TTSPCA Talks Sterilization/Sterilization Awareness Month
It is not uncommon to see stray cats and dogs run over on the country’s roads, especially on the highways, where they are left to breed and roam, in search of food and warmth.
February, usually associated with love, is also Sterilization Awareness Month; One of the main ways dog and cat owners can show affection to their furry companions is to make sure they are spayed or neutered. This can improve their overall health and reduce the alarming number of abandoned and unwanted cats and dogs in the country.
Administrator of the Trinidad and Tobago Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TTSPCA), Tisha Mootilal stressed the importance of having dogs and cats spayed and neutered.
She said if more people brought their pets to have the procedure, it would significantly reduce the number of nursing and pregnant dogs and cats brought into the often crowded shelter; this would in turn reduce the number of unwanted puppies and kittens, for which new homes must be found. This is not always an easy task and many have long stays at the shelter.
“From the time [some people] hear ‘surgery’, they don’t even think about it because they think it’s going to be very expensive,” she said. “[Other] people just don’t feel the need to spend money.
Another key factor behind the reluctance to have the procedure undertaken is Mootilal, however, conceded that the pandemic and its financial constraints linked to the reduced working hours and incomes of many.
While the past two years have seen some increase in adoptions, the number of abandoned pets has also increased, likely due to pet owners no longer being able to afford to provide food and health care for their pets. animals.
“Some people don’t even know what you can do [the procedures]; they never even heard the terms,” Mootilal said. “The cost is one thing and the education is another, knowing the medical benefits of doing it.”
She said neutering and neutering dogs can have the effect of extending the lifespan of many breeds and can give animals a “happier and healthier quality of life”.
In some breeds, she added, the procedure can cause weight gain, but it’s not irreversible. She also warned that neutering cats too soon can lead to UTIs, so be sure to consult your veterinarian when making the decision.
The chances of cats and female dogs developing pyometra – painful and life-threatening infections caused by hormonal changes in the reproductive tract – are reduced by spaying.
She said neutering male dogs and cats early can reduce their aggressive tendencies and prevent them from wandering off to mate. Neutering male dogs and cats may also prevent testicular cancer and reduce the risk of developing prostate disease. neutering female dogs and cats can reduce their risk of developing mammary tumors and ovarian cancers.
Mootilal once again addressed the high number of abandoned puppies and kittens, many of which cannot be rescued despite the best efforts of the organization and volunteers.
Limiting the high number of unwanted cats and dogs is the key to avoiding unnecessary abandonment, disease and loss of life on the streets.
“Cats come into heat every three months; [they] can have up to 12 kittens,” recalled Mootilal.
She also touched on animal husbandry, which she says can also lead to stray animals. When people are selling dogs and cats, there is no way of knowing for sure whether the buyers will be responsible enough to prevent their pets from mating unnecessarily and giving birth to more animals than they do. are not ready to assume. “They’re just looking for a quick sale,” she said.
She advocated for enforcement to ensure owners register their pets; such a database would make it easier to track medical procedures to ensure procedures are performed. “Rules have to be put in place,” she said.
The TTSPCA offers low-cost subsidized castration and sterilization, their contribution to alleviating the widespread problem.
The cost for neutered male cats is $300, while female cats can be neutered for $375; male dogs can be neutered for $400 and the cost of neutering female dogs is $475.
The procedures mentioned above can be scheduled on Tuesdays by appointment. Mootilal recalled that sister organization, Animal Welfare Network (AWN) is currently running a promotion for people to have free cat neuters during this month. The organization also has a program allowing low-income pet owners to qualify for neutering and neutering at a cost of $200, with a maximum of three approvals per year. Retirees and the unemployed are encouraged to apply.
The shelter operates thanks to generous donations of food, equipment and cleaning products, and regularly posts on its social networks the products necessary for the smooth running of its operations. Contact the TTSPCA at 622-1615 for more information on procedures, placement and adoption, and to find out how you can donate. Check out their pages on Facebook and Instagram.