the campaign to bring Delvostrone to the US, much like other organizations did with RU486, and creating a media blitz, again, like RU486, to get the word out. Perhaps a few letters from our readers would help Doris Day make up their mind about getting

"You've got to be kidding!" I said, "Why don't we have it?"

The answer, of course, is MONEY. Not that it costs so very much, but because the veterinary community, and all the suppliers of spay/neuter surgery paraphernalia, don't want us to know about it. They make a lot of money putting those animals through all that surgery, and if it was just a matter of a shot, well.... you know. We can't have that!

I have been asking around to other people who would know, and they have confirmed this information. In fact, Delvosterone in some form or another has been used to control the deer population in some states.

Can you even dare to imagine a nation with no homeless animals? Think of all the people who would be put out of a job, and then think of all the healthy animals who will not have to die.

It's out there. I'm not kidding.

Go on to ARO Columnist Arrested & An Arresting Protest
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