Maurillo: Animal population control in Auburn | Lifestyles

Robin Maurillo special for the citizen

Due to the high number of responses I received from last month’s column, “Pet Abandonment and Overpopulation in Auburn”, I thought it best to follow up with some controversial stats on neutering and support local for the prevention of unwanted litters and animals in Auburn. Unfortunately, this doesn’t directly answer the question of why humans do these things to innocent animals. It deals with the prevention of overpopulation and the effect of overpopulation on the increased potential for abandonment, abuse, neglect, unwanted litters and feral population. Euthanasia has not worked to limit or control pet overpopulation, decrease refuges for killing, or reduce homelessness. Castration and sterilization do.

A controversial topic: when is it safe to neuter or neuter pets?

Many animal shelters and humane associations see firsthand the horrific facts of abandoned, abused, neglected and unwanted animals. As a former animal cruelty investigator, I can tell you that these animals suffer tremendously, and those are just the animals we see. Therefore, animal shelters, humanitarian associations and their employees generally recommend:

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• Cats should be neutered at eight weeks.

• Male cats should be neutered at 12 weeks.

• female dogs to be neutered at 10 weeks.

• Males should be castrated at 14 weeks.

Animal shelters and humane associations often perform these surgeries at these ages, so that the animals can be sterilized before being adopted.

Many veterinarians recommend:

• Cats to be sterilized at 10 weeks.

• Male cats should be neutered at 12 weeks.

• female dogs to be neutered at 24 weeks.

• Males should be castrated at 20 weeks.

All agree that the benefits of neutering and neutering animals include:

• Healthier life expectancy.

• Prevention of uterine infections (eg pyometra)

• Reduced risk of breast tumors, testicular cancer, prostate problems.

• Prevention of spraying, howling, meowing, wandering.

• Eliminates mounting/humping behavior.

• Decreases the likelihood of aggressive behavior.

• Eliminates the financial burden and responsibility of raising and finding homes for litters.

• Fewer pregnancies, homelessness, abandonment, abuse, neglect and injury.

Talk to your veterinarian about the pros and cons to determine the best time to neuter your pet, but don’t hesitate to adopt a shelter animal that has already been neutered or spayed. The benefits of spaying and spaying, at a young or older age, far outweigh the problems and concerns of overcrowding, homelessness, and health issues.

Auburn is fortunate to have the CNY Finger Lakes SPCA and a new community cat (wild/stray) group called TNR (Trap/Neuter/Release) to support these wild/stray animals.

The Finger Lakes SPCA has been on the front lines dealing with feral/stray cat issues, as well as canine issues. They are located at 41 York Street and offer regular feral/stray cat clinics on the first, second and fourth Fridays of each month.

The Finger Lakes SPCA has a Facebook page that provides current information and updates on all of its activities. Contact the SPCA to request a list of all the ways you can help the shelter (supplies, donations, your time and/or talents, etc.).

TNR is very new to the area and is just beginning to tackle the issue of neutering and neutering feral/stray cats here in Auburn. They study trapping, spaying and neutering, vaccination and post-surgical requirements for feral/stray cats. They need: semi-heated sheds for post-surgical recovery, metal crates, wet (strong-smelling) cat food, urinary pads, volunteers on clinic days, and donations ($1,100 neutered/neutered about 25 cats ). Donations of your time and talents are also greatly appreciated. TNR has a Facebook page called “Auburn NY Community Cats”. TNR can also be contacted at [email protected]

Both of these organizations are already, or soon will be, overwhelmed by the large number of “community cats” (feral/stray cats) in Auburn. It is getting colder and colder and our winters are harsh for these innocent creatures. We must all help them in their efforts and give them the support they so badly need.

Robin Maurillo, of Auburn, worked as a veterinary technician and animal cruelty investigator for several years in central New York.