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Interested to know How many here desex their dogs and cats?

 
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When I go to the dog park and speak with families who own a lab or an Irish Setter or some other friendly breed, they never talk of plans to breed the animal.
 
I have hired many men from the bottom of the labor market and I suspect possibly from the bottom of the gene pool. Many of them have drug problems. They tend to accumulate vicious dogs that should not be living in the city. Often , these fools express a strong desire to breed these dogs.

Because of this, there are a disproportionate number of problem dogs available for adoption. We have some of our dumbest citizens deciding which dogs should reproduce. I'm not in the market for a dog right now, but if I were, I would not adopt one of these dogs simply because they are in oversupply. The SPCA and other animal control bodies , eventually euthanize breeds that are in oversupply. I take this to be a necessary evil. If a charity ever comes up with a realistic proposal to bribe these guys into getting fixed, I will donate to it.
 
pollinator
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I do not spay neuter my dogs now that I am out in the county. Reason is this my female dog this last October had a litter of 10 puppies 7 female and 3 male. As of today I only have two of the females left due to coyotes and owls thinking they needed a good meal to eat. My female ended up getting out of my land and going half a mile up to the highway and getting run over. Outside of town many more things to control population so I don't see the need to allow them to breed as long as your doing it to keep to your own rather then selling off for money. Same as for cats though cats end up getting picked off more then the dogs do. Its actually quite startling at night when your watching the stars and all the sudden you hear a cat yelling out and see the shadow cross the moon as it is being carried off. As of this reason i do offer my place for a few dogs in town to pets that people can not get adopted out and I tell them the risk they they may die soon anyway out here.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Sounds like a farm from The Twilight Zone. We had a dog on a farm for more than 10 years without loss to predators.

I don't think any of her pups were eaten either. That probably comes down to breed. Some dogs are going to be much better at defending themselves than others. And some are smarter. We had one of those white shepherds that would not learn to leave porcupines and skunks alone. Eventually, dad took it out behind the barn.
 
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I absolutely get fixed any cats and dogs not destined to improve breed gene pools. It's a sad state of affairs that we have to do this in order to balance out the greed and stupidity of others. I've been looking for a new service dog candidate for a couple of months now and I can't tell you how many backyard breeders I've run into. A jerk told me today he does it as a hobby for money on the side!

As far as losing them on the farm, it doesn't matter as there is always the feral cat program I can get more barn cats from for free as well as free puppies from accidents or free dogs that people can't find homes for. My preferred method is adopting from shelters and there has never been a lack of dogs. I'll be looking at a Doberman mix at 10am tomorrow to evaluate with a temperament test.
 
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Robbie Asay wrote:I absolutely get fixed any cats and dogs not destined to improve breed gene pools. It's a sad state of affairs that we have to do this in order to balance out the greed and stupidity of others. I've been looking for a new service dog candidate for a couple of months now and I can't tell you how many backyard breeders I've run into. A jerk told me today he does it as a hobby for money on the side!


You say that as though there's something wrong with it. The key is that he cares about what he's doing and produces a quality product. [And-of course- that he's producing this product ethically. If he could somehow raise amazing animals in horrible conditions that's not good either.]

Now sure, if he's doing it so far 'on the side' that quality suffers there's a reason to complain about his service.
 
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I think what it comes down to, is there are valid reasons on both sides, to de-sex or not.   The decision to de-sex has to be made by the individual owner and cannot be mandated by others.  If you decide not to de-sex, you agree to handle the population growth that results.   If you decide to de-sex, then you are relieved of the burden of finding homes for kittens/puppies.

People who bring kittens and puppies to the animal shelter have shown that they are irresponsible pet owners if they do so year after year.   I am not talking about those who catch strays on their property and bring them in.  About once every 5 years I have had to catch abandoned strays and take them to the shelter.   I do not feel guilty about doing so because I never agreed to take on the animal myself.  If I allowed the animal to stay on the property - I would have to take on the obligation of feeding, vet care, etc.  If I do not wish to do so, then taking it to the shelter is the best chance the animal has.   I would LOVE to catch the people who think dumping unwanted pets off next to farms means the farmer will take it in.  However, for people who year after year populate the shelter with kittens/puppies; as far as  I am concerned, the PC neuter/spay police should go after them full force.

