Download the questionnaire
Download the questionnaire for Colony Cats.
Download the questionnaire for Owned Animals.
Help with funding for sterilisation, how does it work?
- Download the relevent questionnaire from above, which you complete, add photos and then return it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Your application will be checked and either approved or rejected. If your application is approved, you will receive an authorisation form and instructions what to do next.
- When your application is rejected you will be sent an explanatory email. Incomplete questionnaires will not be accepted/replied to.
What Is Sterilisation / Castration?
About the sterilisation procedure
It is a surgical method through which the vet (only the vet!) removes the reproductive organs. It does not hurt. In males it is the testicles (castration); in females the ovaries and the uterus (Ovariohysterectomy – OVH or sterilisation). The hormonal processes disappear but the character of the animal does not suffer alteration.
In dominant aggressive males, this behaviour can attenuate or disappear. Females stop being on heat.
When To Sterilise Your Animal?
The age to sterilise
The best age for the sterilisation of a female cat or dog is between 3 and 6 months.
Having said this, there seem to be many different sorts of viewpoints here in the Algarve on when, and particularly at what age, to sterilise a female puppy. Sterilising your puppy after her first season is one of them, which is completely out of date and not in the interest of the wellbeing of the animal at all. In actual fact, the best timing is BEFORE the first season, so between 3 and 6 months in general. Before the first season makes a lot of sense as during the season the hormones are activated and can cause ‘damage’ in the long run, like mammal tumours and ovary infections. Most importantly, spayed and neutered dogs generally live healthier and longer lives, as the risk for different types of cancer is considerably decreased.
The main reason for having your female puppy spayed before her first season is her future health!
But there is another reason: do you really want her exposed and mounted by males during her season? Because that is what will very likely happen here in Portugal, with the number of non-neutered males loose on the street. And then there are the subsequent puppies, more dogs in a country like Portugal looking for a home, and there are simply not enough homes And then the last reason, the cost. Spaying your dog between the age of 3 – 6 months has positive influence on the financial side, simply because the animal is not fully grown, the cost for anaesthesia is less as this is per kilo bodyweight.
Please spay your animal in time, take the wellbeing of the animal as first priority. If you are told differently by your vet, change vets or get a second opinion, do not believe anybody or any shelter who advises you differently, we are in 2020 not in the 1980′s anymore.
Procedures and protocols have advanced over the years, sterilising kittens and puppies is safely possible as early as young as 8 weeks old.
Why Sterilise Your Animal?
Understanding why you should sterilise your animal
Advantages of sterilisation/castrationIt is the best and most efficient weapon against the indiscriminate reproduction and consequent overpopulation of dogs and cats.
- It eliminates the possibility of contracting cancer of the ovaries or the uterus (the number one cause of death amongst un-spayed females);
- It prevents pyometrea, an inflammatory process of the uterus that, if not treated in time (the treatment includes sterilisation), can lead to the death of the animal;
- It prevents pseudocyesis, commonly known as psychological pregnancy or false gestation/phantom pregnancy, which is a common hormonal disturbance in females;
- In females sterilised before their first heat (approximately at six/seven months) the risk to develop breast tumours is practically zero.
- It contributes to reduce aggressiveness towards other males, especially when fighting for females;
- The ritual of territory marking with urine and possessive or dominant behaviours also tends to diminish;
- It reduces anxiety and the habit to run away or to attack other animals, people or even furniture;
- It spares the animal some instinctive reactions related to the reproductive system, for example, the males stay much calmer; It avoids testicular tumours, perianal hernias, tumours of the hepatoide glands, perianal gland tumours, prostate tumours and cysts, among others.
However, it is necessary to emphasise that sterilisation does not change anything in relation to territorial defence or aggressiveness caused by fear. In other words, the sterilisation does not leave the dog less or more fearful, nor does it intervene with its’ instinct to guard. The animal’s character does not change.
It diminishes the risk to contract venereal diseases transmitted through sexual intercourse or illnesses transmitted by animal bites. It also reduces the risk of being run over.
Are we not going against nature?No! The natural right of the female to reproduce herself is inferior to the right of the offspring not to be killed, for example: by being thrown into the river only a few days old, by being killed in a plastic bag or shredded inside a dustcart, etc. These are only some of the many inhuman and cruel ways to kill an unwanted animal. Man can reproduce himself, but exercises the right over himself to do it or not, by using contraceptives. Nowadays, with the possibility to avoid pregnancy, no woman has as many children as she has fertile years and no man asks her to have them. Nature dictated the same laws for everybody. It is our duty, as humans, to help the animals.
