What we believe: Spay/neuter is vital to reduce the pet population

There are veterinarians who oppose nonprofit spay/neuter clinics. What's up with that? Every animal that is fixed means there's not going to be an unwanted litter that we have to deal with.

We believe spay/neuter is essential in cutting down the pet population. Some vets don't agree because they're greedy. They mistakenly believe that the folks who use nonprofit spay/neuter clinics would come to them. But they're wrong. These folks wouldn't go to a vet at all.

While spay/neuter efforts aren't the panacea of animal control, it's an important part. The fewer litters out there, the fewer animals have to be put down.

And in Alabama, dogs and cats are put down in high numbers. For space. That's the worst reason to put a dog or cat down. Not enough space in a shelter, and a dog or cat gets killed. That's horrible.

So we believe that spaying and neutering our pets is the best way to reduce the pet population.

What we dislike is Alabama lawmakers opposing protecting the nonprofit spay/neuter clinics that fix thousands of companion animals a year. They are puppets of greedy veterinarians who look at spay/neuter clinics as competition. Shame on them.

And shame on the vets who don't really care for animals, but only for their own profits.

The most important component in reducing the unwanted pet population is spay/neuter. Indeed, since the nonprofit spay/neuter clinics have opened, shelter pet populations have gone down. But not enough.

Alabama dogs are being transported north. Some are adopted. Too many are killed.

If you have a dog that is not fixed, fix him or her. If you don't, you're part of the problem. You're being cruel to your animal. Unless you are a quality breeder, get your pet spayed or neutered. The boy dog doesn't care about his balls. Neither should you. And if you're ball-centric, get some neuticals. But that's your issue, not your dog's.

We believe every dog or cat should be spayed or neutered unless you are a high-quality breeder. That's how we reduce the unwanted pet population. So do it.

Joey Kennedy

Joey Kennedy is president and publisher of Animal Advocates of Alabama. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Kennedy worked for more than 33 years at The Birmingham News.

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