Infant Spay/Neuter, a Necessary Evil

In the early days, one of the most difficult tasks that we perform was trying to get adopters to comply with their spay/neuter agreement.  We probably spent more time on that task and all of our other tasks combined.  Releasing unaltered adopted pets into the world just doesn’t work.  

When infant spay/neuters were being first performed, there was a lot of controversy about administering early surgery.  Over the years, the surgery became more accepted and better techniques were devised.  But we need to be clear that we were not performing the surgery for the sake of the animal.  In fact, the animals would be better off if the surgery was delayed so that the animal’s internal organs had more time to develop.  We performed the surgeries because we can’t trust adopters.

The problem remained in our memories as to the difficulty of bringing about compliance.  We just don’t live in a time that we can trust people.  And attempting to force compliance takes up too much of our time.  We have a pet overpopulation problem and it would be foolish on our part to allow our alumni to add to the problem due to an ignorant adopter.

Originally, I bought in to infant spay/neuter surgery because I could adopt out an animal knowing that it could not breed.  My first concern was when I fostered a group of dogs in Jacksonville Florida and decided to adopt one of the dogs.  I witnessed immediately Frodo’s ability to urinate had changed, it was as if he had to force it, rather that just allow it to flow.  The problem never resolved itself.  I’m not a veterinarian, but I believe we neutered the dog before his urinary tract had fully developed.

The incident with Frodo always stayed with me and if the opportunity arose that I could delay a surgery, I would agree to it.  I don’t think Frodo was harmed, I just think he would have been better off delaying his surgery.  There are many veterinarians who would prefer to wait to perform the surgery, it is just too bad that we live in a world in which waiting doesn’t work.