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A Clip Here, a Snip There: World Spay Day Is February 24

Best Friends Feral Cat MafiaFebruary is National Spay / Neuter Month, and today is World Spay Day!

We’ve called this “The Year of the Clipping and Snipping” for our neighborhood strays and abandoned cats… Having recently relocated to a large city, we were immediately struck with the number of roaming hungry mouths, right outside our door. Of course, feeding them and providing shelter is easy enough — their spirits are unbelievably beautiful — but after repeated litters immediately upon our arrival, we knew we had to become quickly proactive with TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return). I was actively TNRing in my old home — always abandoned animals from foreclosed homes — but being in the city is an entirely different affair. We’re up to 10 spayed and neutered kitties now, and we’re not done. Nor do we feel like criminals for trying to help the stray populations (I’m looking at you, certain very large counties in Florida) — Hoorah!

litter

We’re lucky to live in a city where the Best Friends Animal Society  provides a grant, for spaying and neutering. Not only does the city proper take an active effort with TNR (instead of rounding animals up for the kill-shelter); there’s even a paid associate to assist should you need it. We had already bought a cage, but she’s been exceptionally helpful with transporting the kitties, and giving them a place to recuperate from the surgeries. Read more about the Best Friends grant program here.

"Itty Bitty" — Expected another round of food

“Itty Bitty” — One of our 10 successful TNRs (and one of 2 possible adoptions), expecting another round of food

World Spay Day

Save a Life - Spay and NeuterWE humans domesticated cats and dogs, to help us in more ways than ever imagined. It’s OUR responsibility to help them, whenever possible. The facts are brutal, as are the lives of these sweet and beautiful strays, ferals, and abandoned animals. As difficult as it may be to look at, it’s even harder to look away. There’s so much to do — feeding and sheltering your local critters, donating to local shelters, adopting, fostering… The list is never-ending!

"Samuel Beckett" — Dropped off at our local bookstore, and adopted by the kind folks there

“Samuel Beckett” — Abandoned at our local bookstore, and adopted by the kind folks there. Here with his surrogate bunny-momma

Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet, from the ASPCA:

  1. Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
    Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
  2. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
    Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
  3. Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
    While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
  4. Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home.
    An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
  5. Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
    Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
  6. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
    Don’t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
  7. It is highly cost-effective.
    The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
  8. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
    Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
  9. Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
    Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
  10. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
    Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

TNR InfographicFor More Information:

 

Florida Week for the Animals Returns for a 7th Year

Florida Week for the Animals LogoNot to hurt our humble brethren is our first duty to them, but to stop there is not enough. We have a higher mission — to be of service to them wherever they require it. —St. Francis of Assisi

Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way. ―Martin Luther King, Jr.

St. Francis watches over the critters in the gardens of the Ancient Spanish Monastery in Miami

St. Francis watches over the critters in the gardens of the Ancient Spanish Monastery in Miami

We tend to think animals are lower than us, but all the scientists in the world couldn’t design and operate a bumblebee’s wing. We can’t jump or run very fast, and we can’t carry vast weights like an ant can. We can’t see in the dark and we can’t fly…. Humans compared to animals are almost totally deaf, and we can’t smell a fart in an elevator by their standards. We are finite and separate, and neurotic, while the consciousness of an animal is at peace and eternal. We strive and go crazy to become more important. Animals rest and sleep and enjoy the company of each other. We think we have evolved upwards from animals but we have lost almost all of their qualities and abilities. The idea that animals don’t have consciousness or that they don’t have a soul is rather crass. It shows a lack of consciousness. They talk, they have families, they feel things, they act individually or together to solve problems, they often care of their young as a tribal unit. They play, they travel, and medicate themselves when they get sick. They cry when others in the herd die, they know about us humans. Of course they have a soul, a very pristine one. We humans are only now attempting with the recent rise in consciousness to achieve the soul that animals have naturally. —Stuart Wilde

TNR Resident at the Ancient Spanish Monastery, Miami

TNR Resident at the Ancient Spanish Monastery

February 14-22 is the 7th Annual Florida Week for the Animals! Help celebrate this wonderful event, and speak up for the innocent and voiceless of our state — this week and every day. It doesn’t take much. We’re currently in the process of TNR’ing (TRAP-NEUTER-RETURN) the abandoned, stray, and feral cats of our neighborhood, much to their chagrin, wink. You can also investigate the links to the right, under “Florida Nature Blogs.” Blogs like janthina images, Walking with Alligators, naturetime, and Our Florida Journal showcase and highlight the plight of Florida’s unique and beautiful creatures. And don’t forget to check out FLA Week for the Animal’s constantly growing Calendar of Events to see what’s happening throughout the state. From the lovely Michelle at Florida Week for the Animals:

Rescued Florida Panther at Flamingo Gardens: Sadly, this guy can’t be returned to the wild, because he underwent a painful de-clawing procedure at the hands of humans

Rescued Florida Panther at Flamingo Gardens: Sadly, this guy can’t be returned to the wild, because he underwent a painful de-clawing procedure at the hands of humans

7th Annual Florida Week for the Animals Coming February 14-22, 2015!

(Tampa, FL) The 7th Annual Florida Week for the Animals will be celebrated from February 14-22, 2015! During the extraordinary governor-proclaimed week, animal shelters, rescue groups, educational institutions and humane organizations across the state will be hosting over 100 wonderful animal-related special events that will be saving lives, building relationships, helping animals and strengthening communities. Educators, students, businesses and caring citizens across the state will be joining in to celebrate and help animals.

Events in the spotlight will include pet adoption events, low cost spay/neuter & vaccination events, Valentine’s Day pet promotions, Volunteer days at Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary, Husky Olympics. thank you to Eglin Air Force handlers and K-9’s, Cat Depot’s ‘Love Me Tender’ gala, Boxer Friends Dog Bowl, displays and R.E.A.D. dog programs in libraries, Doxie Derby, Pucker Up for Puppies, Wetlands festivals, Veg events, SF Siberian Rescue of FL Painting for Pups, Mardi Gras in the Park, Museum events, Tree donations/sale to citizens for upcoming Arbor Day, children’s book donations, horse adoption/help with supplies events, pet food donations, Manatee activities for the family, farm animal sanctuary events, wildlife center activities and therapy animals visiting hospitals and living-assisted homes.

Also to be included are search & rescue orgs, vegetarian and vegan meetups, parrot education classes, low cost clinics, puppy & dog training, educational events and fun-filled activities for families to enjoy friendship, food, music on behalf of the always amazing animals. There is more being planned!

Precious lives will be saved and exciting new relationships will be built in communities during the exciting week. For more info please call 901-791-2455 or visit http://www.floridaanimals.org/; Email michellebuckalew@comcast.net.

Alligator Pair in the Everglades, Florida

Alligator Pair in the Everglades, Florida

A sweet, dozing cormorant in the Florida Wetlands

Gopher Tortoise in His Burrow

Gopher Tortoise in his Burrow: One of the oldest living species, and now listed as threatened in Florida

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