Is it Cruel to be Kind?

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The other day I read a comment on a link about spaying cats, the comment said that this was cruel and that if there are not enough homes for the kittens we should just let them live wild.  As a long time supporter that spaying and neutering is “The Kinder Way”, I would like to take an opportunity to address this way of thinking, because I have seen this argument a few times.

First of all the facts are that indeed some countries do not practice spaying and neutering, and in those countries the surplus animals are left to fend for themselves.  The results of this are not good.  Not only do these animals have a hard time finding food, they become pests and are often poisoned or killed in other ways to control their numbers. 

If every kitten, and pup, who did not find a home was turned loose, either in town, or in the country, we would soon find there would be more animals than there would be food for.  These animals would be under predation by Coyotes, Raccoons, and each other.  Dogs would form up into packs and be dangerous to people and livestock. 

Wild animals have a much tougher time because they are plagued by parasites like worms, fleas, and ticks.  Domestic animals were bred to be domestic animals, Pekingese Dogs and Persian Cats were not meant to be wild animals, they were selectively bred to be house pets.

Human populations control themselves by using birth control or surgeries to end our reproductive cycles.  Indeed many experts say we should increase human population controls because we are overburdening the planet.  People realize the burden placed on them by having children and have the ability to control it.  Animals do not have the ability we do.  A cats cycle is dependent on hormones, a female cat does not know that breeding will result in a litter, nor does she have the ability to say “NO” to an over powering male if she is in heat.  An old dog does not realize her health is in danger if she is bred by a larger breed of dog. 

Many times we hear of dogs or cats abandoning their litters, killing their young, or refusing to take care of them, not every animal wants to be a mom.  We hear of shelters being forced to euthanize thousands of unwanted animals every year.  We hear of inbred animals having hideous deformities.  Would it not be better to avoid this by simply spaying or neutering an animal before hand?

Spaying or Neutering also eliminates many kinds of cancers or negative behaviors, is this not a good thing? 

All domestic animals should have homes, this dog does not.  Photo from Wikimedia

Further Reading

The Five Biggest Scams in the Pet Industry

Are You a Good Pet Owner

The Flip Side of Allowing the Miracle of Birth:  The Miracle of Death

To Spay, or Not to Spay:  Cats

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