Why Mandatory Spay/Neuter will not Solve the Problem

There is statistical evidence that  the animal shelters andf humane groups  had gotten the message out in a ‘good economy’ (1980s—2000): it is NOT a good idea to breed your pet dog for fun and/or profit.  hveing your pet fixed is a good idea for the health of your dog as well as the well being of your community.

In fact, most of the  dogs & cats in animal shelters are not from either commercial (puppy mill) breeders, or ethical hobby breeders—but the idiots breeding for fun & profit;  the backyard breeders:  witness the number of Pit Bulls in shelters—more than any other breed.

Well known story among Chicago pet enthusiasts:  a banker & family go to Greece for the summer, & play with stray dogs on the beach, and  someone tells the banker’s wife that all the strays will be killed at the end of the tourist season.  She is horrified by this. Does she start an animal shelter in Greece?  No—-too difficult.  She starts an animal shelter in Chicago. A NO-KILL SHELTER.  But the thing is, she does not take in stray dogs or owner surrenders:  she sends out PICKERS to the  pounds & shelters that are OPEN ADMISSION & TAKE ALL  ABANDONED PETS & she has the pickers choose which ones get to be saved & not killed.  Yes, she does take the  occasional crippled dog, but most of what the pickers bring in are young dogs that will move quickly.

Her Public Relations efforts are excellent. Through vagaries, she has the public thinking  her shelter is an OPEN ADMISSIONS shelter.  Whenever they have a fund raising event, the photos of attendees (mostly with purebred dogs) are always featured.

Now…wait a doggone minute. I am a fancier of purebred dogs, and I also support shelters and rescues!  But here’s the thing:  I don’t delude myself & others into thinking this  animal welfare model is better than open admissions—& this is EXACTLY what this shelter does.

I wouldn’t even bother addressing this. She saves  dogs  and cats, and saves many that would be euthanized due to overcrowding, but she has the audacity to promote mandatory spay neuter.

Here’s the problem:  the law can not be enforced.  I don’t know about YOUR STATE, or municipality (  Michael Lewis, “California  and Bust” http://www.vanityfair.com/business/features/2011/11/michael-lewis-201111), but mine is broke.  It does not, as a state, enforce animal cruelty or animal housing laws, and our  anti-cruelty laws, locally, are only enforced when there is a police action.

I keep referring to Craigslist. Even though the rules are clearly posted:  NO ANIMAL SALES OR BREEDING…rehoming fee ok…& most of the community understands this as meaning trying to place a single, or maybe 2 or 3 older pets, not selling animals you bred….because CRAIGSLIST does not enforce its own rules, but instead relies on the community to enforce the rules…backyard breeders & sellers post every day.

From the end of Janurary until the end of April 2012, I flagged over 120 posts for Pit Bull puppy litters alone. This did not include the single 5, 6, 7, and 8 week old puppies, or litters of other breeds. It was only in Chicago. But clearly, these breeders will not be stopped by mandatory spay/neuter.

I have an older, champion Saluki. I never planned to breed him, but I do show him.  I am the target.  It is the responsible hobbyists & fanciers who will be forced to comply—as we will be turned in to authorities by the backyard breeders. It will look like they—the enforcers—- are doing something, enforcing the law—but the funny (not) irony is, they could go on Craigslist, pay these breeders a visit, confiscate the puppies, fine the breeders.  Problem ends in 6 months, I venture a guess.

The shelters…like the  elite one I mentioned above, could have volunteers  respond to the posts, pay a visit, turn the info into enforcement authorities.  It won’t happen.  Instead, the enforcers will request veterinary records, and contact us that way.  The veterinarian making any bit of money off the bad breeders will be turning in hobbyists & protecting their commercial clients.  The commercial clients, breeding pets as livestock, will cry out a loss of livlihood and be defended by PIJAC a(the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council lobby group).

A better idea (because, if you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem), is to have the breeders/SELLERS ( now, we have the pet shops that buy whole litters)  collect a neutering tax—to be refunded in part when the  puppy buyer spays/neuters his pet.  Again–easy enough to find these people: they post their puppies for sale.  You don’t collect a tax, & turn it in, YOU are fined.

O am positive the ethical hobby breeders would do this, & their buyers would not object to paying the tax….but I would bet anything  we would end the  backyard breeders income generating projects in less than 2 years.  Remeber, this has to be done on a state level.  Comments?

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