It is necessary to support early sterilization for cats and dogs (puppies between 6 and 8 weeks).
Although ADDA does this since 1993, during the year 2003 we asked an international entity to send us veterinarians to give a conference and workshop on the subject. This event took place at the Veterinarian College (UBA) and 40 veterinarians from Buenos Aires and other provinces participated.
Throughout the workshop, 6 feline and canine babies which had been given for adoption before the surgery were operated on. I had accepted to keep them during the post-op but there was no post-op. The puppies from both species, after 15 to 20 minutes, were already playing with each other. After 3 or 4 days the 1 cm size wound was invisible. Those animals never knew they had been sterilized.
The first news ADDA received on early sterilization was through a report from the USA Humane Society. After 1993 theAmerican Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) guaranteed this practice.
Dr. Lieberman, from the USA, was a pioneer in this subject; he carried out an early sterilization program in three animal shelters: 1,600 surgeries in a period of two years, in the SPCA – Florida, 8,000 surgeries in a period of 7 years for the Humane Society in Southern Oregon and 90,000 surgeries in a period of 5 years for the Animal Protection Society of Vancouver.
Dr. Lieberman sent questionnaires to early sterilized animal owners and to a group of owners of animals sterilized at conventional ages. The owners of the early sterilized animals informed their animals’ behavior was less aggressive, they had less problems regarding obesity and less medical problems than the other group of owners.
Other veterinarians were galvanized by the information Lieberman had provided, Publisher by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (JAVMA) and started to study the safety and possibility of sterilization at a short age. “The surgery taken place on younger specimens is much easier”, said Dr. Mackie, “the surgery is faster and easier, there is less fat to handle and the surgery is more direct”. Dr. Joan Freed, a veterinarian for Animal Control (FL) who sterilizes all animals before sending them to their homes, agrees: “In present time, when I occasionally have to operate on a 6 month old animal, I consider the animal is almost too old!”
Unfortunately, only a small group of veterinarians sterilize baby dogs and cats in Argentina. Most of them attended that workshop I mentioned before. But there are only a few and the lack of control in dog and cat reproduction is still exposing these species to massive slaughter.
During 2005, I was invited to 2 congresses in USA, taken place in San Diego – California, it was for 40 entities from all over the world, but the one organized in Anaheim – California concentrated about 200 entities from the rest of the world, including Africa, Romania, India, Egypt, Israel, etc. and the participants were more than 500. The workshops on early sterilization were many and nobody questioned this type of surgery.
For animal protectionists, the main advantage of sterilizing baby animals is they wouldn’t have to be adopted without this procedure taking place. When we give animals without sterilize and although there is a previous written agreement, we all know many of these animals do not come back for surgery.