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Spanish Street Dogs; the other Waifs and Strays.

Spanish Street Dogs; the other Waifs and Strays is about the many and varied dogs that we find around our village. Many are abandonados, some are just plain lost, all are real characters, mostly streetwise but occasionally foolhardy. These are some of the stories...

Waifs and Strays...Sobering Thought...
13 October 2011 @ 02:44

Needs no translation...

Just a shame that Spanish vets are so reluctant to spay before a first season.

UK and USA vets all advocate spaying of non-breeding bitches at six months.

So puppies and kittens born from a street dog or cat that survive the first six months and then remain on the streets are free to breed as nature intended and believe me, they can and do... the mating urge is just too strong to ignore. So despite the best efforts of all the rescue organisations this is a problem that isn't going to go away.

What is needed is a nationwide capture, spay, hold and release programme,  the education of dog and cat owners that it is NOT alright to let their animals roam the streets 24/7,  and that it is NOT alright for hunters to cast off their no longer wanted dogs or worse still maim or neglect them to such an extent that they die in agony.

I realise that this spay and release suggestion will not sit well with animal rescue organisations, BUT... most genuine street dogs seem to manage quite well, especially the females. They are smart, streetwise and for the most part know where they can get food and shelter. It's only when they become pregnant and have pups that life becomes a problem for them. These animals are and should be the prime consideration of the rescue organisations along with those deliberately abandoned by heartless owners or those injured either by accident or by human design.

As for funding the Spay and Release programme...Stop throwing money at 'pie in the sky' suggestions by some politician (or his brother / sister) or corrupt associated company and do something meaningful instead. Close the perreras which are nothing more than state sponsored killing stations. Channel funding to the animal charities without placing ludicrous conditions and demands upon them. Shut down shops like 'Hobbyzoo' in hypermarkets which give legitimacy and credance to puppy farms and unscrupulous breeders. Apply a substantial licence fee to legitimate breeders... and here's a controversial idea...quit building new and completely unnecessary airports that may or may not open for business, that may or may not attract airlines and that may or may not attract passengers,  Ciudad Real, Castellon, and dare I say it, Corvera come to mind... hell the authorities were even talking about opening an airport at Antequera despite the fact that Granada Airport lies just 50 miles east, Malaga Airport 50 miles South and Seville 100 miles west...) Do something thats actually useful with the money.

A subscriber to EOS recently offered 'free to a good home' a 10 month old alsation puppy; seems the guy has been made redundant and cannot support the animal. He paid £650 for a dog without pedigree papers;I dont want to appear judgemental but the question has to be asked... WHY? For Gods Sake the animal deserves better than that...if ever there was a case that screamed out  DONT BUY... ADOPT then this is it.  Some unscrupulous breeder  rubbed his hands all the way to the bank. Lets face it, work of any nature for an expat in Spain is likely to be terminated at a moments notice. I have only my pension to work with but I support the day to day needs of 9 dogs...

Edited to add...

Millions of forgotten animals are sure to die,
Because too many people would rather buy.
Despondent and lonely they patiently wait;
Each day that passes may be too late.
Our pounds and shelters are filled to the brim
If not adopted soon the outcome is grim.

Our pet stores are filled with puppies and kittens
One look in their eyes and consumers are smitten.
Treated as crops they are shipped to and fro
From breeders to brokers to pet stores they go.
Their parents suffer untold misery and despair
Could it be because the public doesn't care?

Breeding animals suffer in small cages forever
Our "best friends" reduced to a business endeavour.
Living conditions never meet basic needs,
Prisoners of an industry driven by greed.
Avoid the pet store and "impulse buy"
Adopt instead, so homeless animals won't die.

OK,  the spaying of Suzy and Mum was paid for by The LittlePod Foundation to whom I shall be ever grateful..but I did say day to day needs and spaying doesn't really qualify as a day to day expense..

Which brings up the subject of my experiences as a direct result of this reluctance to spay.

Two weeks ago I spoke to my vet about the possibility of having Sophie spayed; her moods were changing, she was spotting slightly and it was fairly obvious that she would be coming into season soon afterwards. He said quite categorically that unless there was an emergency affecting her health he would not spay until after the season was completed. I suggested that our domestic circumstances meant that this was going to be very difficult but he would not be swayed.

She is now well and truly in season... she has mated once with Spike who is ever eager to repeat the experience; poor young Scruffy hasn't got all the right equipment but still feels the need and as for Fred... well I feel quite sorry for him; he's a big boy and without a doubt could cause little Sophie physical damage if he attempted to mate. As a result Fred is extremely frustrated, humping all of the other females and getting snapped at because they are out of season and spayed anyway. He is also air humping...but this frustration is leading to aggression with the other males including me. He sees my attempts to prevent him mating as a direct challenge. He is by nature a little aggressive and needs a lot of TLC and reassurance but I suspect also that he is a little brain damaged...apart from the mating thing which is instinctive anyway, he just doesnt 'get it.'

At the moment of course Sophiedoesnt 'get it' either; she has an irresistableand uncontrollable itch that has to be scratched and she isn't fussy who does the scratching...

