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Eugene Weekly : Coverstory : 8.28.08

 

ASK THE DOGCATCHER!

LCAS’s Kylie B. answers all your critter questions

I have a training question. Which works better, those electric fences with shock collars or a tie-out cable to keep my dog in my unfenced yard? I have a really expensive dog, and I’m worried someone will steal him if he keeps getting loose. — Fido Fencer

Thanks for sending me that adorable picture of your pup. You may be disappointed that I am answering your question in the “Spay and Neuter” edition of this column but I couldn’t help but notice that your dog is still sporting his family jewels.

 Now, I’m not saying that your dog isn’t valuable or even that he shouldn’t be bred. But he has a very strong motivation for running away (looking for girlfriends, or in dog breeding lingo, “bitches”) and building a better fence won’t stop him for long. A dog that really wants to roam will generally find a way to do so. 

If your dog is so valuable that you feel he should be kept intact, it is your job to keep him (and the bitches he’s looking for) safe. Why not bring him inside when you are not home? You can use a crate or confine him to one room with a baby gate. Take a trip to a pet supply store and buy a few “busy toys” that can be stuffed with food or treats. That will keep him entertained while you are gone. A well-trained house dog is a safe and happy dog, whereas your free-range doggie Don Juan is headed straight for disaster. 

 



How am I supposed to afford to “spay and neuter my pets?” I’m broke and just lost my job! — Broke Pet Lover

Great news BPL! Fixing your pets just got a whole lot easier — and cheaper — for you! The low-cost Willamette Animal Guild (WAG) has immediate openings for dogs or cats and is very inexpensive. Contact WAG at 345-3566 or www.wagwag.org.

The Eugene Spay and Neuter Clinic also provides low cost surgery and vaccines. 682.3643.

Stop Pet Overpopulation Today (SPOT) provides financial assistance for spaying and neutering, especially for pit bulls and pit bull mixes. Call 485-SPOT (7768) to apply for a subsidy.

Lane County Animal Services offers $25 vouchers towards your pet’s surgery. Low income residents can apply in person, online at www.lanecounty.org/animals or call 682-3647.

 



I know you animal shelter types are always totally against breeding animals, but I have a great idea for a new designer breed: a Chipitapoo (Chihuahua-pit bull-poodle mix)! Everyone will want one, which is good because I think my pit bull just got knocked up by my neighbor’s Chihuahua/poodle mix. — Excitedly Expecting Designer Puppies

That isn’t really a question, EEDP. In fact, I’m the one who is confused here. Are you trying to make the best of a bad situation (an accidentally pregnant dog) or are you actually picturing a thriving market for this particular mix of breeds? Don’t get me wrong: I’m charmed by your rosy enthusiasm. It’s like that time I, in desperation, mixed diet root beer and gin together. It seemed like a great idea at the time, but — well, maybe not so much. 

The question isn’t whether you can find a cute name for your new “breed” of puppies but whether you could find them life-long homes. Sadly, here is what we do know: Your dog is a pit bull, and a glance at the animal shelter shows that pit bulls and pit bull blends are the least likely to be purchased or adopted. Many people can’t even give their pit bull mixes away! Don’t take my word for it; check out Craigslist and the daily paper’s classified ads. I know that it may seem unlikely to you that your precious dog’s puppies would end up at a shelter, but do you really want to risk your Chipitapoo pups winding up on doggie death row? 

The other question is, what’s up with your dog accidentally getting preggo? Get her to a vet for a check up, and please consider spaying her to prevent unplanned pregnancy! There are even financial subsidies just for getting pits and pit mixes fixed. And for goodness sake, if your dog is in heat, don’t leave her outside where anybody’s dog can hump her.  

 

 

2008 Pets Issue:

Tsst! The Dog Whisperer comes to Eugene 

Ferocious Felines CatBibs stop your kitty from killing

Ask the Dogcatcher! LCAS’s Kylie B. answers all your critter questions

The Scoop on Poop To compost, flush or trash?

Touchy-Feely Healing Eugene has alternative options for pet wellness

Petty Disaster The improbable stoner flick of the year features dogs on horseback 

Pet Participation If you can’t have one, help one

EW Pet Contest Winners Cute, Ugly and Best Dressed