Animal “Humane” Societies vs. Animal Sterilization

by Beryl Gorbman

For the last few years, I’ve volunteered at the Spay and Neuter clinics held in Merida Yucatan. An organization called Planned Pethood runs these FREE clinics twice a year. There’s a Planned Pethood hospital in Merida with several of the best vets it has ever been my pleasure to know. Planned Pethood headquarters is in Denver CO and was started by a vet named Jeff Young.

Jeff points out that massive sterilization of feral dogs, cats, etc. is the only way to control the growing populations of roaming animals, lost, sick and starving all over the world. He says that when we do our bit, like picking up a troubled beasty from the streets, it’s great and will keep the animal from being euthanized by the City, but the broad problem of animal overpopulation in much bigger than that.

When we see the “humane” appeals on TV, our hearts melt at the pictures of the pitiful creatures and we respond to the cloying, sentimental voice-overs by pulling out our check books and sending them money. However, our efforts would be more effectively directed at preventing the problem in the first place. The “humane” organizations are enormous, money-making machines, appealing to our heartstrings and pocketbooks and playing down the real problem.

Dr. Jeff works in a number of places in the world (all over the USA, Romania, Turkey, Czechoslovakia, Australia, etc.), and we are fortunate that the Yucatan is one of his clinic sites. He assembles groups of about twenty volunteer vets from the USA and other countries for each free spay-neuter clinic he holds. With volunteer assistants, these dedicated vets work tirelessly to fix as many animals as possible in the three to five days of the clinic. All surgeries are free and long lines of people come from everywhere. On diferent days, they are in different villages of parts of our city, accessible to everyone.

Jeff Young in Merida

Jeff doesn’t mince words when talking about the corporation-like organizations that ostensibly help with animal overpopulation. He says that any group with the word “Humane” in their title is suspect.

Here is an extracted statement from one of his essays with a link to the entire piece.

Humane organizations play with words and statistics to make you

feel better about overpopulation, euthanasia and shelters (animal

warehouses). They make it appear they have done or are doing so

much more than they really are. They boast that only 4 to 6 million

animals are killed because of all their hard work. They contend only

unadoptable animals are euthanized. Unadoptable means: broken leg,

ringworm, bad upper-respiratory disease, urinary issues due to diet

etc, etc, etc (a lot of treatable issues). It has been great marketing, to

make so much, out of so little. They get rich while pretending they

generally care about the plight of companion animals. I am here to ask

you, the public, to demand that these groups start making a real difference.

Here is the link.

The people in the pictures below collected cartsful of feral dogs from the streets of Chuburna, Yucatan, a fishing village on the Gulf. All were spayed/neutered in the Planned Pethood clinic last year.

And here is his own clinic site.

Here’s an extended article I wrote about the clinics in Yucatan last year.

So what can you do? Rather than allowing the humane organzations pull at your heart and tap your tear ducts and checkbook, there are ways of getting directly involved in a solution that can eventually solve the problem, not just band-aid it.

If you have feral cats in your yard – run, don’t walk, with the screaming creatures in securely closed boxes, to Planned Pethood Merida, where they will sterilize the wild things at a reduced rate. Or, if there is a free clinic coming up soon, take them there and pay nothing. They’ll get a lot nicer after the little surgery and you’ll be spared the sound of mewling, unwanted kittens.

You can volunteer at the sterilization clinics, run twice a year, or contribute money to help them. See Dr. Tony or Dr. Nelson at Planned Pethood in Merida, near the end of Tecnologico, north of Costco. And while it is valiant to volunteer and donate to the wonderful rescue organizations we have near town, it’s important to remember that all around us there are extremely hungry people as well. People without enough masa to make tortillas or enough beans to fill them.

About BG

Beryl Gorbman is a writer and private investigator who divides her time between Seattle WA and Merida Yucatan Mexico. She has published two works of fiction, 2012: Deadly Awakening, and Madrugada. They are both available on Amazon and other outlets. Also at Amate Books, and Casa Catherwood in Merida. You can read about them in various articles on this site.
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5 Responses to Animal “Humane” Societies vs. Animal Sterilization

  1. Debi says:

    I too have worked several of these spay n neuter clinics. In addition to the spaying and neutering, what these clinics do of great value is education. While the people wait with their pets for the service they are getting lots of info about the benefits of spay n neuter. Hopefully they will pass this info to their family, and maybe the neighbors. It is always about education.

    It brings great joy to my heart to see these families come in every conveyance with their animals in all manner of restraint to take advantage of the sterilization program.

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  3. Ginny Rose says:

    Hey there Beryl………….what a surprise to run across your blog! I live in San Blas, Nayarit, now (we sold the house in Ballard and moved here when Bush got re-elected) and I started free Spay/Neuter clinics here almost four years ago. I try to do two a year, but I started clinics in two towns south of here (Aticama and Santa Cruz) and my key volunteers are busy in their own communities, so it looks like it will just be one big clinic each season (up to 120 animals over four days) and occasional “mini-clinics.”

    Clearly the only real solution is aggressive Spay/Neuter programs and education. We’ve sterilized over 500 animals in my little town, and provided anti-parasitic, flea/tick meds, antibiotics, etc. for all of these and hundreds of others. Where we used to joking sing our theme song, “The Pink Dogs of San Blas,” (from all the mange) we now marvel at the lack of pink dogs. In just a few short years!

    If you are ever on the Pacific coast, stop in for a cold beer!
    take care,
    Ginny Rose

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  5. BG says:

    Make sure you include the comments from Ginny Rose, who is maintaining spay/neuter clinics in Baja, California.
    Maybe people who feel the same way we do could form a huge corporate entity with TV ads and pictures of pitiful animals (like the Humane organizations) to raise money for spay-neuter services.
    I would appreciate hearing more about your organization, all joking aside.

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