The ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance are teaching more people how to gut pregnant cats whose kittens are so close to being born that they would survive the gutting. Euphemistically referred to as “late term spay”, this horrific practice inflicts violence on both the mother cat and her unborn babies. Once cut out of the mama cat’s belly, each kitten helplessly crawls around until someone kills her. Mama is sewn up and, if she survives the risky procedure, is left to grieve for her kittens whom she knew were alive inside her when the ASPCA vet gave her an injection and are now inexplicably, heartbreakingly gone. So much for that prevention of cruelty to animals thing.
And all this needless killing can be kept off the shelter’s books since the kittens are not counted as intakes – only the mama cat. So the shelter’s live release rate can be touted as an achievement even as it masks the killing of kittens deemed so valueless by the shelter they were never even counted as being alive, despite the fact that they most definitely were.
When I saw a link tweeted by the Mayor’s Alliance and the Feral Cat Initiative on Twitter advertising the ghastly “workshop” above, I chimed in with my two cents:
To be clear, yes there is always a possibility that a kitten, just like any other living being, might die prematurely from an accident or illness. There is also an excellent chance that she might not, especially if shelters do their jobs to protect life and get homeless animals adopted. But it is absurd to attempt to justify the killing of viable kittens, ripped from their mother’s belly, in order to protect them from the possibility of premature death. Late term spay is premature death for kittens. Death doesn’t get any more premature than that.
I am not saying it’s easy for shelters to handle all the pregnant cats they receive. I get that it’s a challenge. What I’m saying is that it’s wrong to kill the kittens who are alive inside these pregnant cats and that option shouldn’t even be on the table at any so-called shelter, let alone a routine practice.
Reaching out to the community for assistance with temporary foster homes is one way to allow the kittens to be born without placing any burden on the shelter. Partnering with feral colony caretakers is another tool which allows shelters to keep tabs on mama cats and kittens within colonies in order to trap animals at the right time for spaying the mother and taming/adopting the kittens.
There are always alternatives to killing and groups like the ASPCA and the Mayor’s Alliance should be the ones leading the way in protecting the lives of animals. Instead they are promoting the heinous practice of killing viable kittens while inflicting emotional and physical harm to mother cats.
Oh and for the record: vegan pizza? You’re doing it wrong.