Updated: May 7
In part 1 of our Spay & Neuter series, we reviewed the history of spaying & neutering in the U.S. and why it’s been successful. Today in part 2, we will take a closer look at who oversees spaying and neutering in the U.S. and why it’s important.
WHO PERFORMS SPAY & NEUTER IN THE U.S.
Spaying and Neutering of animals is performed by animal shelters and animal control agencies, by community-led efforts such as TNR (Trap, Neuter, Return), and most commonly, by private veterinary practices and animal hospitals. Sterilization is routinely accompanied by vaccinations for rabies, Bordetella, FVRCP, and feline rabies.
On a community level, Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs have been pivotal in humanely and effectively managing free-roaming animals, predominantly cats. TNR is endorsed by the leading U.S. animal welfare organizations such as ASPCA, HSUS, and the American Humane Society. (i,ii,iii)
Additionally, many local governments incorporate TNR into their animal control and management policies. TNR programs are often accompanied by a ‘caretaker’ program, whereby a person or group of people are also responsible for feeding and providing care for the cat colony.
Without spay and neuter programs, the stray dog and cat population can quickly become wildly out of control. For this reason, it’s vitally important to implement spay and neuter programs both nationally and locally.
FUN FACT: February is National Spay and Neuter Awareness month, and the fourth Tuesday in February is World Spay Day, which was started in 1995 by the Doris Day Animal League. (iv)
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO DUO DUO’S MISSION?
Duo Duo has a three-prong approach to solving the dog meat trade:
1. Education for the community – community events bring loving dogs and young people together and help adults see dogs as invaluable members of the community rather than objects to be used or feared.
2. Legislation – sponsoring symposiums and bringing local legal experts and activists together to push for much needed animal protection laws. Connecting US animal welfare experts and their Chinese counterparts to advocate for effective animal welfare laws and policies. Supporting on-the-ground activist efforts to help enforce existing laws and policies.
3. Vet Spay and Neuter Programs – funding large scale spay and neuter programs are essential to the disruption of the meat trade.
Specifically, with spaying and neutering, our approach is to reduce the supply to the dog meat trade. Unfortunately, all dogs who end up in the dog meat trade are either stolen pets or stray dogs. Spay and neuter programs are particularly vital to combat the stray dog overpopulation problem.
To compound the issue, culturally, many Chinese people believe that the neutering of male dogs reduces their machoism, or aggressiveness, rendering the dogs less useful as guard dogs. Rural dogs are often left free-roaming and are consequently easy targets for the dog catchers and snatchers.
Neutering these dogs is critically important, but it is equally important to resolve this cultural dilemma by shifting the perspective to one where people see dogs as companion animals who deserve to be treated with love and respect.
If you’d like to support Duo Duo’s mission to spearhead a first-of-its-kind spay and neuter program in China to help end the illegal dog meat trade, please consider donating. Every dollar helps.