Hello all! I'm wearing a slightly different hat this post -- writing now at the Admin Director for United Spay Alliance.
We have some exciting news! USA recently adopted a position statement on Neutering Before Adoption. The full position statement can be found on the About page of our website here.
USA will be hosting a webinar on September 27 at 12 p.m. ET. This webinar will be a panel conversation to discuss the importance of Neutering Before Adoption, and the positive impact such policies have for animals, shelters, and communities. Registration for the webinar is free. Anyone is welcome to join by signing up here.
We do have a media kit available, if anyone would like to share this opp with their networks! The press release and graphics/logos ready-to-share, can be downloaded here. (I have also added attachments here, in case that is easier for anyone!)
As we prepare for our webinar, I'm wondering -- what are your thoughts on Neuter Before Adoption policies? Any questions you'd like us to address/answer? We encourage questions and conversation, and hope folks will join us for this important discussion.
I WISH we could neuter all of our adoptees before they leave the building, but there's just too many cats and not enough time! We also have to balance that with the fact that people are most likely to adopt our cute little kittens when they're still too small. Our surgery dates are already booked out into the middle of October.
On the flip side, there's the benefit to getting them out of the busy shelter environment before they come down with URI. Again. And again... We currently do "foster to adopt" and we have pretty darn good compliance with people bringing them back to be altered. The other silver lining is that we are able to make sure that the kittens (puppies, too - we just do much less dog adoption) at least get their rabies vaccines and most, if not all, of their FVRCP/DHPP before being officially adopted by the owner.
------------------------------Kirsten Cianci, VMDPalmetto Animal LeagueRidgeland, SC 29936=^..^=------------------------------
#AccesstoCare#AdoptionsandAdoptionPrograms#Conferences,WorkshopsandWebcasts#Medicine,SurgeryandSterilization------------------------------Brianna Lovell MyersCommunity Cats Podcast------------------------------
We do spay/neuter everyone before leaving our shelter. We work with our area veterinarians' offices. One of the offices, we schedule one day weekly for spay/neuter, if they are not already spayed/neutered they stay at the shelter until their appointment, and we will drop them off at the office, then new owners will pick them up. If they are already spayed/neutered, they get to go home with adopters.
------------------------------Kirsten Cianci, VMDPalmetto Animal LeagueRidgeland, SC 29936=^..^=Original Message:Sent: 09-11-2023 09:36 AMFrom: Brianna Lovell MyersSubject: What are your thoughts/questions on Neuter Before Adoption?
For our shelter, we spay/neuter, microchip, deworm/flea med everyone before they go home. We have surgeons that's to our facility to do spay/neuter. We are so grateful to be able to do that.
No animal gets adopted out without being spayed or neutered in our organization. After all, this is the main reason why we are overwhelmed with animals at this point, because so many people still don't believe in being responsible and getting their animals fixed. We have a standing appointment at the vet in VA where we do the transport and all dogs and puppies get neutered before getting on the transport van. Cats and kittens have a "Spa Day" at a vet near our rescue. History has proven to our board that even if you withhold money until the adopter gets the animal spayed, sometimes they still don't do it. SO many people right now are dumping puppy litters at the shelters. They think that's the solution to their problem of unwanted litters.
We spay/neuter, microchip, test, deworm, and vaccinate fully (according to age) prior to any adoption. We occasionally will have an animal that is recovering from some sort of medical condition/injury, or is still too young, that is in a foster-to-adopt situation. In that case, the adoption would not be finalized until the animal was returned for spay/neuter. There was a time that we adopted out kittens and puppies that were too young to spay/neuter and had appointments for their adopters to return for spay/neuter. Unfortunately, many of these animals did not come back for their surgery, so we abandoned that program. It is unfortunate that may people do not "believe" in spaying/neutering their pets, which is simply hard to understand when we see the results of the lack of spay/neuter in overflfowing shelters and abandoned animals. We can only continue to try to educate!
Good morning friends! I can't believe this is even a question, truthfully. Adopting out unaltered animals without a foolproof plan to get them done by the adopters (if there is such a thing as a foolproof plan), is simply contributing to the overpopulation problem we are fighting against. Our cat rescue alters every cat before placing them, along with age appropriate vaccines, microchip, deworming, defleaing, etc.
This previously unthinkable question is part of the fallout from COVID and vet shortages in many areas. Euthanasia for space is increasing, and people are trying many things to move animals through shelters faster.
