So there I was. In my work clothes in the pouring down rain, leash in hand, crouched in the mud outside an abandoned building located beside highway packed with cars speeding by during rush hour. My best friend at the pulled-over car, waiting anxiously for me to succeed in coaxing the clearly starving and tattered mother dog, with sore-ladden breasts severely swollen and dragging the ground, onto the leash and into the car.
While we finally succeeded in getting this Mom to the nearby shelter, it dawned on all of us involved with her rescue that morning that she wasn’t the only tragic story in this individual case, nor are the millions of other dogs and cats who are not spayed or neutered. Not only had she suffered—horribly I might add—abandonment and “street life” is hard enough without being pregnant and nursing while ill and starving—but also her puppies, ifthey were even still alive, had suffered.
While caring animal owners can “assure” the well-being and safe keeping of our individual animals, we can never possibly know that every single one of our animals’ offspring…and their offspring’s offspring—if we allow them to be created by breeding them or not preventing them from breeding—will be safe, loved and not abandoned, nor bred to create even more animals who could suffer. When we spay and neuter our cat and dog companions, and provide support for organizations that perform these vital surgeries, we truly help millions of animals who could very well end up like this mother dog and her possibly countless litters of puppies who are left to fend for themselves in this dangerous world of ours.