Knitting in the Rockys wrote:
People tend to repeat old wives tales, regardless if there is any truth to them or not. Service animals, such as seeing eye dogs are generally spay/neutered at a fairly young age. This is also true of dogs used in police work, who must be altered before they begin training.
Thanks much for the information! I appreciate it.
Our local animal shelter performs early spays and neuters. NO animal is allowed to be adopted until he or she has been spayed or neutered. We have adopted young animals there in the past, and they had to be neutered or spayed before they left the shelter. That is the contract we signed--and completely agreed with. We have also adopted senior animals. It is amazing how many of them have never been spayed or neutered. They, too, were spayed or neutered before they could leave the animal shelter. (The only exception is for kittens who must be hand-raised. They are, of course, only a few weeks old, and hence cannot be spayed or neutered. Volunteeers and staff members take them home and hand-feed and hand-raise them until they are old enough to be adopted.)
Our shelter has veterinarians on-staff, all day, every day, which is a huge change from what the shelter was like when we first moved here. The shelter first hired one veterinarian. Now there are more than one. I'm not sure how many, but they're there, they do spays and neuters, they treat injured animals, they send animals to vet clinics for serious problems. We are all thrilled that our shelter cares so much about animal overpopulation and takes such good care of the animals in their charge.
Our pittie girl, Daphne, whom we adopted when she was about nine years old, was at the shelter for three months before we adopted her. She came in very ill, as a stray. She was treated for heartworms, pneumonia, and kennel cough while she was at the shelter. Everyone knew her and loved her. She was a staff and volunteer favorite. She was in the "gentle dog" play group, when she became well enough. (There's also a "rambunctious dog" play group.) When she was well and eligible for adoption, I went to meet her. (DH and I had contacted the shelter after our beloved Sidney, a lab/hound mix, died of very old age. We were eager to foster a dog. The shelter director then contacted us--we'd adopted from the shelter before--and asked if we might consider adopting, rather than fostering, because they had a "wonderful dog we'd like you to meet." That was Daphne.)
As I got acquainted with Daphne in the glass-enclosed meet-and-greet room, so many staff members and volunteers stopped by to say "hi" to Daphne. She knew them all, and her tail waggled wildly when she saw them. We are so grateful to the shelter for all the veterinary help that they gave our girl. And she hadn't been spayed when she came to the shelter; she had been used as a puppy factory by some "owner" who, when she got "too old," simply let her go to wander the streets. So, of course, when Daphne was well enough, the on-site veterinarians spayed her.