To the Editor:
“Should Most Pet Owners Be Required to Neuter Their Animals?,” by Verlyn Klinkenborg (Editorial Observer, July 30), is right: “The rate at which dogs are purchased and euthanized in this country is not a sign of our affection for them. It’s a sign of our indifference.”
We’ve been educating, helping and begging people to spay and neuter their animals for years, but three million to four million cats and dogs still die in shelters every year because of simple math: too many animals, not enough worthy adoptive homes.
This crisis calls for mandatory spay and neuter legislation. Given the current dire shortage of homes, no breeding is responsible. Every time someone buys a puppy or kitten from a breeder, a shelter animal loses its chance at a home and pays with its life.
Breeders kill shelter animals’ chances to find good homes. It is time to practice your A B C’s (Animal Birth Control)! Animals aren’t possessions to use, abuse and throw away when we tire of them.
If people won’t be responsible for their animals on their own, it’s time to make carelessness criminal.
Norfolk, Va., July 31, 2007
The writer is the director of Domestic Animals and Wildlife Rescue & Information for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.