I'm old enough to have been a volunteer who followed up on shelter adoptees who were NOT spayed or neutered as promised and prepaid in the early - to- late 1980s. There was a high rate of non-compliance and a wide range of excuses why timely sterilization hadn't been done. I was aghast at the suggestion of spay-neuter after adoption. But I attended an online panel discussion that included some programs that have already piloted the idea, and they actually claim pretty good results. I left the presentation still skeptical, but thought perhaps social norms have changed enough over the past 40 years that it might be a viable option in some areas..... Might.
I would prefer doing much more to help get spay-neuter of shelter pets and community cats prioritized with community vets and funding programs!
------------------------------April KingVolunteer and Board MemberKotor Kitties+1 206 407 5336http://www.kotorkitties.org------------------------------
------------------------------Diane MetzVolunteerOrange Street Cats, Inc.Original Message:Sent: 09-11-2023 09:36 AMFrom: Brianna Lovell MyersSubject: What are your thoughts/questions on Neuter Before Adoption?
Illinois usda requires any pup over 8 weeks to be spay/neutered so all ours are done before adoption unless a medical issue. They also are chipped and dewormed.
Thanks for the information. At our sanctuary/rescue we neuter before adoption but we have a little different situation than most. Our rescue takes in farm, exotic and small domestic pets other than dogs and cats. You don't hear much talk about spay/neutering guinea pigs and rabbits yet there is an over abundence of them in our area. We have these animals on a waiting list to come to our sanctuary that is over capacity now.
This is really a reply to everyone who has already chimed in on this post. How many animals are you typically spaying/neutering in a week?? I'm just wondering how our procedures are so backed up when everyone else does not seem to encounter the challenge of too many animals and not enough surgery slots.
Kirsten, an experienced shelter or spay/neuter vet with a "well oiled machine" doing high-volume speuters can run 50-80 speuter surgeries through a dedicated facility per day. Two vets can double it. They're not doing pre-op bloodwork, and they're not talking to clients. All the animals are "staged" by techs -- lining them up and moving them into and out of the O-R. The male surgeries take 5-10 minutes each unless there's a cryptorchid requiring a "ball hunt" or perhaps hernia to repair. Female surgeries take a little bit longer. Some of these facilities also increase volume by bringing in 3rd year vet students on a surgery rotation, helping out under supervision.
This may help: https://www.animalleague.org/get-involved/spay-usa/start-spay-neuter-clinic/
If your community doesn't have one of these places and is relying on private clinics, ask your state vet school if they can come one weekend a crank out a lot of surgeries on a Saturday. Programs like that can end up getting all of the shelter animals done in a single day -- along with as many cages of feral cats from managed colonies as people can round up. Sometimes private clinics push back because they know they'll be losing "paid" surgeries, but it will free them up to handle "other" community business.
------------------------------Maggie ThomasPresidentRed Stick German Shepherd RescueLA------------------------------
Thank you for your information. I guess I'm trying to add up the time/hours in my head. 15 minutes for a female cat, 5 for a male - and if we have a lot of female cats, that's still only 4 per hour. Surgery must start awfully early and end awfully late to get 50 pets done in a day! And don't get me started about dogs.. LOL! And if the cats are adult and the dogs are adult, everything slows down. I'm not the slowest surgeon, but I'm the faster than the other doctor, and we're nowhere near those numbers. We don't have room for another surgery table, even if we had a doctor.
Our surgery is not devoted just to shelter pets, but also to clients of the affordable care clinic, so that's where many of the older dogs come into play. And the clinic also offers other procedures, for example dental cleanings. Some of our shelter cats need enucleations. And some of the injured ones we see end up needing limb amputations. I guess I'm just listing reasons why it's so difficult for us to keep up in our situation and not seeing avenues towards making things better in that regard.
I guess I should also ask about the numbers of pets who do NOT return for spay/neuter - I think it's very low, but that's not my department. I will ask when I get back from vacation and update information here.
Thanks again for your input.
------------------------------Maggie ThomasPresidentRed Stick German Shepherd RescueLAOriginal Message:Sent: 09-15-2023 05:55 AMFrom: Kirsten CianciSubject: What are your thoughts/questions on Neuter Before Adoption?
@Kirsten, the Doris Day numbers are probably based on places that do a gazillion feral cats for community cat programs -- with lots and lots of males.
At the high-volume ones I've seen that move huge numbers through, the animals have to be dropped off between 7-7:30AM, and none go home until evening "pick-up hours," as all the techs are busy in the surgery prep/post-op assembly-line once it starts, so no one is stopping to discharge patients (that cuts client talking time out of it, at least during the day).
The biggest slow down are probably the in-heat female dogs -- those very "vascular" surgeries can sometimes become time-consuming, as you know. And yet shelters often insist that they be done "right now