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Mandatory spay/neuter

September 8, 2011
Morning Journal News


As I read of the continuing cuts by County Commissioners in order to preserve money, an area that seems to be overlooked is the Columbiana County Dog Pound and Adoption Center.

Let me be clear, in no way am I endorsing reduction in manpower or any service they provide. God knows, they can't keep up with the overwhelming demand for their assistance, now.

However, a common sense step to reducing expenses is to reduce the flow of dogs into the pound. Obviously, handling over 1,000 dogs in a year has great associated expense. Isn't it time to implement some form of mandatory spay and neuter of dogs in this county in order to stop the flow and curb the expense?

As president of the Humane Society of Columbiana County, I often speak to business and civic groups on animal welfare and related topics. In explaining that there are costs to taxpayers and donors that directly result from animal pollution (my term for animal overpopulation), I use this analogy which gets right to the heart of the issue.

Imagine that instead of being a county dog pound, we are talking of a municipal sewage disposal plant and imagine that the governing administration ordered the staff to cut operations and expenses. But at the same time, the administration knowingly distributed a laxative to the population, thereby increasing the flow into the sewage disposal plant.

This is exactly what we are doing in the animal welfare community. Cuts to budgets are dictated and donor dollars dwindle, but the flow of dogs (and cats) just keeps coming and someone is expected to handle it.

Please, if you don't know what mandatory spay and neuter of pets is about, look it up on the Internet, or contact me via the Humane Society of Columbiana County. I would be glad to speak to you or your group on the topic.

Although the Humane Society is funded solely by donor dollars and does not receive any taxpayer dollars, we are asked constantly to accept unwanted pets as if they were used tires. Financially, we simply cannot keep pace with the demand. Currently, we must refuse the pet unless related to a humane case.

Mandatory spay/neuter is a reasonable solution to a very outdated and unnecessary problem.

Jenny R. Pike




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