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Mandatory Spay and Neuter...? - Jessie T. Wolf
January 26th, 2008
07:12 pm


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Mandatory Spay and Neuter...?
Okay... I need to have a brain spill on this topic, as it's one that comes around quite frequently on the Dog Legislation Council of Canada's member's list. I've taken the liberty of sticking this behind a LJ Cut, as it's rather long.

Some people are for it... some people are against it. The DLCC list is made up of all sorts of people, (dog owners, dog trainers, vets, behaviorists, breeders, people from the dog show circuits and clubs, etc.) and so naturally there would be all sorts of points of view on this issue.

Now, in this whole fight against Breed Specific Legislation, one of the biggest restrictions often times implemented is the mandatory spaying and neutering of certain breeds that a government will label as "dangerous," in the hopes of eventually killing the breed off entirely. Hence the DLCC opposes mandatory spay and neuter laws.

Then on the opposite side of the spectrum, there's PETA. PETA rallies FOR mandatory spay/neuter, and slams registered breeders. Their argument is that every time you purchase a new puppy from a breeder, you kill a shelter dog. They supposedly advocate spaying and neutering for the population control of pets, as there are tons of new unwanted litters being born, and unwanted pets being dumped at shelters, and killed every day. Now, if this was PETA's true motive for wanting mandatory spaying/neutering, it might make sense... except for the fact that PETA has stated that it is looking towards the eventual extermination of all domestic animals, period (and you can get plenty of information confirming this by doing a simple Google search on PETA, if you don't want to take my word for it). So really, PETA is no better than the governments who implement mandatory spay/neuter as a form of BSL.

Let's look at some of the reasons why mandatory spay/neuter doesn't work, shall we?

1.) The most common reason why governments implement mandatory s/n with breed bans is for the reason mentioned above - it is in the hopes that in time, any breeds deemed as "dangerous" will eventually die off, as they are no longer being bred.

Right. News flash... irresponsible people don't care about following the rules of the law. "Dangerous" dogs are being bred anyway - in fact there are more dogs being bred now than ever before, *because* of all of the breed specific laws and bans that have been breaking out all around the world! Anything that is restricted is usually very attractive to people who are irresponsible.

2.) Unaltered dogs are naturally prone to aggression, and are involved in the highest numbers of dog attack statistics. Therefore Mandatory s/n of dogs will decrease dog bites and attacks.

Nope. Unaltered dogs who bite or attack other animals and people are in most cases the result of an owner who does not have any control over their dog, or their dog has been poorly socialized. Either way, an owner who *knows* that their dog is potentially aggressive should be responsible and take the appropriate measures to ensure the safety of those around him or her.

3.) Governments implement mandatory s/n for the safety of the people and animals, and to control overpopulation problems. With mandatory s/n laws in place, it greatly reduces the amount of dogs that are dumped at shelters.

Wrong again. The overpopulation of dogs come from people who are irresponsible, uneducated, or who just don't care. Take the owner who leaves his unaltered dog in their backyard, who happens to jump the fence one day and get a neighbor's dog pregnant. How about the dog who lives in a household filled with young kids, who accidentally leave the front door open one day, and that dog decides to go exploring? What about the parents who get a puppy for their kid at Christmas, but soon that puppy gets older and is no longer cute...? Or the couple who breaks up, and neither person wants to keep the dog... or someone gets a new job and moves, and can't be bothered to find a new place that accepts dogs, and that dog gets dumped at a pound (or rescue, if the dog is lucky)? Does spaying and neutering stop these dogs from ending up in shelters?

What are the three common similarities in all of these scenarios?

Personal responsibility. Period.

Mandatory spaying and neutering doesn't do a damn thing. It's a quick fix, that doesn't actually address the route of the problem, which is always about the responsibility of the pet OWNER in the end.

So, with all of that said, it only makes sense that the DLCC and other dog groups tend to lean more against mandatory spaying and neutering... at least, when it comes to looking at it from a government/legislation point of view.

Now... finally getting to what the point of this entry is. What's been urking me lately, are the people on the DLCC list who like to scream "Mandatory spay/neuter is evil! Fight against it!!" and yet some of these people are breeders... and MANY registered breeders in North America have their clients sign mandatory spay/neuter contracts when you buy a puppy from them.

So, my big question is... why is it bad for a government to legislate mandatory s/n... but it's okay for breeders to demand that their clients sign a mandatory s/n contract? What's the difference? Isn't this just a bit hypocritical...?

Don't get me wrong... I've done my fair share of research when it comes to registered dog breeders, and I know the kind of hard work, time, money, research and care that goes into doing the dog shows, getting the health checks and certifications, the careful selection to ensure a good standard, temperament, etc. I know it's a lot of hard work, and that breeders don't want their clients running off and breeding their dogs, and ruining the bloodline that they worked so hard to create.

