Animal charity urges pet neutering as kitten numbers continue to rise
Spaying and neutering has, thankfully, become almost routine for pets. At the same time, research has shown that while it is definitely the best “population” choice, there are a few individuals for whom it may not be needed. The “individualised” decision does need to be taken in context, and it must not distract from the overall message that for the big majority of dogs and cats, spaying and neutering is still the right way to go. The main reason for this is that there is still a population explosion of pups, and especially of kittens, and this then leads to suffering of unwanted young animals.
Blue Cross is sending out a plea for all pet owners to neuter their cats this World Spay Day as it records a surging number of unwanted kittens being brought into its care year after year.
In 2016, animal charity Blue Cross recorded 1,519 kittens being admitted for rehoming – a steady increase over the past five years; in 2011, they admitted 1,409 kittens. Of the 1,519 kittens this year, almost 40 per cent were brought in as strays or were found abandoned.
It’s not just kittens, Blue Cross also recorded 168 puppies being brought in to be rehomed in 2016, with almost 10 per cent being stray or abandoned.
Neutering is the process of removing the reproductive organs of an animal through surgery so they cannot produce offspring, with females it’s called spaying and with males, castration. This year, vets at the Blue Cross animal hospitals carried out 1,387 spays and 1,546 castrations.
Alison Thomas, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Blue Cross Victoria animal hospital says: “Spay and castration surgeries are the most common type of procedure at the Blue Cross Victoria hospital. Whilst the numbers are still rising, we’re thankfully seeing more and more pet owners bringing their animals in to us for neutering, but there is still a way to go. At Blue Cross, we offer free neutering to pets belonging to eligible owners, but of course we do very much depend on donations from our clients to help provide this service. We implore pet owners to register with us if eligible and help us keep unwanted kitten and puppy numbers under control. Please see our website for details of eligibility criteria. As gorgeous as kittens and puppies are, it’s heart-breaking when we have boxes of them being brought in or dumped in the street as they’ve got nowhere to go. When we have strays brought in, often they’re in poor health and need a lot of care and medication.”
To find out more about neutering, or to make a donation to Blue Cross, visit www.bluecross.org.uk or contact your local centre.
(Photo Credit SWNS)