2 comments to “Driving to save pets; has ‘Getting to Zero’ lost its way?”

  1. Tim Vasudeva | September 24, 2011 | Permalink

    To me there is a lot of confusion among animal welfare advocates pertaining to the use of the term “mandatory desexing” or “mandatory spay/neuter”.

    There are two entirely separate common proposals/arguments when it comes to desexing regulations but they are often confused as being the same thing.

    I can see why Natahan Winograd and No Kill advocates (and, frankly, anyone with common sense) object to proposals which endeavour to restrospectively enforce compulsory spay/neuter regulations as applying to existing owned but undesexed pets. These are the regulations which could feasibly lead to increased surrenders as owners decide to give up their pets rather than pay fees, fines or desexing costs.

    The above is not, however, what is advocated by G2Z, which only advocates the desexing of newly acquired pets from whatever source (breeder, pet shop, pound, shelter – whatever).

    I can’t see how the latter is at all controversial or how it could lead to an increase in shelter intake or surrenders (or could otherwise be deemed to be “regressive” as you put it).

    Here is the link to the comprehensive G2Z program from the G2Z website if you need it: http://www.g2z.com.au/pdf/G2Z_Brochure.pdf

    Could you please clarify re the above.

  2. savingpets | September 25, 2011 | Permalink

    The killing of healthy and treatable pets is the result of pounds and shelters failing to implement the programs and services needed (and proven) to stop it. Not a lack of desexing of owned pets. Period.

    Now don’t get me wrong – it’s great to have a ‘supply side’ plan which includes cheap/free and accessible desexing programs for owned animals – especially those of disadvantaged owners. These programs are important because they do reduce the number of pets entering shelters, freeing up more resources to put towards those animals who are already alive. Low cost and free desexing is one of the steps to No Kill and we should support Councils having these programs in place.

    We also know that without pro-feral cat advocacy and a commitment to TNR, pounds will be killing indefinitely, so aggressive desexing programs targeting unowned cats is key.

    But every single community that has achieved No Kill has done so without legislation targeting breeders and pet owners. Most have done so even before they had comprehensive desexing programs for owned animals in place. Are we really just going to ignore their experiences, and continue to put desexing on a pedestal?

    Championing desexing legislation distracts from meaningful systematic reforms, by transferring attention to the level of the individual – it’s putting the blame in the wrong place. Pets are being killed in shelters because of the failure of the system to save them; not because of people failing to fix their pets.

    Sure, in a perfect world people would never lose a pet, give up an animal or have an unwanted litter, but in a perfect world they would also not beat their kids. We need to focus on the overwhelming potential to increase the lifesaving capacity of our sheltering system by targeting the huge number of people in the community who DO care, rather than using our resources to chase and punish the relatively small number who don’t.