But for the PC neuter/spay police to assume that all people with unneutered animals are irresponsible is just plain rude and ignorant.   My farm cats have a short life, and they are not pets.   I consider them working animals.   They keep the rodent population down.   They patrol my veggies as well as my barn.  Those that live to breed are the best mousers and have learned to avoid wildlife.   I need and want these cats to reproduce.   Do I keep all the kittens?  Not always, but none of them end up in a shelter.   I have a waiting list of pet owners who want my kittens because their parents are rugged and healthy.   If the new owner changes their mind about the cat at some later date, they know they can bring it back.   I had one owner who had to spend a year in jail for growing pot.   He brought the then 3-year-old cat back to me, and a year later came and picked him up.   I have no problems with that.  If he had taken the cat to a shelter, I would have never given him another kitten again.  

My cats see a vet annually for rabies and vaccinations.   They are all friendly as I handle them frequently as a kitten plus I feed them twice a day.   All have learned that sitting next to me when I milk means that errant squirts of milk come their way.   When one them needs a vet, they see a vet.   As far as I am concerned, if you cannot afford the vet - you cannot afford the pet.  

What I am saying is, turn your strong opinions inward and apply them solely to yourself.   PC spay/neuter police and those against de-sexing both.   Except in the case of irresponsible owners who populate shelters because they cannot be bothered, there is no reason to push your opinion on anyone else.   I support the PC spay/neuter police and they have my permission and blessings to hound these jerks.
 
pollinator
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We are for shelter dogs and cats.

They always come spayed and neutered, so that takes care of our dilemma about doing the Final Cut ourselves.

We believe in the ethic of Rescue, and we only take on what the land and our wallets can comfortably handle. In all manner of things, we believe in moderation, being deliberate, and doing no harm.

Now if I can just teach my little beagle, jack russell, pug mix to chase off the deer trying to eat my grafted apple tree, I'd be sittin' pretty.
 
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I have had many critters over the years.

We desex the male calves, they stay docile, don't fight, gain weight and turn into beef in the freezer. We desex a male foal, it turns into a gelding and often spends it's life with a purpose and in return for care, earns keep (pulling loads or chasing cattle). To protect the hens and make fertile eggs that can be hatched into more chickens, you keep a rooster--remove the rooster, and the hens still lay, but no chance of hatching chicks--so you have to keep getting chickens from another source to keep your flock up and productive.

To control populations of dogs and cats, plus keep females from having litters too young and for too long, plus keep the males from fighting and making more litters; we have our purrs and woofs neutered. I have two yard cats, they were born in my garage; and I had them neutered at 5 months of age so as not to increase the local feral population (their mother had been a stray kitten I adopted and by the time I guessed she was old enough to neuter, I realized she was about half ways through gestation--she was rehomed with the girls of the litter on a ranch that wanted a population of working cats). I even had two male gerbils neutered a while back (father and son) so as to prevent population explosion. They were paired with ladies but no more babies!

We had a purebred keeshond and seriously considered breeding her, so was getting her the proper care and looked up what it would cost for all the various tests that had to be done (to prove no vision, heart, or hip dysplasia issues) plus what it would cost for breeding, 'well puppy' care, and all. Really staggering and yeah that's why she cost so much... then she went through her first cycle and lost her bleeping mind, seriously. After cycle, she mellowed some and we decided she was NOT a mother, and we wanted her to be OUR doggie, so she went for neuter. She seemed very happy with not going through a cycle again and after the neuter, turned back into her somewhat saucy, bratty, adorable self again.

Heck, I'm neutered. Missing the plumbing since 1993. Couldn't be happier. Children weren't going to be, and we were both good with it, I was having other issues so I had things out. When the keeshond went to vet, I lifted shirt and showed him the belly scars and said, I had it done, I know what she'll feel like. Vet said he never thought of it like that.

Each case is and needs to be individually weighed, but in general, for dogs and cats, we have far too many in shelters, abandoned, feral, and abused. Adopt a pet (rescue a pet-to them, a good loving forever home is like winning the lottery) and be responsible and neuter them.
 
pollinator
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Yes, but we do it late(r).  We have two large breed dogs.  Our female was spayed at 18 months, and our male at 9 months (they are 3 years apart--no risk of unintended puppies).  With the male, we did it so much earlier because we wanted to head off marking and mounting instincts.  Maybe not an ideal reason or timing, but I'm being honest.  We don't attempt to train instincts out of animals.  I know opinions on the alternative we chose will vary.  Generally, I view sterilization as an unnatural, but eventual necessity.  I felt bad for both of them, but we are not prepared or equipped to handle litters in any respect.  I know here the rescues sterilize ASAP, even if it means opening up the males to get the undescended bits.  I typically hear it "should" be done before 5 months.  