But still... mandatory spay/neuter IS mandatory spay/neuter, isn't it? No matter where it comes from... whether it's a government trying to rip away the freedoms of people as pet owners, or a breeder trying to lay certain restrictions on purchasing that pet... in the end, isn't it still about trying to control and restrict people from making their own personal choices?

In Europe, a large percentage of dogs are left unaltered, and there are RARELY any issues with dogs being out of control, attacking other animals or people, or overpopulation problems. All because people there are actually RESPONSIBLE with their pets! In fact, there are some places in Europe, where it's illegal, and considered animal cruelty to alter your pet, unless it's for health purposes.

So when does the whole mandatory spay/neuter thing go too far? When will people start addressing the issues of personal responsibility in pet ownership, instead of implementing half-ass quick fixes?

Just something to think about.

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
Hmmm... I think the diff' between a Breeder and a Government body implimenting BSL-S/N style crap is that the Government rarely excludes the show dog people, and can expand to inlcude as many kinds of dogs as they want.... Breeders with S/N contracts still control their own stock thus can continue to show and breed their dogs... while requiring all "pet quiality" puppies they sell to be fixed so as not to supply noobs with low-grade breeding stock (this in itself is an inherantly faulty policy as it's impossible to inforce when you think about it. How many times does a breeder take a dog owner to court because they bred/didn't fix the puppy? How many even keep in tabs with the people they sell dogs too? What happens if the puppy-buyer moves?)....

I dunno. I don't like Manditory S/N style BSL, because it won't hurt the puppymills or the BYB'ers... they'll just remain underground. It's others that will be impacted. I don't mind it when I see a Kennel Club Registered breeder has S/N contracts... at least they make the attempt to control where their dogs end up so they don't end up as part of a BYB'ers program.


Like everything, it's complicated and opinions vary. And just like every other form of BSL, it only impacts the responsible people who never caused a problem in the first place... vs the fuckers pumping out puppies for thousands of dollars each, just because their coat is blue, or it's legs are shorter than the breed standard... etc, etc, etc.

Nobody wants to put the blame where it belongs. Because it's even MORE work dealing with human nature and stupidity than it is to just "restrict" or "ban" the dogs caught in the middle. :/

Oh, and for the record... PETA can KISS MY ASS.

They want to make all domestic animals EXTINCT. They support breed bans and I'm sure if they could, would be happy to push the plunger themselves to euth' every single domestic animal on earth (which is their goal; to wipe out all domestic creatures on earth from horses and cows, to goldfish and guppies). That's their idea of " animal liberation".

I'd love to see Ingrid Newark violated with a blunt object, repeatedly and as unpleasantly as possible, and I personally hope she gets to meet all the dogs and cats her group has murdered before she's cast down to the lowest levels of Hell. She's a blight on the surface of this struggling planet, and her group is a thorn in the side of all of the legitimate animal welfare groups that exist.

Edited at 2008-01-26 11:48 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2008 09:59 pm (UTC)
I agree on just about all points.
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
I was shown to this post by Chibiabos, and figured I'd leave my two cents.

If the government and/or the breeders are so interested in keeping the overpopulation in check, they should get with the times and update the language of the laws and contracts from S/N to mandatory sterilization; thus allowing for vasectomy and tubal ligation for those owners that wish to keep their animals as intact as possible for whatever reason.

As for the points about stupid people being behind the majority of the overpopulation and dangerous animals, I can only agree, and look forward to mandatory education on animal welfare rather than mandatory spaying and neutering. Unfortunately, that's about as likely as me winning the lottery five times in a row.

Now, you mention that we don't have the same problems in Europe as you US people do, and while I have no idea of how often people are attacked by dogs in the US, attacks HAVE been on the rise at least here in Denmark in later years, as dogs such as amstaffs and pitbulls, which are actually illegal to own here, become more and more common with the not-so-well adjusted 20-25 year old male crowd. We are up to one attack a month on average now, and people are crying for regulation.

But what can be done when pitbulls get falsified papers claiming they're actually amstaffs, which are legal?

I for one would like to see something like an Animal Welfare one semester class in high school; basic education on proper care for cats and dogs, which are the vast majority of household pets. And so help me, a C and lower should go on a permanent record preventing you from ever getting an animal from a licensed breeder or shelter. THAT would be a step in the right direction.
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2008 11:39 pm (UTC)

Everywhere that has BSL (europe is awash in it) has seen an increase in dog bites, not a reduction after banning certian kinds of dogs based on what they as a breed they LOOK like, not how they ACT by merrit of the individual dog (because the people who caused the problems in the first place are even less inclined to take responsibility, or follow THE LAW, and if it's illegal it must be "cool" to own).

I also think some of the view that things are increasing is also not because they actually are(bite statistics for the US have been the same for decades, it's only the breeds on the list that have changed slightly depending on what "tough dog" is in "fashion" at the time), but that people are more inclined to report inccidents that in years past wouldn't have made a ripple. There are just as many or more dogs of other breeds and mixes out there biting kids or other dogs, but because it's a "good" breed or mix, nobody runs to animal control screaming "man eater!".

