Letter to the Editor: Delaware spay/neuter facilities are essential

An open letter to Gov. Carney:

Please allow opening and operating of spay/neuter facilities immediately!

The serious problems with human health at this time are obvious, but the cost of closing spay/neuter facilities is gruesome.

Most shelters have a policy of spay/neuter before adoptions. The fact that this cycle is broken means many more births, more euthanasia, overcrowding, and in many cases, inability for the public to adopt.

Kitten season is here, and it is always a nightmare for shelter personnel. One weekend the shelter I worked in took in over 100 kittens and moms, and that is not unusual from April through November.

The mother cats need to be spayed, as they can reproduce again as early as six weeks after birth, and they can go into heat every three weeks for four to five days. Female dogs can reproduce again a few months after birth. Dogs and cats not spayed and neutered are more likely to get uterine infections and breast and testicular cancer. Dogs and cats will focus on reproducing, and can spray, become aggressive and become unadoptable. They will run away, get into fights, and find their way onto busy roads. The population of dogs and cats is going to explode without reopening spay/neuter facilities.

In closing, a true story: A dog was rescued, a male that was dumped by its owners. He is affectionate and playful, but not neutered. He needs to be neutered NOW and quickly put up for adoption. He was lucky, as a kind person agreed to care for him until he can be neutered and put up for adoption, but unfortunately, this is rare.

We in Delaware are focused on the great tragedies resulting from COVID-19. Everyone is affected, and thankfully our society is full of heroes. There is another population being affected just as much but perhaps not as noticeable: our shelter pets and their caretakers –both employees and volunteers – whose work and heartache is rising steadily because of this disruption in the spay/neuter process. The animals need heroes too!

Signed, retired shelter employee, still volunteering, deeply involved in animal issues

Lennie Martin

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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