OPINION - Letters to the editor, The Jackson Sun, 5/24/16
Spay/neuter program must be part of city’s plan
On May 18, the city of Jackson gave preliminary approval to a budget that includes money to address the homeless pet problem in the city. On Saturday, a group of concerned citizens met in Jackson to discuss the need for affordable spay/neuter in the region.
It appears that the primary plan of the new city no-kill shelter is to build an intake building and add kennels to the current Humane Society facility. However, we believe that our city’s current pet over-population crisis will not end with adoption/rescue alone. Since there are not enough homes for the animals in the shelter already, how long will it take for a newer facility to fill to capacity? Simply put, building a larger facility will do little to reduce pet homelessness in the area without a companion effort aimed at preventing litters through spaying and neutering.
The first step to “no-kill” is no birth.
Investing in prevention is the most effective thing a city can do to reduce pet homelessness. It is far less expensive to sterilize one dog or cat than it is to house, feed, clean, adopt (or destroy) their offspring. Issues of animal cruelty, rabies, and public safety, are all addressed by reducing the number of homeless animals on our streets. The spay/neuter solution works in other areas of the state and across the country. Shelters in East and Middle Tennessee see significant reductions in intake where spay/neuter is a priority. The city of Jackson is a prime candidate to support a successful low-cost, high-volume spay/neuter clinic.
We know that West Tennessee pet owners love their pets. Helping to make spaying and neutering affordable and convenient will improve the quality of life for all people and animals in this area. We hope to see a comprehensive spay/neuter program as part of the city’s new plan.
There are many reasons Breeding associations and vet groups are ALSO against mandatory spay/neuter laws. There are reasons a responsible pet owner might choose not to fix their pet, based on that dog, breed, age, etc. Some health issues are correlated with either choice (fixed or not), especially in bred animals... So to control the pet over-population problem we are right back at having VOLUNTARY low-cost spay/neuter available for folks who don't want to breed! We are talking about helping folks who are taking in strays, who need financial and logistic help, not penalties: bit.ly/2Vj1VjG