Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy July and Kitten Season

I can't believe it's already July! I'm looking forward to my 4th of July plans. During the day, I am planning to go downtown and do an "Independence Day for Dogs" event where I'll bring a doghouse and a collar on a chain, and I'll offer for people to try out wearing the collar. For social animals, there is no crueler punishment than solitary confinement. I'll be handing out free sparklers to those who will talk to me and will take the flyer about the dangers and cruelties of chaining dogs.

Later on in the day, Aaron and I will be meeting my family at our office to watch the fireworks with some vegan hot dogs. Yum! I do love compassionate cooking : ) We'll be camped out in front of the building in the parking lot with a great view of the skyline. I love working downtown!

There's an office here in the building on the 4th floor that has access to the roof of the building, and they constructed a really cool gazebo for their company parties and other events like the fireworks display downtown. I sure wish I could join them!

The only hesitation I have is with Bella and the fireworks. She shakes like a leaf when it storms, so I'm nervous that she will be upset with the fireworks. If so, then I'll be hanging out with her inside while the fireworks are on display....

To change the subject, I tried trapping a feral kitten that is near our house, and while I failed to catch her, I did catch one of the father kitties. I was like-Score! I just caught the source of the problem! As an unneutered male cat, he fights a lot for females and for his territory, so he had a lot of bad cuts and scrapes all over his face and body. I took him to the FACE clinic (Foundation against companion animal euthanization), and to my surprise, they were not doing surgery all this week! Aaron and I decided to take him back to my parent's house until I could secure an appointment with him at a later date at another clinic.

Fortunately, after leaving some messages, I got a call back from the Hamilton County Low-Cost Spay/Neuter clinic. We drove this cat all the way up to Noblesville from Greenwood to get him neutered! While I burned through half a tank of gas that day, it was so worth it. He's neutered, and the clinic treated him for his cuts and scratches. He looks soooo much better than before he went in to the clinic. I stayed up with him most of the night after he was neutered to make sure he was ok, and I have to say, we bonded a little. For a feral cat, he's a good guy. And by the way, his name is Morris.

If you don't know about the FACE clinic or the Hamilton County low cost spay/neuter clinic, you should certainly check it out! The fees are so cheap, and they do such a great service for the cities they service. Did you know that 3-4 million companion animals are euthanized each year because they are born into a world that does not have enough homes and hearts for them. Millions of animals sit lonely in solitary confinement waiting for their forever home. The best thing to do to combat pet overpopulation is to spay and neuter your own companion animals..

Here is more information on FACE and the Hamilton County Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic. They are wonderful places will treat your pooch or kitty well! They also have some great t-shirts at the clinic with their logo on it so you can spread the gospel of spaying and neutering!

And finally, some resources from the FACE website:

Why spay (female animal) or neuter (male animal)?

Peace of Mind. A spayed or neutered (sterilized) animal is better behaved:

Males - Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unsterilized, unsupervised males roam in search of a mate, risking injury in traffic and in fights with other males. They mark territory by spraying strong-smelling urine on surfaces. Indoors, male dogs may embarrass you by mounting furniture and human legs when stimulated. Don't confuse aggressiveness with protectiveness; a neutered dog protects his home and family just as well as an unneutered dog, and many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering

Females - While their cycles vary greatly, most female cats exhibit the following signs when in heat. For four or five days, every three weeks, they yowl and urinate more frequently - sometimes all over the house - advertising for mates. Often, they attract unneutered males who spray urine around the females' home. Female dogs in heat also attract males from great distances. Female dogs generally have a bloody discharge for about a week, and can conceive for another week or so.

Good Medicine. A spayed or neutered animal will live a longer, healthier life:

Spaying a female (removing the ovaries and uterus) or neutering a male (removing the testicles) are veterinary procedures with the same general anesthesia used in human medicine. Both surgeries usually require minimal hospitalization.

Neutering a male cat or dog by six months of age prevents testicular cancer, prostate disease and hernias. Spaying a female cat or dog helps prevent pyometra (a pus-filled uterus) and breast cancer; having this done before the first heat offers the best protection from these diseases. Treatment of pyometra requires hospitalization, intravenous (IV) fluids, antibiotics and spaying. Breast cancer can be fatal in about 50 percent of female dogs and 90 percent of female cats. With an older, seriously ill animal, anesthesia and surgery are complicated and costly.

Responsible Care. You can help prevent the suffering and death of millions of animals:

Conservative estimates state that every low-cost spay/neuter prevents on the average four unwanted births in each of the next three years. Almost everyone loves puppies and kittens, but some people lose interest when these animals grow up. As a result, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized annually or suffer as strays. Rarely surviving for more than a few years on their own, strays die painfully by starvation, disease, freezing or being hit by cars.


Common myths about spaying and neutering:

Myth. A female cat or dog should have a litter before she is spayed.

Fact. The sooner you spay your female, the better her health will be in the future. As long as a kitten or puppy weighs more than 3 pounds and is 4 months old, he or she can be neutered or spayed. The likelihood of developing mammary tumors or uterine infections increases the longer a female goes unspayed. In fact, a female spayed before sexual maturity (6-9 months of age) has one seventh the risk of an intact female of developing mammary cancer.

Myth. Spaying or neutering (sterilization) will alter my pet's personality.

Any slight changes will be positive. Regardless of the age when spayed or neutered, your pet will remain a caring, loving and protective companion. Neutering will reduce the need to breed, and that has a calming effect on many animals. Both neutered male canines and felines tend to stop roaming and fighting and lose the desire to mark their territory with urine.

Myth. Companion animals will become fat and lazy if they are neutered.

Absolutely not! Lack of exercise and overfeeding make pets fat and lazy - not neutering. Your pet will not gain weight if you provide exercise and monitor food intake. Neutering is good for your pet, since sterilized pets tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized pets.

Myth. Sterilization is a dangerous and painful surgery for my pet.

Spaying and Neutering are the most common surgeries performed on animals. With a minimal amount of home care, your pet will resume normal behavior in a few days.

Myth. Children should witness the miracle of birth.

Countless books and videos are available to teach your children about birth in a responsible manner. Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is teaching your children irresponsibility. Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized in a shelter for lack of home know the truth behind this dangerous myth.

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