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11 November 2022

PET TALK: Puna Desexing Clinics

Wednesday 11 May 2022 | Written by Supplied | Published in Editorials, Opinion

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PET TALK: Puna Desexing Clinics
Photo: SUPPLIED/19062013

We are back, after a brief layoff while Covid-19 cases were high.

If you live in Rarotonga and have a dog that has not been desexed, you are in luck, we are on our way.

The Dog Registration Animal Control Committee (DRACC) has sponsored 11 clinics to date, with the twelfth being held today, at Murienua. 

If you are from Arorangi, and have a dog that has not been desexed, we will see you there.

There are six more clinics planned over the next three months. 

We are coming soon to a meeting house near you.

To date we have desexed over 250 animals at the Puna Desexing Clinics.  This is a great effort, and to put it into perspective, these dogs could have produced over 60,000 puppies in just the next three years, had they not been desexed.  That is a lot of dogs.

As this staggering number suggests, population control cannot be sustainably achieved in dogs without a desexing programme. 

There are other control methods, but they are like a celebrity weight loss diet.  The immediate results look good, and it seems like instant success. 

But a year later the dieter is heavier than he was. The positive change is quickly destroyed because the fundamental problem has not been addressed.  

For sustained weight loss people need to eat healthy diets and they need to exercise. 

The changes are gradual and so there is no fantastic body transformation to boast about.

Boring.  And hard to sustain, but, after a bit of time, the positive change is obvious, both to the world and to the person.  And it stays that way.

Dog population control follows a similar pattern. 

We can make an immediate impact using methods other than desexing, but within months the gains will disappear. 

Remember the 60,000 puppies? 

In three years?  Desexing is the only sustainable, long term control strategy.  It takes time to have an impact, and during that time it may be easy to lose confidence, to doubt the impact, to question the choice. 

To be tempted to go down a different path because it is quick and easy.  But like a yoyo diet, the gains will soon be lost.

So why does desexing work?  Research and experience around the world suggest that preventing those 60,000 puppies being born is not just theoretical, it is a real effect.

Preventing those births has a real impact.  That impact is sustainable. 

DRACC is, rightly, very proud of the impact it has had, but we know there is work to be done.  We need to keep going and turn the 250 desexed dogs into 500 and then 750 desexed dogs.  We need to do the six clinics between now and August. 

And we need your help and cooperation.

The desexing clinics work because the Puna representatives know their community, the community are involved, and the people respond by bringing their dogs.  Long may it continue.