In the US, we euthanize between3-4 MILLION unwanted dogs and cats every year. 6-8 million end up in shelters annually.
Those figures are horrifying. Absolutely horrifying. However, what they're telling me is that there are a lot of irresponsible dog owners. I maintain that if dogs are properly monitored, most accidents can be avoided. Doggie abortion is an option if an accident does happen. The problem is that the people who are responsible, and do look after their dogs, spay and neuter, whereas the the people who are irresponsible don't give a hoot. I have an intact female and am not in the least bit concerned that she will have an unwanted litter, because I do not let her out of my sight while she's in heat. Unless a male dog learns to unlock and open our front door, there will be no mating happening here. I wouldn't dream of leaving her alone in the backyard for even a minute during those few weeks when she's interested in males. There are no walks without a leash during that period.
Logically, the situation in the US won't improve because of the responsible dog owners neutering their dogs. Their dogs aren't the ones causing the problem with dog overpopulation and abandonment. I believe that the situation will only improve when everybody starts being responsible. Puppy mills need to be outlawed. People need to be educated about when to breed and not to breed their dog. They need to be educated about what keeping a dog entails, so as to avoid impulse buyers. Dogs need to be given a higher status, as the intelligent, sensitive beings that they are.
To me, not wanting your dog to scent mark is a poor reason for neutering. The same thing can be achieved with proper training.
01-04-2012, 12:56 PM
Originally Posted by Hellas
However, what they're telling me is that there are a lot of irresponsible dog owners.
And therein lies the problem. But some of those are well-intentioned and just don't know any better - e.g. those who decide to breed their dog because s/he is just so cute or because they want their kids to see the "miracle of birth". Education is a huge job and frustratingly slow.
01-04-2012, 03:58 PM
I absolutely 110% agree with you, that there are a lot of irresponsible dog owners in the US. That is the problem. However, we kill...forget the polite "euthanize"...more dogs in a year than there are dogs in all of Sweden. According to pubmed, there are an estimated 800,000 dogs in Sweden, and over 9 million people in Sweden. An estimated 15% of households have dogs. There are 72.8 MILLION dogs in the US, way more than there are people in Sweden! Almost 40% of households in the US have at least one dog. That is a LOT of dogs, and a LOT of people.
It is an absolute bloodbath for dogs here in the US, to put a fine point to it. And as I mentioned earlier, the euthanasia statistics have plummeted in the last 40 years, due in large part to a HUGE campaign on the part of shelters and humane organizations to spay and neuter. The surgery is simple and in the US, fairly inexpensive. many shelters and veterinarians do low or no cost spay and neuter clinics. You cannot, in most circumstances, adopt an unaltered animal from an animal shelter. Dogs are not valued by a huge percentage of the population, and are considered as disposable as an unwanted sofa or sweater, cast off with little more thought than that. Many dogshere, particularly in rural areas, never see the inside of a house, and are lucky to have the minimum required food, water, and shelter. They are not considered living, breathing beings with feelings and needs. Get a puppy, get tired of it, toss it out. Dogs are seen as plentiful--you can always go out and get another one.
I 10,000,000% agree with you that many, if not most, behaviors could easily be rectified by a little training. People seem to think that dogs should innately be born knowing how to behave, and are shocked when the puppy poops on the carpet or chews up a shoe. A recent story in our local newspaper chronicled the short and brutal life of a puppy who was litereally bludgeoned to death because it "would not stop digging holes." The dog was chained in its back yard its whole, short little life in a backyard, and got the minimum of care, as reported by the next door neighbor, whose young son was a witness as the dog owner beat the dog to death in front of him. Lolo man accused of killing puppy pleads not guilty to animal cruelty
A couple of minutes a day of training would have made poor Roscoe a wonderful companion. But Roscoe was tossed out with the trash and only got any attention at all because the neighbor stood up for him. I worked mostly with rabbit rescue (and if you think DOGS have it hard, try rabbit rescue) but daily encountered the dozens and dozens of wonderful dogs that were in the shelter because people were fed up with digging, barking, running off, having puppies, peeing in the house, marking. If neutering improved behavior even 5%, that is hundreds upon thousands of dogs who may not have been surrendered.
So I am very very glad for the dogs in Sweden that there are a whole lot of responsible dog owners in Sweden. But in the US, I will continue to froth at the mouth about the profound need to spay and neuter animals. Until you have lived it, you have NO idea whatsoever, what it is like here. It's like comparing a train accident to the Holocaust.
01-04-2012, 06:28 PM
We are very glad indeed that we do not have the problems that the USA clearly has.
However, when somebody asks for advice it is always going to be the case that whoever is giving the advice is going to be coming from their own experience.
It is worth bearing in mind that the OP does not live in Western Europe or the USA and as such the pressures will differ.
01-05-2012, 02:04 AM
With this, I can totally agree. I do understand that advocating spaying and neutering on a broad scale can be a good thing in the US, considering the situation. I does amaze me, however, that there can be so many ignorant people in a civilized nation. I remember watching an episode of The Dog Whisperer and being horrified by the (well intentioned) dog owners who didn't walk their dog. At all. And were wondering why the dog was "misbehaving". I called my husband to the TV and we shook our heads, thinking that they must be some sort of freak occurrance. It took a couple of seasons of watching the show for me to realize that there are actually a lot of people who have dogs, often several of them, and who have absolutely no idea of how to fulfill even a dog's most basic needs. And these are people who actually love their dogs. (I'll add here that I don't agree with the dog whisperer's methods, but I do agree with the need for dogs to exersise daily.)
My initial response was to the person asking the question. He or she is not living in the US. The fact that he/she asks about what to do tells me that they are a responsible dog owner. That's where I was coming from.
01-05-2012, 11:05 AM
Yes, it is amazing to me as well, but I doubt you have puppy mills either....sigh. it is a cruel, cruel world for animals here.
A quote from the article: "“The Society does everything in its power to find adoptive homes for the hundreds of animals staying at the shelter,” he said. “Unfortunately, the grim reality in the State of Israel shows that only 1 in 10 deserted animals will find a loving home.”