08/21/08 Spaying/Neutering is Necessary to Save Lives

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Animal Friends and Didona warn about the importance of spaying/neutering companion animals

In a period of seven years, just one cat and her offspring can give birth to 420,000 kittens, while just one female dog and her offspring in the same period of time can give birth to 67,000 puppies. Dogs and cats don't live in the wild but with people, their overpopulation leads to the great suffering of unwanted and homeless animals.

Animal Protection Act in Article 48, Paragraphs 5 and 6, says that guardians of companion animals must be responsible for preventing unwanted reproduction by their animals. In the case of uncontrolled reproduction, owners must take care of the offspring. Otherwise the law imposes fines from 5,000 to 15,000 kuna for natural persons and up to 50,000 kuna for legal persons.

In spite of the great problem of homeless animals in Croatia, there are no programs for spaying/neutering of stray or abandoned animals. Such programs – that should be conducted by the local communities – would absolutely contribute to decreasing the number of homeless animals which wander around city streets.

Animal Friends and Didona will take action in Zabreb, Petar Preradovic Square, on Thursday, August 20, and on Saturday, August 23, to inform citizens about the necessity of spaying/neutering of companion animals and to encourage them to provide quality care for their animals.

Association Didona – Veterinarians for Animal Protection and Welfare, has a unified goal to promote spaying/neutering for easier adoption of dogs and cats. At 11 A.M. the association will present its program of free spaying/neutering of dogs and cats which is conducted in cooperation with the City Department for Agriculture and Forestry.

At 11 A.M. reservations will start, primarily for pensioners whose dogs and cats will be spayed/neutered for free. Everyone else is invited to spay/neuter their own pet as well as abandoned and stray animals. People can also ask for further information about less expensive veterinary services for spaying/neutering at the info stall or phone/e-mail of Animal Friends.

Next to our info stalls there will be dogs from the City Shelter for Abandoned Animals in Dumovec who are spayed/neutered and waiting to be adopted. Additionally, a petition for the microchipping of all dogs, which is supported by numerous citizens and over 60 cities in Croatia, will also be posted at the stalls.

This action is directly linked to the campaign against the abandonment of companion animals before summer vacations, we appeal citizens to act responsibly and help prevent animal injuries or overpopulation at our animal shelters.

We also want to highlight the necessary responsibility of the local authorities to provide care for abandoned animals as per the Animal Protection Act. That care should include spaying/neutering programs, homing, building of new shelters, veterinary care, education of public, adopting of animals and punishing irresponsible guardians.

Spaying/neutering prevents homeless animal overpopulation as well as the unceccessary violent killing of unwanted puppies/kittens for which it is near impossible to find homes for all. Furthermore, spaying/neutering prevents the mental suffering of the animals because they are not being able to fulfill their natural needs. Spaying/neutering is also a way of preventing diseases such as breast or uterine cancer, sepsis, Phyometra, prostate or testicles cancer. Additionally, spayed/neutered animals generally live longer. To alter an animal is a routine operation that an experienced vet can conduct in one hour with a small recuperation time.

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