The Case For Mandatory Spay/Neuter by Ed Boks

The month of May 2006 came in like a lamb but went out like hundreds of sick and dying neonate kittens. I doubt any stronger case can be made for mandatory spay/neuter than what you are about to read.

North Central Animal Care Center experienced an unprecedented number of neonate euthanasias during the last week of May. This was due to an unusually high number of orphaned neonates presenting clinical symptoms suggestive of infectious diseases such as Notedris cati, chylmydia, panleukopenia, and corona virus etc. Diagnostics were performed through blood work and complete dermatology exams for infectious skin diseases confirming these diseases.

254 orphaned neonates were euthanized in the month of May in North Central with well over 100 in the last week. South LA Animal Care Center euthanized 247 neonates in the month of May, and the entire LAAS organization euthanized a total of 823 orphaned neonates of the 2,035 dogs and cats euthanized.

That represents 40% of the May euthanasia rate!

This situation points out three critical needs:

1) the need for more foster homes to care for neonates in our Bottle Baby Program,

2) the need for broader implementation of our Safety Net Program to help support people relinquishing neonates with the resources they need to bring them through the weaning process, and

3) more aggressive Big Fix Spay Neuter Programs throughout the City especially during the winter months. LAAS is working on approaches to address all three of these needs and will report on our progress in future reports.

As a result of this unfortunate and tragic anomaly in the North Central Animal Care Center, the overall organizational month of May euthanasia rate increased 12% compared to May ‘05, but decreased 10% compared to May 04.

East Valley showed a 17% decrease in euthanasia.
Harbor showed a 29% decrease.
South LA had a 1% increase.
West LA had a 2.5% decrease.
West Valley had a .05% increase.

North Central was on track to show a decrease in euthanasia in May until the Center was literally inundated with sick and dying neonates during the last week of May. Rescue efforts were complicated by that being a Holiday weekend and by a shortage of qualified Bottle Baby Foster Care Givers.

The month of May Cat Euthanasia rate is up 19% compared to May 05 but down 6% compared to May 04.

The month of May Dog Euthanasia rate is down 2% compared to May 05 and down 13.5% compared to May 04.

If there is a silver lining to any of this news, it is that the Calendar 06 Year To Date Euthanasia rate for dogs and cats is down nearly 17% compared to the same time period in 05 and down 29.5% compared to the same time period in 04.

Calendar Year 06 Cat Euthanasia is down 7.6% compared to the same time frame in 05, and down 24% compared to the same time frame in 04.

Calendar Year 06 Dog Euthanasia is down 26% compared to the same time frame in 05, and down 35% compared to the same time frame in 04.

Of the 2,020 dogs rescued by LAAS in the month of May, 68 were either dead on arrival or died of natural causes. Four dogs were stolen for a remainder of 1,948. 731 were adopted, 333 were New Hoped, 299 were returned to their owners, 16 are in foster for a total of 1,379 live releases. That is an extraordinary 70% live release rate for dogs! Only 20 neonate dogs were euthanized.

Of the 2,646 cats rescued by LAAS in the month of May, 81 were either dead on arrival or died of natural causes. Six cats escaped and nine were stolen for a remainder of 2,560. 508 were adopted, 355 were New Hoped, 21 were returned to their owners, 55 are in foster for a total of 939 live releases. That is a dismal 37% live release rate for cats. 803 neonate cats were euthanized. Neonate cats represent 55% of the cat euthanasia rate. Clearly we can see where we as a community must focus our efforts to end the killing! We must turn the faucet off on the sheer number of unwanted cats being born in our community.

May 06 Dog and Cat Adoptions combined were up 7.25% compared to May 05 and up 6.25% compared to May 04.

May 06 Cat Adoptions were down 2.5% compared to May 05 but up 10% compared to May 04.

May 06 Dog Adoptions were up 15.5% compared to May 05 and up 3.5% compared to May 04.

The Calendar 06 Year to Date Dog and Cat Adoptions are up nearly 8% compared to the same time period last year and up 9.6% compared to the same time period in 04.

May 06 Dog and Cat New Hope Placements were down 10% compared to May 05 but up 22.5% compared to May 04.

May 06 Cat New Hope Placements are down 26% compared to May 05 but up 10.25% compared to May 04.

May 06 Dog New Hope Placements are up 18.5% compared to May 05 and up 39% compared to May 04. This is a welcome increase in the New Hope trend for dogs this year and coincides with the final stages of implementing the New Hope program.

The Calendar 06 Year to Date Dog and Cat New Hope Placements are down 16% compared to the same time period in 05 and down 7.5% compared to the same time period in 04.

(For all of these statistical categories, raw numbers are available in the statistical reports posted on the LAAS websitewww.laanimalservices.com.)

It is our sincere hope and expectation that with the community’s continued help the Bottle Baby, Foster, Safety Net, and New Hope Programs will help right this temporary reversal in our continued progress towards lowering the kill rate. Other efforts are underway with the help of various community partners to help get the word out to help LAAS in its lifesaving mission. Clearly, we will never adopt our way out of this crisis. It is time for all Angelinos to get serious about spaying and neutering their animals.

Rescue organizations too must be held accountable. No rescue organization should adopt an animal out that is not spayed or neutered. If such an adoption does occur the rescue organization must follow up until the sterilization has been confirmed. This holds true for LAAS as well. We will be monitoring every intact animal released to any rescue group or individual for medical reasons to ensure the animal is altered as soon as it is healthy enough.

In order for LA City to achieve its No-Kill goal we must add a No-Birth initiative to our strategic plan as exemplified by LA County’s recent spay/neuter law, even if it is for a limited number of years, long enough to get a handle on this problem. At some point we have to turn the faucet off. There are simply too many unwanted kittens being born.

We must also bolster our Operation FELIX (Feral Education and Love Instead of X-termination) Trap/Neuter/Return Program and our Big Fixspay/neuter efforts for cats. It is my hope that all Angelinos will support any responsible initiative that will help us as a community to end the killing.

I understand very well that this is a controversial issue for some, but I hope we can all agree that the misguided accidental and deliberate backyard and puppy/kitten mill breeding must be stopped if we ever expect to end the killing.

(The May LAAS GM Report is now available on-line.)

What’s new at LA Animal Services? by Ed Boks

Have you seen what’s new on the LAAS Website?www.laanimalservices.com 

You can now translate the website into nine different languages.

There is a new Blog below on the cruelty of tethering called, “Chains of Love or Abuse”.

The New Hope Program scheduled to roll out within the next month or so is described. The document on line is just to help the rescue groups get acquainted with the program. LAAS will have a public meeting to explain the program in detail within the next couple of weeks. The program will not be implemented until after the public meeting.

A report on Operation FELIX (Feral Education and Love Instead of X-termination) is now on line for your information. It details why TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return) is the only viable, humane, non-lethal method for effectively reducing the feral cat population in any community or location.

My position on many common sense approaches to humane animal care on a community wide level is also available under GM’s Position Statements.

Also read about Patrick, the Irish Setter mix, adopted by a member of the Mayor’s Office at a City Council meeting on St. Patrick’s Day!

And much more.

Also, don’t forget to check out Dana Bartholomew’s new article on LAAS in The Daily News.

Euthanasia for dogs and cats in January 2006 was down 25%, and down 33% in February, and we are on track to reduce euthanasia 40% in March (its at 39.79% as of this writing on March 24th) compared to the same months in 2005. Stay tuned!

Please consider being a life saving Foster mom or dad this puppy and kitten season. More info on our enhanced Foster Program coming soon or contact our volunteer Department for an update.

Together we can make LA the safest City in the US for our pets!