Responsible ownership

So you want to adopt a pet?

Every animal’s life has value, and each one is a unique, irreplaceable individual with needs and feelings, just like us. Responsible pet ownership means that we provide our pet with love, kindness, good quality pet food, shelter, sterilisation and vet care, they will thank you by giving you many years of love and enjoyment in return. If you’re like most of us, falling in love with an animal is easy, and sharing your home with a four legged friend can be one of life’s greatest joys. But the decision to adopt a pet is a serious one, owning an animal requires a huge commitment of both time and money. Animals such as cats and dogs can live 12 to 20 years, and vet costs can add up very quickly if your animal becomes ill.

It is absolutely essential to have your pet spayed (female) or castrated (male), to prevent unwanted litters and for the health and well-being of the animal. It is also extremely important that cats and dogs receive their vaccinations, an additional cost one must consider in the equation.

Why spay/castrate

Cat overpopulation is a serious problem in Tenerife. and there are simply not enough homes for them all. A primary cause is the failure of humans to sterilise their cats (and dogs). When people allow their unsterilised animals to wander and mate, the resulting offspring may face a life of misery on the street. Kittens born outside will become feral (wild) if they are not handled when they are very young, and can start reproducing at five or six months of age, that is, if they are able to find food, shelter, and avoid being hit by cars. Some unwanted kittens and puppies may end up in unkind, irresponsible homes. And of course many will end up at the already overcrowded refuges.

A fertile female cat will produce an average of three litters of four to six kittens per year.  Neutering helps animals live longer, healthier lives by eliminating or reducing many health problems. Spayed females will avoid uterine and ovarian cancer; castrated males cannot get testicular cancer and have less chance of prostate cancer. Sterilised animals are far less likely to roam in search of mates, getting into fights or lost in the process. They therefore have a greatly reduced chance of coming into contact with fatal diseases such as feline leukaemia or FIV (feline AIDS), which are spread through the exchange of bodily fluids.

Neutered animals become more affectionate companions and the procedure will eliminate or reduce many behaviour and temperament problems. For instance, neutered cats are far less likely to spray and mark territory by urinating indoors, and neutering dogs reduces socially inappropriate mounting. Spaying female dogs and cats eliminates the heat cycle which can invoke constant howling. Sterilised animals are also less likely to bite their guardians and other people, as it reduces aggressiveness.

If you are going to have a pet, PLEASE spay or castrate!