Yet they continue to expand breed bans, vs going after the dumb fucks who get dogs who shouldn't even own a goldfish.... because it's "easy" and "fast". Nevermind that it DOESN'T WORK.

Your idea is a good one. But nobody wants to spend the MONEY on programs like that... unless it became politically acceptable to do so, and so far that hasn't happened... which is a shame. :/

(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2008 11:59 pm (UTC)
I think it's more than an "inconvenince" for responsible people. It feels more like you've been violated, spit on, and thrown in a dumpster. And I say that from experince considering I own a pit bull and live in a place with BSL.

But you're right. It's not stopping people from breeding the dogs. Importing them, or buying/selling them here(all of which is illegal). I see adds all the time on kajiji and other "sellers" websites.

It doesn't stop them from abusing them, fighting them, or abandoning them either. And once they can't get away with it anymore... the irrisponsible fuckers who have caused all the problems to begin with will just go buy, and start breeding low-grade Presa Canarios, Dogos, Corsos, or some other "badass" breed of dog. It's already starting here.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:January 26th, 2008 11:51 pm (UTC)

You can always choose to buy from a breeder that does or does not have a S/N contract. But you have NO choice when you're dealing with goverment issued laws.
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
That's true. You can always go find a breeder that doesn't have a s/n contract (and they are getting hard to find...). But people can and HAVE ignored mandatory s/n laws, and still even if they're caught, in most cases they get a slap on the wrist, and the dog is punished in the end.

Take a look at this Rambo story going on in Mississauga now. Young, uneducated owner (yes, she's nice... but the Ontario ban is 2 years old... she shouldn't have had that dog in the first place...). Intact male "pitbull" mix gets out on Christmas day and gets caught by Animal Control... did NOTHING wrong - didn't attack anyone - but now the dog is on death row. Because he's not neutered... and he's a potential "pitbull."

There's a law that totally got ignored... it's ignored all the time.

Really though, my beef for this particular post is with people like breeders who shout out against mandatory s/n if it's a political government enforced thing... but it's okay if they do it. Just seems kind of hypocritical to me. *shrugs*

For the record, I agree with the idea of some sort of regulated (not mandatory) s/n system, much like the dog ownership test, where people who cannot handle the bit of extra responsibility of having an intact pet should get it fixed, and HAVE to take it to obedience training. There are SOME behavioral problems that can be curbed by fixing your pet early on... but in the end it still comes down to being a responsible owner.
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2008 01:06 am (UTC)
I had no problem at all spaying my dogs. I just couldn't be around 24 hours a day in ensure that I didn't end up with a load of puppies.

That, and whenever someone is vehemently against it, I'm always suspect of them being a dog-fucker.
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2008 01:49 pm (UTC)
Well that's the thing - you could make the CHOICE to spay your dogs or not. ;)

The two boys I had were both neutered. I have no problem with spaying and neutering. I just think it should be a personal choice, rather than a law put in place where you HAVE to, by pain of fees and/or jailtime, etc.

I'm also really focusing on the fact that a lot of people on dog groups can be rather hypocritical, such as most breeders being against mandatory s/n when it comes to government enforced situations, but it's okay that they can have mandatory s/n contracts.

By the way, I want my next dog to be a working dog, and if I had my choice, I'd rather not neuter. I don't mind neutering, as I've had neutered dogs in the past... but I don't like the fact that it can't simply be my personal choice to neuter or not.
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)

I don't like the fact that because OTHER people have been irresponsible with their pets, _I_ can't make my own choices as to how my pet is cared for.

It's like the chewing gum in class rule. Because one other kid puts gum under the desk, then NO other kids are allowed to chew gum. It's stupid. :/ Punish the kid who stuck gum under the desk don't punish everyone else!
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)
Are you ever doing art again?
[User Picture]
Date:January 27th, 2008 01:50 pm (UTC)
Yes, once we move back to Canada. O___o We're still in England right now.
Date:January 27th, 2008 02:02 pm (UTC)
The issues of dog attacks, _and_ overpopulation could both be eradicated if people again adopted the (lost) concepts of _personal responsibility,_ and time for attention.

Laws and regulations are most often brought into play when people behave irresponsibly, and negatively impact others.

The "average dog-owner" takes little interest in these beings who have their own thoughts, feelings, fears, needs, wishes and dreams. These "average dog-owners" ignore their dogs save for when it suits them, walking them out of duty at best, leaving them on lines, or wandering free to "do their business" at worst.

If a child were treated with the same lack of interest, the result would have a high probability of being a greater danger to society than a canine raised in the same manner.

"Adults" today are often pulled in too many other directions to spend the time that is required for the true pack-support-structure of another living being in their lives... mate... child... or animal.

Laws that regulate the _symptoms_ of lack of time to truly raise/guide/care-for a living being, and the lack of responsibility of the results of one's own actions, are no better than using painkillers addressing the symptoms of a tumor.

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