More Killing

The other day, I had some comments about North Carolina's high rate of euthanization of unwanted pet animals at county operated animal shelters—almost twice the national average! I dwelt on the lack of funding for space adequate to keep the animals longer to better their chances of being adopted.

Among the e-mails I got in response, a number of viewers said the bigger problem is the lack of responsibility of some owners who allow their female dogs and cats—especially cats—to roam outside, and they, as Nature directs, get pregnant as often as possible, producing unwanted litters that are dumped at the shelter as soon as they are weaned. Those viewers are right. (But you can only cram so many thoughts in a minute and twenty seconds, and that's the reason for this follow-up.)

People who don't get their pets spayed or neutered are the basic problem. Sure, it's fun if your dog has a litter—puppies are so cute—but only if you keep them, or place them with other people. If you don't want that responsibility, get your pet spayed or neutered—it's that simple. And there are low-cost clinics available through which you can get the operation done for as little as $50 for a dog, twenty or thirty for a cat, depending on the sex. Paying to run Animal Control and operate the shelter, through taxes, will cost you more in the long run.