In Scooby, we use to tell and beg owners of pets over and over again to get them neutered to prevent undesired litters. Many people find this outrageous: “How can you do this to a dog!?” Etc. etc.. A responsible owner certainly will not allow his male to run around if there is a female in heat in the neighbourhood and to make her pregnant - however, given the fact that dogs are able to smell a bitch in heat over a distance of several kilometres, the matter might complicate a little bit – and in case he is the responsible owner of a female he will prevent her from meeting non-neutered males.
But we don’t live in a perfect world, and not all owners of dogs are responsible enough. And that’s there the problems really start with unwanted offspring. Responsible owners then look for a home for them (hopefully waiting for at least two month to avoid future behavioural and possible health issues) and if they cannot find any and are not able to keep the puppies, they approach animal shelters, associations etc.. The less responsible ones bring them instantly to us (or to another association) and the ones who do not dare to face us let them in a box at our gate (preferably at night, so that nobody is going to notice them). At the worst they dump them like garbage or abandon them in the field with or without their mother or they kill them by violence. Unfortunately, we have experienced all these possibilities again and again over the years. This is indeed outrageous!
This problem especially applies to – whom else? – the mongrels. The management of puppies without a mother turns out to be very complicated in a shelter, and all the more if the puppies do not yet eat pet food. They fall ill very quickly, especially if they didn’t spend enough time with their mother. But the problems do not stop there. Many people are necessary to socialise them appropriately and usually there is a lack of personal in the shelters for doing this job. The puppies are cute and attract attention, but an unperfected socialisation can cause a lot of problems which are neither always easy nor can they always be solved, not to talk of all the potential abandonments which might be provoked.
For all these reasons we do not understand why some owners refuse to get their pets neutered. To see a litter of pups without her mother is very sad and as much as we get thrilled with them, real problems do exist and we are confronted with them every day.
And we haven’t mentioned yet the problems which can arise when the bitch is pregnant or gives birth to her pups. Complications, emergencies, suffering, and also death occur frequently.
To conclude I would like to tell you an anecdote of a case that filled us with astonishment:
An owner contacted us asking if we could help her to spread her case and collect money. It was about a complicated birth, an emergency Caesarean, a bitch without milk for her pups, and 9 puppies to be bottle-fed. This person had to pay 700 € in only two days and apart from that to hand-feed 9 puppies is really much work… Of course, for one thing she was mistaken regarding the place to ask for help (because we have already our hands full to find donations for our own animals, including all the puppies), and for another, with a neutered bitch nothing like that could have happened in the first place.