Are we going to deprive the animal of its’ sex life?No! Animals do not experience sexuality as human beings do. For an animal sex is only the physical process of reproduction. As eating and drinking are the essentials for individual survival, sex is the essential for the survival of its’ species. For man sex has a purpose in itself, to the animal it only means to secure the conception of another individual. The proof of this is that the female only accepts the male when she is on heat. That is, when her body has a hormonal necessity for it. Outside this period, she rejects the male aggressively, which means that to her, there is no pleasure related to sex. We are talking about hormonal necessity only. The male also only approaches the female when he receives the chemical information that she is on heat.
Should we feel sorry to operate on the animal?No, because no matter how much we love the animal, we should not humanize it and put it in our position. When the vet suggests castration for a male, a male owner takes a defensive attitude as if it would have been suggested to him personally. This is a normal and logical reaction but the decision to sterilise or castrate an animal is for its’ own good as well as for the owner’s.
Will the animal put on weight after sterilisation or castration?An animal that is fed inadequate food will put on weight, operated or not. In both cases the amount of food has to be adjusted to the animal. The animal also needs physical exercise regularly.
Will the animal’s character change?After sterilisation or castration only hormone dependent behaviour changes, like marking of territory. Often it is the owner’s character that changes. He becomes more protective and friendly towards his animal, either because he feels sorry for having sterilised or castrated the animal or because the animal doesn’t give him as much trouble as before. In any case the change is always positive.
Should a female have an offspring at least once in her lifetime?No. This is a false idea. Reproduction is a hormonal and chemical process. Having puppies does not improve health. Once females have been sterilised they won’t be on heat anymore so reproduction stops. Neither will they have psychological pregnancies.
Are vets not suggesting sterilisation or castration only to earn money?Vets are qualified to give such advice. They are professionals and it is their duty to watch over the health of the animals, the living ones as well as their undesired, unborn offspring.
Does sterilisation/castration benefit the undesired offspring?Studies prove that a female dog, during her reproductive cycle, will give origin to 6000 animals in 6 years time. Half of them die early from some kind of disease, or they are being drowned in rivers or suffocated alive in plastic bags or garbage containers, etc. The other half is killed systematically in kennels and on the road. Of those who survive, only a small part has the luck to be adopted.
If the dog is full-blooded, should we sterilise or castrate it anyway?One of every four animal that is found abandoned is full-blooded. Is there anything more cruel to full-blooded animals than the exaggerated necessity of veterinarian care? When the owner is tired of his animal, not wanting to spend any more money on it, he gives it to someone who is willing to accept it only because of its full-blooded race. But the problem remains… and the animal lives without the proper living conditions for its’ race. Ninety percent of all full-blooded animals are not born through legal breeders, but through backyard-breeders. They spend their first weeks or months in life without veterinarian attendance or adequate hygiene, which in many cases lead to an early death. Those who survive, face a life with chronic health problems instead. The ’household’ breeding of full-blood animals takes a death toll of thousands of animals each year.
Will a sterilised or castrated dog be able to serve as a watchdog?The character of the animal depends on its genetic inheritance, not on its’ sex hormones. However, if you only need a dog to guard your property, we suggest you install an electronic alarm system instead!
What if people would like their dog to have puppies?A baby animal is a fragile creature that is unprotected and inspires compassion. If you want to experience this at home and teach your children the respect for other living creatures, it is not necessary for your own dog to have puppies (or your cat to have kittens). You can phone any animal protection association or shelter. There are nearly always females that are close to giving birth or already have new born babies. You could care for them until their adoption. This would be a double rewarding experience: that of taking care of a new life and showing generosity towards abandoned animals.
What if people insist that their cat or dog have young?No young of any animal will be its’ duplicate. It is preferable that after the animal has left this life to remember it as a unique and irreplaceable being. And when the circumstances are right for you to adopt another one, there are thousands of animals waiting –unfortunately. People always say they take responsibility for the young. That might be, but the worst part only comes later as you can see: Suppose that a female has young only twice in her life, amounting totally to twelve kittens for a cat and twenty puppies for a dog. Then take into account that half of them are female and will reproduce themselves in the same ratio with hundred percent survivors of the descendants. Within five years, three hundred thousand animals will be born, of which the largest part will end up dying abandoned. Others will be poisoned, mutilated or being run over.
All this will be the responsibility of the initial owner.