We had a bit of an episode this afternoon; she was confined in her big travel crate and asleep, Spike and Scruffy decided it was high tiime for a bit of a ruck because Scruffy decided he wanted to guard Sophie's crate door which is normally normally Spike's domain. A fight quickly developed which as always was over almost as soon as it started, but Fred decided that he should be at the crate gate. Fred ,as I said is a big boy and he doesnt pull his punches. He launched himself at Scruffy and had him pinned immediately. Under those circumstances a human should not interfere directly.

I have a handheld garden spray which I keep pressurised and full of cold water; it is adjusted to produce a pressurised jet rather than a spray. Fred hates this device with a vengeance; two well aimed shots into his face got his attention away from Scruffy but he rounded on me teeth bared. I have seen this before with him and flatly refuse to back down from his threats; instead a third shot into his face stopped him in his tracks. It doesn't hurt him; I tried it on myself at short range, its just a distraction and it works.

As I said this aggressive streak has been present ever since we took him on... but since Sophie came into season he is far more unpredictable, so clearly some of it is testosterone fuelled because of  her condition.

Reluctantly therefore it looks as if a trip to the vet is called for; indeed I phoned the vet shortly after the fight this afternoon but just got his answering machine (It's a national holiday today).

I don't normally agree with castration of healthy male dogs; I think the surgery is extreme and totally unnecessary when the dog is in a good relationship with his humans and other members of the pack; I'm not sure that a less extreme measure could be employed, but the removal of this testosterone fuelled aggression should go some way to restoring harmony within the pack.

Spike and Scruffy are quite able to control their normal male aggression; theirs is a brotherly love / hate competitive relationship. Scraps are frequent and short lived ceasing promptly when one or the other submits or yelps.

This whole thing is about harmony... something that ran out of the door when Sophie came into season. It could so easily have been avoided if the vet had agreed to operate when I asked him to... I knew then that this was going to be an exhausting and frustrating time time for all concerned and I am really looking forward to her finishing her season. I can then get her sorted out and life should return to its more normal hectic but harmonious state...



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7 Comments

Lorraine Braid said:
13 October 2011 @ 14:10

I applaud your efforts and support your comments including the over-development and construction of unnecessary airports! Controversial? Yes. Necessary? No!

My personal frustration is the high costs incurred whilst attempting to get a bitch spayed!

I have adopted two "street dogs", neither being castrated or spayed. The older (male) dog has been successfully operated on, being with us for nearly four years. We already owned two spayed bitches
so some would say that the operation was unnecessary, however, he needed this in order to stop him peeing on everything that stood still for a second!

The second dog is female and requires spaying ASAP, I contacted the vet that looks after my other dogs and was told that the cost would be over 200€ plus additional expenses.

You could have knocked me down with a feather!

This probably explains why so many people DON'T get their animals attended to!

Perhaps there should be a set price for this operation? If it is deemed to be fair then surely this would be beneficial to both animals and people?

Just my opinion! x


foxbat said:
13 October 2011 @ 14:43

Lorraine many thanks for your comment...
Might I suggest that you shop around for veterinary treatment?
My vet charges between 120 and 150 Euros for a spay op, depending on the size of the dog, with no additional charges other than a couple of euros for antibiotics from a farmacia. As for 'additional charges' its difficult to see just what charges could be made. Suture removal 15 days after the op should be included in the original price.
The animal charities such as the Little Pod Foundation pay rather less than the figure I quoted for spaying but they of course tend to have special arrangements.
My vet charges 70 Euros for neutering a male dog.
Looking at vets fees internationally generally spaying ops range in price from about £100 with no upper limit; I have seen figures of 500 USD quoted on some American websites...
In Spain it definitely pays to shop around...
You are definitely right about the cost being a prime consideration when it comes to owners not spaying their animals.
In our little village most of the inhabitants are single female pensioners and would have to save for quite a while to raise 150 Euros and so their dogs run wild in the streets 24/7 and before you know it there is another brood of unwanted newborns looking for food... its heartbreaking to see them scrounging around outside the village bars being either ignored or 'discouraged'...
We do what we can but as someone once said, "You can't save them all"
Our house is at saturation point; its not a house anymore its a kennel...

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Jacarander said:
13 October 2011 @ 21:17

Where can I get a copy of the poster advocating sterilisation of dogs, can you email a copy to print out??


f said:
13 October 2011 @ 22:38

Jacaranda Hi...
If you mean the picture at the head of this post you can download it from;
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v13/foxbat/9outof10mascotas.jpg
I don't know the provenance of the picture or any copyright details; its not my picture!
If on the other hand you mean the Jenna Jameson pic...
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v13/foxbat/Too-much-sex_small.jpg
Again not my picture...

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jacarander said:
15 October 2011 @ 00:20

brill thanks, going to see if its ok to use the poster cos we use a lovely romanian vet who is happy to do sterilisations and would, i am sure, display the poster, he seems to get quite a few spanish customers


foxbat said:
15 October 2011 @ 01:32

I can't think of a single reason why the originator of the poster would have any objections to its use. it make the point very clearly and succinctly.

I'd be only too happy to have someone use it.

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Janice said:
15 October 2011 @ 18:30

If it's not copyrighted & displayed on the internet, anyone can use it (surely).


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