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BRAD PATTISON: Why spay and neuter programs haven't reduced unwanted pet populations

Celebrity dog behaviorist and Kelowna resident Brad Pattison.
Image Credit: Contributed
January 16, 2016 - 9:01 AM

Renowned Kelowna dog behaviourist Brad Pattison thinks he has a better way to tackle pet overpopulation. 

PART ONE: This is a letter directed to rescue groups, dog lovers and shelters and many others

I am sure it will annoy you, make you angry, mad and even hate me. I am comfortable with that. The aim of this letter is to open the eyes of the ones who walk in the rescue world with ego and live day to day looking for power. Before I begin, I would like to say to the ones in the rescue world of animals who walk without ego, care 100 per cent with no hidden agenda and do the right thing at all cost: Thank you, the world needs more of you!

So listen carefully.

Fact: Every country is over populated with dogs.
Fact: Neutering dogs does not work.
Fact: Time and money spent catching and neutering dogs is wasteful.
Fact: Only female dogs can give birth.
Fact: Spay the females and you will end over population of dogs every where.
Fact: Brad is right.
Fact: Most will disagree.
Fact: You will be wrong.
Fact: Most stories about rescued dogs are lies.
Fact: Many dogs in vacation towns have homes and are stolen by many rescue groups. Sent abroad to other countries. Not cool!
Fact: Many people make a living selling stolen family dogs to Canada and the United States.
Fact: Not all dogs are abused.
Fact: I am annoying many of my readers right now.

I have been to many countries and seen the life many of the dogs live. Yes some horrible stories. But these same stories are in the same country you come from. Latin America, Mexico are not the root of animal abuse. Northern Canada is the same.

Don’t think you rescued a dog, you only adopted a dog. Rescue is a fictitious world to inflate ego, prey on your emotions and give a false perspective the dog is amazing. Train it!

If these organizations want to resolve dog population issues then do the right thing. Catch the females, spay them and set an example for the community you are in. Stop acting like you did an amazing thing when you are just being a kind human. Educate others. Take off the all-mighty cloak and leave your ego at the airport. Just because you come from Canada or the United States and go to Mexico or South America, don’t treat the locals like they are less of a person.

I know many people in the rescue world who do great things for dogs and cats. Again, thank you! Keep up the battle. The veterinarians and vet techs who work the long hours, stay humble. It looks good on you. You know as much as I do the silent thanks a dog will give. That thank you means more than a boost to the ego. Again thank you to all of you who do the right thing.

Dear rescue people who fight among others. STOP it! Grow up and stop talking crap about each other. We all care, we all care, we all care… work together or shut up and leave! Much work needs to be done, arguing with others will delay your success.

Fact: Some of you will have understood this.
Fact: Some will love it or hate it.

Image Credit: Contributed

PART TWO: Spay and Neuter programs fail local communities globally

Congrats! You have spent vast amounts of money, millions of hours running spay and neuter programs and the heart ache is good and bad. But unquestionably the results are not proving to pave the way for long term success.

Wherever dogs can breed uncontrollably, we will always have over population of dogs.

Often government is to blame as to why communities have this problem. No single government can stop it. Help and cooperation are critical from all sides. Breeders, owners, adoption agencies. This is not just government resolve.

I will give an example. My first post regarding over population of dogs was met with positive acceptance. Unfortunately about 15 per cent disliked the idea and quickly argued the point. Lets look at the history of spay and neuter programs. Every community I know where the program is implemented, the numbers of dogs born have risen. Not lowered. Fact! Clearly we are missing something.

Critics who say the phrases such as "I think” or "I feel” tells me one thing: These people are talkers, not doers and they have not been honest with the outcome. This dismisses factual answers which hold no merit. Lets be honest, this is not about me being a chauvinist pig as some have responded back, or a dork or a few other names. This is about changing the flat tire on a car which is not working as well as it should. Spay not neuter is the way to go. If we catch 100 dogs out of 200 then we get 50 male and 50 female spayed and neutered. That still leaves 50 females who will give birth. If we focus our attention on spaying 100 females only then no dogs will be born.

I can hear the discussion about neuter the males. Unfortunately that won’t work. Males are cued when the female goes into heat. When that happens we will have more puppies. Eliminate the sexual desire and we will halt unwanted puppies.

Some have said the surgery is invasive on a female and less invasive on a male. Surgery is invasive, lets keep it real. Resolve the issue and trust the veterinarians they spay properly. Which they will, so the invasive surgery excuse makes no point.

Some have said spaying takes longer. Possibly. But the long term outcome is what the goal is.

One fact is for sure: Until we change our tactics and how we approach spay and neuter programs, the problem will not improve, not make a long-term difference and we will be the ones to blame.

We will have blood on our hands.

— Brad Pattison

Brad@bradpattison.com

Host of "At The End Of My Leash" and "Puppy SOS" TV Series'. Best Selling Author of "Brad Pattison UNLEASHED". Dog Behaviourist, Owner Of "HUSTLE UP"

Image Credit: Contributed

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