Friday, August 12, 2011

Why Mostly Mutts Promotes Spay/Neuter

Below is a letter we received this week from a family who wished to foster a dog through us but didn’t because of our sincere belief in the importance of spay/neuter.  This is not the first vocalization of disagreement with our policy but we wanted to share it with all our blog readers and future Mostly Mutts families as to why our policy is the way it is.

The letter reads as follows:

……We are hesitant to have our pug fixed because we want to be able to breed him in the future.  So it looks like we won't be able to foster or adopt through Mostly Mutts.  My intention was to foster for as little as a few days, and then proceed to the adoption.

I've heard from other friends with kind, loving homes that adopting a dog through a rescue agency is very difficult because of the stringent requirements of the agency, and I was hesitant to even apply for that very reason.  Our dogs are all happy, healthy and very much loved.  While I respect and appreciate your mission, I have to say that the risk of unwanted puppies in our case seems almost non-existent, as we have three male dogs and were asking to foster another male dog.  We've decided to adopt from a breeder rather than comply with your requirements.  The cost will be approximately the same as adopting from your agency, and we will have a dog to love, but we will all miss the benefit of helping a potentially homeless dog find a good home.

Our response:

We obviously have one thing in common and that is that we love dogs.  Let us share our perspective as to why we have the policies we have.  Maybe when you see this through the eyes of a rescuer, you may understand. 

Just yesterday we went to an animal control and rescued four dogs with a “white slip.”  The white slip means that they are on the euthanasia list for this morning.  Even though almost 50% of the dogs seen had white slips on their kennels, we could only take four because that’s all we had room for.  There were three litters of puppies there and they had ‘white slips’ on their kennels too.  We’re happy we rescued four but so sad that about fifty were euthanized just this morning at this one facility.  Animal control’s intake is approximately 30-50 dogs and cats (including many puppies and kittens) a DAY.  There is an epidemic out there that most people are unaware of. 

The problems is that our region, and pretty much all over the United States, has an overpopulation of puppies and kittens.  The reason for this overpopulation is that people allow their dogs and cats to breed…either accidentally or on purpose.  70,000 kittens and puppies are born EACH DAY.  It is impossible to place this many animals in homes therefore the majority of these animals end up as strays or at animal control centers or in the hands of abusive families. 

The most common statement I hear from dogs owners who have intact males or females is that “I have no intention in breeding, I just don’t believe in spaying or neutering animals”.  I can understand that the intention is not there but 100% of the litters I have rescued have been accidental.  Male dogs will do anything if they smell a female in heat (and they can from one mile away).  The sad part is that our rescue exhausts ourselves working at adoption events and we are thrilled when we adopt out ten dogs.  But then we realize that someone is at home with their female dog that just had ten puppies.  This defeats every ounce of our hard work.

We do require pets to be spay/neutered when fostering or adopting from us.  We want to adopt to families that see more than just ‘I want to own a new dog’.  We want them to support us and help with our cause.  The ONLY way for us to save ALL the dogs and cats in our community is to lower the pet population.  The ONLY way to do this is through spay/neuter.

That’s it from our perspective.  From a dog’s perspective, if they had a voice, they would let you know that they would prefer to be spay/neutered.  Males live a life of sexual frustration if not neutered (even if you breed occasionally) and this leads to behaviors such as marking, humping, aggressions, etc.  Females suffer from mammary tumors, pyometras (infected uterus) and hormonal issues due to their cycles. Ask your male friends if they would like to live sexually’s not fair to the dog! 

Please do me a favor and visit an animal control shelter before you run to a breeder to purchase a dog.  Also know that when you purchase a dog, breeders bring more dogs in to the world.  When you adopt a dog, you open up a kennel for another rescue dog so you save two dogs!

We are very sorry that we can’t work together but we are more involved with saving animals then just adoption.  We want to educate people as to the importance of spay/neuter.   It’s the responsible thing to do for your dog, for rescue dogs seeking a new home and for your community. 


  1. I concur with the assessment above. Well written and hopefully this will start the education so badly needed in Georgia and throughout the USA.

  2. To even put the words "we've decided to adopt from a breeder" into a sentence makes my stomach turn at the blindness to what they help perpetuate. You don't adopt from a breeder, you help abuse and suffering when BUYING from a breeder. Paige, I am so glad you are so diplomatic and patient when dealing with ignorance and stupidity. I know that education is the only way to get to people, but where do you even begin with most...?

  3. I can't spay my dog because she has severe Von Willebrand's disease. And let me tell you, every single heat cycle I wish so much that I could have had her spayed. I simply cannot imagine anyone choosing to deal with heat cycles unless they absolutely had to. That said, unwanted pregnancies are 100% preventable and I become absolute infuriated by anyone who insists their dog got pregnant "accidentally." It's not like bitches don't show signs of being in heat a long time before they're actually receptive to becoming pregnant. My dog is usually inside with me, but if she goes outside, she's never unsupervised and I am with her all the time. And I have had male dogs pursue her even with me around, but that's what pepper spray is for. To me, it's just irresponsible not to spay and neuter your dog if you possibly can, but even in extenuating circumstances, there is NO excuse for an unwanted, unplanned litter of puppies.