As for the larger over-breeding/sterilizing question, we don't participate in that picture because the search goes like this: select breed, select breeder, select pairing, select puppy.  We also recognize that we are buying a dog in puppy form, and buying it for life.  So we give consideration to whether we want and can accommodate said dog for said life.  For example, can we give a Lab frequent access to water to play in?  Or enough stimulation and affection to prevent a Boxer from getting bored or lonely?  Do we have something for a sheep dog to herd?  Do we have little kids that make getting a prey-driven dog a bad idea?  It's much more than just food and vet bills.  I feel that how and why we acquire companion or working dogs has as much to do with the breeding and sterilization issue as whether or when to sterilize.
 
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Dogs no we have two entire girls a 9 year old and a 9.5 year old it's not hard to avoid puppies they only come into season once a year, spaying a bitch is in my opinion cruel there is no reason to put an animal through such a huge and invasive operation purely for your own convenience of not having to keep her in for 1 week a year and clean up some blood spots.

Cats.. yes they all get their bits cut off/out. cats come into season every 3 weeks and I do not have control of where my cats go, and keeping them in would undo the entire reason of having farm cats. Boy cats get castrated so they can continue to come into the house. Barn boys would not be castrated if I had any.

I feel a lot of the spay spay spay noise comes from breeders who want to keep the money coming in. I don't need pedigree cats, I don't want pedigree cats I want a cat where it's mother has taught it to hunt not one that's been brought up surrounded by soft toys.
 
pollinator
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Neuter!  Unless:

-- You are a concerned, ethical, breeder, breeding into a viable market for your pedigree offspring as part of your overall financial survival plan;
-- You are an experienced owner/breeder, breeding your animals for a particular and specific purpose FOR YOU (guarding, livestock protection, mousing) that supports your overall homesteading plan;

I cannot for the life of me see any "permaculture" or "humane" or "animal welfare" or "letting animals behave naturally" reasons for allowing indiscriminate breeding.

Of course, some people cannot help themselves, and want puppies and kittensto love and raise and ohhhh and ahhhh, and can put the time into re-homing the offspring - BUT they have no guarantees or assurances of the good faith or ehthical or humaneness of the recipients.


How is this even a permaculture issue?
 
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elle sagenev wrote:At one point in time we had 6 dogs. We have neutered all but 1. We are down to 3 still. The intact male is still in residence. When he dies we will get another intact male. I think having an intact male around helps with predators. I neuter the rest because it helps with a few things, imo.



May I ask what you believe the male being intact has to do with dissuading predators?
 
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Nick Truscott wrote:Neuter!  Unless:

-- You are a concerned, ethical, breeder, breeding into a viable market for your pedigree offspring as part of your overall financial survival plan;
-- You are an experienced owner/breeder, breeding your animals for a particular and specific purpose FOR YOU (guarding, livestock protection, mousing) that supports your overall homesteading plan;

I cannot for the life of me see any "permaculture" or "humane" or "animal welfare" or "letting animals behave naturally" reasons for allowing indiscriminate breeding.

Of course, some people cannot help themselves, and want puppies and kittensto love and raise and ohhhh and ahhhh, and can put the time into re-homing the offspring - BUT they have no guarantees or assurances of the good faith or ehthical or humaneness of the recipients.


How is this even a permaculture issue?



There is growing evidence that neutering animals before they are fully adults, as is often done in the US, has long term ill effects on the animal.  One small blurb about it, with much more information available.

"Dr. Benjamin Hart of the University of California, Davis, has been researching the effects of spay-neuter for a decade, with support from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. His first paper on the subject, published in 2013, revealed that Golden Retrievers that had been spayed or neutered had a correlation of being three or four times more likely to develop certain cancers, including lymphosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, and also more likely to develop joint problems such as hip dysplasia and damage to the cranial cruciate ligament. The team later published data on German Shepherd Dogs and Labrador Retrievers, finding that early spaying and neutering had varying effects on these dogs’ likelihood to develop joint disorders, cancers, and urinary incontinence."

