Our Readers' Opinions
December 30, 2016
Preventing pregnancies in dogs will assist with wild dog problem

Editor: In Searchlight’s 23 December 2016 paper, it was upsetting to read about the killing of John Daisley’s goats and sheep and, as he noted, the similar losses that have occurred throughout SVG. Although Daisley didn’t know if the attacking dogs were owned or stray, he called on the relevant authorities to do something about the many wild dogs that roam the country, and he thought the authorities should have a plan to deal with this.{{more}}

He’s right; there ARE too many dogs loose on the streets, a large portion of them hungry, abandoned, neglected, diseased and unwanted. But there IS a solution: prevent pregnancies so there won’t be so many, and feed the ones you have! Hunger and hormones are what drive canines to kill indiscriminately.

The dogs certainly can’t stop themselves from propagating, and it’s not entirely the responsibility of the authorities. Every Vincentian needs to spay, neuter, fix, tie-off, sterilize, castrate (whatever word you want to use) their pets. Along with many other benefits, these procedures lessen their desire to roam and be aggressive, although dogs will still defend and protect. But most important, sterilization prevents reproduction.

So the PLAN calls for all Vincentians to take their pets in for these routine surgeries – either to one of the privately owned veterinary clinics in SVG, or through VSPCA’s Community Animal Clinics, if you don’t have the means to pay. Without these animals reproducing, there will be fewer strays and fewer pets for you to feed. Also, the authorities might want to consider the enormity of this over-population problem and develop a dog/cat sterilization programme within the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture.

Unless each of us takes responsibility for getting our dogs (and cats) spayed or neutered (and ideally, contained within the home or fenced-in yard), there won’t be a long-term solution to prevent the many negative repercussions caused by their overpopulation. Given dogs’ high reproductive rates – two litters per year, an average of 5-6 pups per litter (remembering that unneutered males can father nearly limitless litters) – the current over-population problem could soon become a crisis.

What Daisley and others have been through doesn’t need to happen again and again and again, but it takes everyone’s co-operation to solve the problem. Please help by getting your dogs and cats spayed or neutered. It’s healthier for them and contributes to the well-being of us all.

Board of Directors

Vincentian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals