Neuter strays for healthier happier lives
Since we started our journey, IAPWA have neutered over 15,000 stray dogs and cats across our projects. It is shocking statistics, but one unneutered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in just six years. One unneutered female cat and her offspring can conceive hundreds of thousands of kittens. Unneutered males will impregnate multiple females every year and are responsible for many times this number.
There are over 480 million stray cats worldwide and 200 million dogs and their numbers are rising exponentially. Overpopulation of strays in concentrated areas leads to dire circumstances for these animals and conflict with the human population. Shortages in resources such as food and territory lead to a desperate struggle for survival. Fights frequently break out amongst the strays competing for food and territory and, without medical care, their injuries can be crippling and cause a lifetime of pain. If they remain untreated, they often become infected, leading to increased suffering and eventually death.
In some countries, governments resort to inhumane culling of the stray population as a solution. Dog population management programmes by organisations such as IAPWA can offer a humane solution.
Borneo is a country well known for its incredibly diverse wildlife. However, there are also thousands of stray cats and dogs which IAPWA have been supporting since we were established. In 2014, IAPWA signed an agreement with the government in Kota Kinabalu to manage a humane dog population management programme where stray dogs are brought to the facility, neutered, vaccinated, given any veterinary care they may need and either returned to their community or rehomed.
In 2017, IAPWA signed our second agreement within Malaysia, this time with Penang Island who had previously managed their dog population management through strays being caught and destroyed. Following our programme being established, zero strays have been killed, with both parties working closely together to manage the stray population.
In our latest programme within Romania, IAPWA have fully equipped veterinary facilities in our mobile clinic where we can carry out programmes to neuter, vaccinate and treat dogs and cats in need of help, as part of a comprehensive holistic strategy to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in partnership with Battersea Dog and Cats Home.
Every stray that we neuter leads to less puppies or kittens being born to struggle on the streets. It reduces territorial fights, infection, disease, and provides a better balance in resources. But these aren’t the only benefits of neutering. It is also a form of preventative healthcare. Many common diseases are easily prevented or cured by neutering.
Pyometra: is a dangerous infection of the womb. It is common in unneutered female dogs and possible in cats, and if left untreated, leads to kidney failure, sepsis, and death.
Cancer: neutering prevents multiple forms of cancer such as uterine, testicular, prostatic and mammary cancer.
FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus): this disease is spread through bodily fluids, most commonly through bites or sexual contact, and is rife in stray populations. It leads to a decline in the cat’s immune system. It is a disease that can be well-managed in a pet cat, but strays without medical treatment and shelter will spend much of their lives suffering and potentially dying from a variety of infections that most healthy cats can shrug off.
TVT (Transmissible Venereal Tumours): these are a type of malignant tumour in dogs that, unlike other cancers, can infect other dogs and similar canine species. It can be transmitted through any physical contact but is most commonly spread through breeding. Intact stray dogs are highly susceptible.
Canine Brucellosis: a disease usually transmitted during breeding. The range of symptoms is broad, but most importantly, this is a zoonotic disease. That means it can be passed between species, including onto humans.
Neutering the stray population leads to a far better quality of life for those animals. Not only does it prevent overpopulation and the issues connected with this but also many diseases that cause suffering.
We rely on the support of animal lovers who understand the importance of the work we do with strays to improve their lives. If you would like to support us, please donate via our online form or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you could join our volunteer team and help to make a difference.