I have read that neutering dogs is illegal in many countries now, but I haven't looked it up to be certain.
 
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Trace Oswald wrote:

Nick Truscott wrote:Neuter!  Unless:

-- You are a concerned, ethical, breeder, breeding into a viable market for your pedigree offspring as part of your overall financial survival plan;
-- You are an experienced owner/breeder, breeding your animals for a particular and specific purpose FOR YOU (guarding, livestock protection, mousing) that supports your overall homesteading plan;

I cannot for the life of me see any "permaculture" or "humane" or "animal welfare" or "letting animals behave naturally" reasons for allowing indiscriminate breeding.

Of course, some people cannot help themselves, and want puppies and kittensto love and raise and ohhhh and ahhhh, and can put the time into re-homing the offspring - BUT they have no guarantees or assurances of the good faith or ehthical or humaneness of the recipients.


How is this even a permaculture issue?



There is growing evidence that neutering animals before they are fully adults, as is often done in the US, has long term ill effects on the animal.  One small blurb about it, with much more information available.

"Dr. Benjamin Hart of the University of California, Davis, has been researching the effects of spay-neuter for a decade, with support from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. His first paper on the subject, published in 2013, revealed that Golden Retrievers that had been spayed or neutered had a correlation of being three or four times more likely to develop certain cancers, including lymphosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, and also more likely to develop joint problems such as hip dysplasia and damage to the cranial cruciate ligament. The team later published data on German Shepherd Dogs and Labrador Retrievers, finding that early spaying and neutering had varying effects on these dogs’ likelihood to develop joint disorders, cancers, and urinary incontinence."

I have read that neutering dogs is illegal in many countries now, but I haven't looked it up to be certain.



Thank you for this. Does Dr. Hart define “early”? We neuter our dogs, but follow our vet’s advice not to do it before they are at least 6 months old. We tend to wait longer.  But, I would be interested in any studies of correlates of neutering and subsequent illness that also control for age at neutering.
 
Trace Oswald
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L Anderson wrote:

Trace Oswald wrote:

Nick Truscott wrote:Neuter!  Unless:

-- You are a concerned, ethical, breeder, breeding into a viable market for your pedigree offspring as part of your overall financial survival plan;
-- You are an experienced owner/breeder, breeding your animals for a particular and specific purpose FOR YOU (guarding, livestock protection, mousing) that supports your overall homesteading plan;

I cannot for the life of me see any "permaculture" or "humane" or "animal welfare" or "letting animals behave naturally" reasons for allowing indiscriminate breeding.

Of course, some people cannot help themselves, and want puppies and kittensto love and raise and ohhhh and ahhhh, and can put the time into re-homing the offspring - BUT they have no guarantees or assurances of the good faith or ehthical or humaneness of the recipients.


How is this even a permaculture issue?



There is growing evidence that neutering animals before they are fully adults, as is often done in the US, has long term ill effects on the animal.  One small blurb about it, with much more information available.

"Dr. Benjamin Hart of the University of California, Davis, has been researching the effects of spay-neuter for a decade, with support from the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. His first paper on the subject, published in 2013, revealed that Golden Retrievers that had been spayed or neutered had a correlation of being three or four times more likely to develop certain cancers, including lymphosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, and also more likely to develop joint problems such as hip dysplasia and damage to the cranial cruciate ligament. The team later published data on German Shepherd Dogs and Labrador Retrievers, finding that early spaying and neutering had varying effects on these dogs’ likelihood to develop joint disorders, cancers, and urinary incontinence."

I have read that neutering dogs is illegal in many countries now, but I haven't looked it up to be certain.



Thank you for this. Does Dr. Hart define “early”? We neuter our dogs, but follow our vet’s advice not to do it before they are at least 6 months old. We tend to wait longer.  But, I would be interested in any studies of correlates of neutering and subsequent illness that also control for age at neutering.



The issues, or lack of issues by neutering are pretty breed specific.  I'll add the link to the biggest study I've seen, that covers 35 breeds.  In general, it's larger breeds that seem to have issues, and then the issues seem to be most pronounced in dogs that are neutered before 6 months of age.

Study results here:  Neutering and breed issues
 
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Kate McCullagh wrote:If not, why?



