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Sun, Dec. 15

All About Pets: Spay and neuter, so vitally important

All About Pets: Christy Powers

All About Pets: Christy Powers

There was a report on the news recently about a litter of eight puppies that were found stuffed in a duffel bag and thrown into a dumpster. Three of them survived. Just heard an update that those three now have permanent homes.


I have not written about the importance of spaying and neuter ing before. One reason is that I have an intact boy. I have always been an advocate for spaying and neutering, but the breeder of this dog works diligently to raise only the best, healthiest of pups. It was requested that I keep him intact because of his amazing bloodlines. So far, it has been easy. He has absolutely no clue. But you can be sure that I am always aware of his conduct.

That said, there is absolutely no excuse for allowing a female, who is not of the very highest caliber of bloodlines, to reproduce. There are millions of puppies available at the humane societies — and we are bombarded with puppy mill dogs, which, of course, should be outlawed.

We should leave the breeding to the breeders of quality, healthy pups. And those pups will not be found on the internet!

BoJay is my third Standard Poodle. The first one came from Minnesota. When I moved with him to Arizona, he contracted Valley Fever and I lost him, after much expensive treatment, at the age of seven. I later learned from someone who keeps track of the poodle breeders throughout the country, that this breeder’s dogs had very poor immune systems. This makes them susceptible to all sorts of ailments that are floating around. (The immune system is vital in the health of people as well.)

My second Standard came from a breeder in California. He lived to be 14 years old and maintained good health until developing some dementia at the end. My vet told me that was not uncommon as these dogs get older.

I did extensive research before driving all the way to Texas to get this new guy. And I did agree to keep him intact as long as he behaved himself. His bloodlines are on record at UC Davis. As I said, so far, he is clueless, which is fine with me.


This chart shows the frightening effects of heat in our cars, for pets and children. (Courtesy)

Having an intact female is a far greater challenge and responsibility. They tend to attract any male dog living within miles. And there is a certain amount of care required as they come into their heat cycles.

The point I am attempting to make here, in way too many words, is this: spaying and neutering is the way to go for 99.99% of all dogs and cats. It will make your life, and there’s, much easier. We should not be hearng horrible stories about puppies being stuffed into a duffel bag.

My girl, Lacy, was dumped with her two siblings on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Why would anyone allow that to happen? She, now 13, is one very special girl, my soulmate.

I have had countless dogs, cats, even horses, and they all have been “fixed.” And you can be sure that if this guy starts to misbehave, he will very quickly make that visit to the vet.

Incidentally, if it is the cost that interferes with getting an animal spayed or neutered, contact the Humane Society. They frequently have options.

One other item of interest I found buried in the news: more than 1,500 plastic water bottles are discarded every second in the U.S. and fewer than one in 10 is recycled. It is estimated that by 2050, the ocean will contain more plastic by weight than fish! Reducing the amount of plastic in our oceans will protect whales, seals, birds and turtles, according to the Sierra Club.

I certainly wish everyone would go out and buy a nonplastic bottle to be refilled and reused. I hate seeing grocery carts coming out of the store with cases of plastic water bottles. So very sad.

One final note, please be aware of the high temperatures and their impact on our pets.

Christy Powers is a freelance writer whose passion is studying and writing about pet health, nutrition and training. She can be reached at

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