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Animal Questions


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#1 kunzang

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Posted 14 December 2007 - 09:28 AM

Dear all,
last Saturday we talked, on Q & A, also about the sacred line of life (of a sentient being) that cannot and should not be crossed. We talked about eutanasia: animal should not be put to "sleep" (what a nice eufemistic expression we have invented in order not to see animal's death, or in order for us to suffer less?)

Here is another question.
What about sterilisation/castration of animals? What kind of karma does that cause? Today I saw some photos of dead young cats that were killed by some "order inflicting" humans. If one can prevent such an end of the animal, wouldn't the sterilisation be an act of compassion? I'm just asking theoretically in order to know how to act properly if ever in situation...

My question has a background. Yesterday, late at night, when I returned home from my work, I found a dead young cat in the atrium. The cat showed sings of being poisoned. It was a brave kitty without an owner. Could I have prevented its death by having its mother sterylised? Could I have prevented its death by taking it and its brothers to a vet, having them sterilised and wait till the good people take them and take care of them?
And another one: the practice in the asylums for animals: if the animal cannot find a (new) owner it is put to death. What to do, if one has a little appartment in the city and cannot accept animals due to his/her stlyle of life (travels etc.)?

All the best,
künzang
kunzang

#2 Dechen

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Posted 15 December 2007 - 12:35 PM

Tashi Delek!

Since I know a bit about the problem of stray animals, I am in favour of castration/spaying of cats and dogs. The old conviction that it should all be left to nature is incorrect, because there is nothing "natural" about pets anymore. They have been created by humans and they are our responsibility. Moreover, they cannot survive on their own. We must prevent as much of their suffering as we can and one of the methods is castration/spaying. A cat can breed twice a year and each time can have as many as six kittens. Left on their own in the street, they are ran over by cars, they starve, are infested with parasites, abused by cruel humans, chased by dogs and they also suffer from a multitude of diseases, such as feline AIDS. Even this cold weather can shorten their lifespan: because of low temperatures, kittens get cold, their eyes get badly infected and can go blind because of that and if they do not receive veterinary attention, they can die. Those that survive continue to breed and give birth to more kittens.

Animals that are already here should be helped as much as possible, but at the same time I think that they should be castrated/spayed to prevent the birth of more suffering animals.

There are many people who have made it their calling to help these suffering beings. But it is true that most of us do not have the means/time/energy/knowledge/money to help. If a suffering animal comes our way, we should not ignore it (although, I admit, this is easier said than done). But we should also get informed so that we avoid causing damage while trying to help. For example, feeding stray animals that are not castrated/spayed only encourages their further multiplication and increases their suffering. Instead, if a group of stray animals lives nearby, we can have them castrated/spayed even for free, as there are certain months in the year when local animal shelters offer free castration/spaying of stray cats, for example. Castrated male cats can be immediately returned to the environment, whereas spayed female cats need to be somwehere warm and safe for a couple of days before they are returned. Catching them is a whole different manner, but it can be done with a lot of patience and skillful means.

Not all animal shelters kill animals if they are not adopted during the period of one month since their arrival there. Each municipality has an asigned animal shelter, so animals found in its territory are accepted only in that shelter. It is good to get reliable information about the shelter in question in order to find out what will happen to the animal after one month. Mind you, many of the chain e-mails saying that this or that animal should be adopted or else it will be killed at the shelter or by its owner are spams. Particularly those e-mails showing pictures of cute puppies that will be killed by the owner if they are not adopted within a week. According to the law, it is prohibited to take the life of a healthy animal in Slovenia. So any such message is simply extortion. In such cases it is easy to check the veracity of these messages: call the phone number stated and check if the person who answers really has puppies to give away. It might save your friends a lot of spam trouble. ;)

I hope I helped make a few things clearer. :)
With best wishes,

Dechen




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