We have a number of little bush cats that adopted us.  There were two cats dumped about 30 years ago and within weeks there were kittens.  We were catching the males in a trap neuter release (TNR) activity but some of the boys have proved difficult to catch/ trap.  It requires time to befriend them and then get them into a cage.  Even with heavy duty gloves, injuries to the hands, chest and face are a hazard of disproportionate risk.  The girls are from as big as a hamster to about double that.  The boys take ages to get bigger than just bigger than a hamster and very occasionally (we have 2) get to the size of a large terrier.  

So we have discovered that the rate of reproduction is proportionate the the amount of food available.  They tend to breed once per year unlike the normal domestic moggy that comes on heat every 6 weeks.  We have one lady that eats any kittens she can get to.  They are about the size of a mouse but we have seen her take a kitten immediately after birth - waiting to grab it.  The new mum was not amused and mounted a rescue mission.  The maximum we have ever had were 23 but on average we have 12 - 16.  They are a blessing in the mouse plague, keeping the house relatively mouse free. The cats get monstered by the chooks and the guinea fowl so in the pecking order, the cats come a poor last, behind the lizards.  Another amazing thing is that because of being monstered by the big birds, they leave the natives alone - I think, just in case.  

So why not neuter?  It is risky to me and there is a hierarchy that dictates which cats can breed and when.  It is interesting that the mothers set up a creche so one mother may have three of four litters, in together and the mothers share duties, even, who gets to come in the house.   We provide no intervention so young kittens will die of cat flu, feline gastro and just were going to die anyway.  Each gets a few words and small patch around a plant that is theirs.

It is the way it is.
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I was shocked to read that there are places, Norway and Germany among them, that consider removal of any animal parts mutilation, meaning that medical alteration not required for immediate health (not prophylactic use) is illegal.

There are likewise many places on earth, specifically those with overburdened animal welfare systems, where it is illegal to rehome a shelter animal without first altering them. This is due to a high level of mortality in overburdened animal welfare systems, where they are forced to euthanize healthy but unwanted animals to make room for more healthy unwanted animals.

I have always been one who wanted to have a breeding pair of dogs, whatever specifics changed, my whole life. My parents' Maltese dogs had a litter at the same time that I was born, so I have had a great affinity for dogs since before I had language or much reason.

But there are just so many animals being killed because people either "let puppies and kittens happen," and they become strays, go to the shelter, go to the other shelter, and it's the end of the road.

I still want an intact pair of working dogs, when I reach that stage, but I definitely want the female to be of a breed, like the Great Pyrenees, that tend to single-pup litters. That, at least, minimizes potential harm.

Incidentally, there is a lot of literature on harm caused by early or unnecessary sterilisation, but from my gleanings, it seems to be that the concern is that slower-maturing breeds, most of the large ones that don't come into breeding maturity until they're two or more, are harmed by the hormonal changes caused by sterilisation. If they are altered, it seems that it should occur much later than it usually does for smaller dogs, and cannot be done to curb sexually-driven instincts, because at that developmental stage, they need those hormones to develop healthily.

I have also read that in Norway, I believe, where 93% of female dogs and 99% of males remain intact, female dogs die overwhelmingly more of mastitis and reproductive cancers.

So I feel it's a fine balancing act. If your animals aren't going to be reproducing, it seems like it's safest to alter them, but only after they're completely mature and have no need of the hormones they will be lacking for growth and development; it will have already occurred.

I feel the whole animal empathy angle, and I have held that animal alteration is unnatural, and therefore unnecessary, but that only holds up if they are then allowed to breed according to instinct. If they are kept intact for "humane" reasons but prevented from doing those things their instincts and hormones prepare them to do, and aren't provided with the hormonal cascade that accompanies the reproductive act, those unused bits develop problems precisely because they're unused.

I don't like it, but where animal health is a concern, and where shelter and rescue systems are overburdened to the point where living creatures are being killed just because no thought was put into preventing animals for whom there was no want or no resources to care for, alteration is, in my view, necessary. There are just too many irresponsible pet owners (not the ones who keep their girls in when needed), some who deliberately breed dogs cheaply for the money they could get, who end up producing shelter fodder because they're unwilling to pay for neutering.

These are still sentient beings. They might even approach sapience some day. I feel we need to be aware of that, and make our decisions accordingly.

-CK
 
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