Population control efforts
By Denise M. Baran-Unland Correspondent March 4, 2013 1:20PM
Mindy Carver of Channahon brought her dog Tessie to a special clinic event offering reduced costs for spays and neuters in honor of World Spay Day on Feb. 26, 2013.
Updated: April 6, 2013 6:06AM
Fourteen dogs are well on their way to a happier and healthier life thanks to Joliet Township Animal Control and Mallard Point Veterinary Clinic and Surgical Center in Channahon.
In honor of World Spay Day on Feb. 26, Dr. Tony Kremer offered reduced-priced spays and neuters at Mallard Point to dogs and cats living in the area. The event was so successful, Joliet Township Animal Control and Mallard Point will offer it again April 23.
“We receive many phone calls each week looking for a low-cost option,” said Sarah Gimbel, director of Joliet Township Animal Control. “By working with Mallard Point, we were able to offer that service to our local community.”
Gimbel said that by neutering and spaying one male dog and one female dog, it’s possible to prevent the births of 67,000 unwanted puppies in a six-year period. The same operations on a pair of cats will prevent 2,000 births over four years and more than 2 million in eight.
Spaying and neutering not only curbs overpopulation, they ensure a healthy, long life for pets. Most dogs that get hit by cars, Kremer said, are unneutered males.
“They run out the back door and jump the fence looking for girlfriends,” Kremer said. “Neutering reduces their tendency to roam.”
Twenty years ago, when Kremer was attending veterinary school, he wondered if so much spaying and neutering would cause a puppy and kitten shortage. That, he said, won’t happen anytime soon.
“Not with 6 million animals getting euthanized in this country ever year,” Kremer said. “One of the reasons why we have Joliet Township Animal Control is that people are not spaying and neutering their pets.”
Too often, cash-strapped owners feel that spaying and neutering is a luxury expense, especially when the average cost to neuter a large dog is about $150. Kremer feels the community needs more low-cost options, for the sakes of the animals, owners and shelters.
“Trying to find homes for so many pets becomes overwhelming,” Kremer said, adding the problem can be worse in rural areas. “Some people let their dogs and cats run loose and they just multiply like crazy. No vet likes to euthanize a healthy animal because there’s no other option.”
Spaying and neutering produces calmer pets that are less likely to bite or mark their territory, behaviors inappropriate for house pets. Spayed and neutered dogs and cats are less likely to contract uterine, ovarian, mammary, testicular or prostate cancer or battle infections in those areas, reducing veterinary bills as pets approach the 10 year mark.
“Most horrible prostate problems — when the dog starts peeing blood — are totally related to not being fixed,” Kremer said. “At that age, you’re no longer looking at a $150 surgery.”
Last year, Kremer partnered with Joliet Township Animal Control to make it easier and more cost-effective to find permanent, loving homes for adoptable animals. Services Kremer provides include spays/neuters, vaccinations, medical treatment for minor illnesses and a chance for owners to discuss concerns with a veterinarian before actually taking their new pets home.
Occasionally, if it’s more convenient for the individual adopting the animal, those services can be rendered at a clinic other than Mallard Point. Kremer owns six animal hospitals.
“The nice thing about this is that while we’re giving back to the community,” Kremer said, “we may gain some new clients, too.”