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Happy Tail: It's Raining Cats and Dogs

Preaching to the choir, and hoping others will listen. The depressing situation regarding spaying and neutering in Kentucky.
The next earlier column, a happy, uplifting Happy Tail: Rose, a very memorable Percheron Mare. Posted July 13, 2014

By Peg Schaeffer

Sometimes I wonder if I'm having any impact on reducing the number of unwanted pets in the area. I'm just a cog in the wheel of animal rescue people.

Every day when I read my emails there are notices of dogs and cats in danger of being PTS (put to sleep) at shelters all over Kentucky. They always read: senior, bonded pair, abused, neglected, litter of puppies, prego, cute little girl - the list goes on. They're everywhere in Kentucky, not just our area. There are all kinds of media on spay/neuter awareness and many low cost/no cost spay/neuter programs available. Lifebridge for Animals, president, Jeanie Petrik, told me the other day that between January 1 and June 30, 2014 they have paid for 579 spay/neuters for dogs and cats. GRAWL offers free spay/neuter to senior citizens. There is the Fix Foundation and SNIP clinics with low cost spay/neuter. In February I sold 52 spay/neuter certificates for half price on World Spay Day. There should be no excuses for the large number of puppies and kittens being born.

I went to an adoption fair last Saturday and brought six puppies from 5 different litters. Of the six puppies only one was an owner surrender. The rest had been abandoned and found by the side of the road or wandering. They were all brought to us by good Samaritans. Two of the puppies were Lab/Border collie mixes that a Russell County officer found. A van pulled over to the side of the road. Someone got out, laid a blanket on the ground and dumped some dog food. As they pulled away the officer saw they had left two black puppies. While at the adoption fair someone called and asked to bring me a Lab mix puppy they had found in a ditch. Friday evening a couple brought me 5 Pit Bull puppies they had found in a wooded area. An hour later someone called that had found a dog on the side of the road that had been hit by a car and was limping. Saturday morning a woman brought me 5 Beagle puppies that had been abandoned at a vacant trailer on her property. Her son was going to shoot them. At this point Keith and I both agreed that we couldn't take in anymore dogs or puppies. We no sooner sat down that the phone rang and someone was at our gate with three fluffy puppies that had shown up in his yard.

During the week a woman called me about a litter of puppies she had. She owned the mom who was a senior and was having trouble caring for the pups. I told her I would only agree to take the puppies if she bought a certificate from me to have the mother spayed. I haven't heard back from her. I want to help but I'm not going to enable people. If I take in a litter of puppies, without having the Mom spayed, what's to stop them from having another litter in six months?

It's frustrating that there are still so many people who think pets are disposable. I cringe when I hear someone say they're going to shoot a litter of puppies or drown a litter of kittens because they don't want them. It's their responsibility to prevent the birth of these unwanted litters.

I was talking to a good friend of mine, Heather Evans, about the problem and we both feel it's because the people who read my Happy Tails or postings about spay/neuter and pet overpopulation are the ones who care. It's like preaching to the choir. We need to be more proactive. We need to reach the people who continue to allow their pets to give birth to litter after litter. So I'm asking you to spread the word. If you have a neighbor or friend who has a pet that hasn't been altered talk to them. In just six years a female dog and her puppies can produce 67,000 puppies. In seven years a female cat and her kittens can produce 420,000 kittens. If they say they can't afford it have them contact me at 270-378-4521 or Jeanie Petrik from Lifebridge for Animals at 270-932-3649. We will find a way.

There is also a program that will spay/neuter Pit Bulls for free. So if you have a Pit Bull or know someone who has one that hasn't been altered - please contact us. It can be a veterinarian of your choosing and will be paid for the day of the surgery. Again - no excuses not to have your pet altered.

What's more sad than the fact that 10,000 animals got euthanized today?

The fact that because of the ignorance of humans, it will happen again tomorrow. - Peg Schaeffer

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue, 860 Sparksville Road, Columbia, KY 42728 Telephone: home 270-378-4521 or cell 270-634-4675 email:

This story was posted on 2014-07-20 07:12:50
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