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The existence of stray dogs and cats is often considered the norm in society, conversely it is a problem that can be remedied by responsible ownership. Many people do the bare minimum of ensuring their pet is fed and has water, however, a responsible owner also ensures their pet is exercised, they visit the vet regularly and they also spay or neuter to ensure they are neither adding to the population, nor bringing more animals into existence than they are able to adequately care for.

When you know better, do better! While some people are unaware that their pet can be spayed or neutered at little or no cost to them, there are others that refuse the procedure because of a belief that their pet’s natural ability, well-being or their happiness would be diminished. None of the above serves true and in fact the opposite is accurate, it improves the welfare and behaviour of the dog. The statement “I just want them to have one litter, I will find good homes for them” is heard too often, but in reality after being burdened with a large litter and vet bill to match, people readily dump animals. Dumped animals survive into adults that make litters of their own and thus cycle continues. This is the reality we are facing as Trinbagonians. When our pets are not spayed or neutered, we are directly allowing the population of stray dogs and cats to increase in a never ending cycle.

Have you ever witnessed strays abused for entertainment? Kicked, beaten and poisoned for senseless reasons? This is sickening and beyond inhumane. The thought of it chaffs at everything that makes us human. Dogs and cats have feelings just like you and I. They feel pain, hunger, loneliness, care, happiness and love. Strays, however, aren’t the only recipients of abuse. Owned animals are unknowingly abused too. Starving your pet or feeding inappropriate foods, chaining your pet without shelter or water, not taking your pet to the vet regularly are all things that can affect your pet’s welfare and be regarded as abuse. Leaving your pet unspayed/unneutered to roam, have countless litters and contract diseases is a form of neglect and abuse too!

Now that you know, will you become a responsible owner? Contact the TTSPCA Tobago today to learn about ways to ensure the happiness and longevity of your dogs and cats. Call 639-2567 or visit us on Friendsfield Road, Bacolet, Tobago for more information. Like us on Facebook and Instagram @TTSPCA-TobagoShelter.

Author: Richel Douglas, Veterinary Assistant at the TTSPCA Tobago Shelter
Last Updated: 2018-12-07T19:40:23.435Z