Spay Aware Ireland - Get Your Fix
The ISPCA is urging pet owners to spay or neuter their pets as early as possible to reduce the high number of unwanted cats and dogs. The charity is asking the public to consider the positive benefits encouraging pet owners to talk to their vet as soon as possible.


SpayAware has been highlighting the importance of spaying and neutering to address the pet overpopulation crisis.

Mimi the Bichon Frise could not understand what was going on that morning. The family routine had seemed normal: the Mum had got up first, let Mimi go outside into the back garden, and given the children and Dad their breakfast. But on every other day of the year, she gave Mimi her breakfast when she let her back in again. Today, breakfast did not appear. What was going on?

After the missing breakfast, the day proceeded as normal: the Dad headed off to work, taking the children with him. The Mum took out Mimi's leash; it was time for her usual stroll along the seafront. She enthusiastically jumped into the back of the car, and relaxed for the short car journey.

As the car journey proceeded, Mimi began to feel uneasy again. The Mum was driving on a different route: this wasn't the way to the beach. As the car turned left, then right, then left again, Mimi began to feel anxious: she had been this way twice in her life before and she realised where they were going. It was that place where she had been lifted onto a table, a large man in a green top had poked and prodded her, and it had ended with him sticking a sharp object into the back of her neck. It didn't hurt much, but it was the strangeness of the situation which had spooked her. Mimi really didn't want to go back there, and she began to tremble.

When you're a small dog, you don't have much choice in these matters. Mimi trusted the Mum; she knew that she had always been kind to her, and there was no reason to doubt that this would be any different. Still, as they pulled into the car park outside the local vet clinic, Mimi continued to tremble.

The Mum carried her into the waiting room, where the sight of two other dogs and two cats didn't help to settle Mimi's nerves. What was going to happen to them all? The man in the green top came out and called Mimi into that same small room. She was put onto that table, and poked and prodded again. The man put some objects into his ears that connected up with plastic tubing to an end like a large bottle top. He pressed this against the side of Mimi's chest, and went quiet for a while. Then he took the objects out of his ears, and nodded. "That's all fine" he said.

Facts about Spaying and neutering in Ireland

Then he approached her again with something small in his hand, and she felt that small sharp sting in the back of her neck: it was the same as before - why did they always do that to her in this place? Even as she had this thought, she began to feel a little woozy and dizzy. Her anxiety faded, and she found herself wondering why she had been so worried before. The Green Top Man seemed to like her, petting her and saying kind words. Mimi began to feel comfortably sleepy. She was so relaxed that when the Mum told her that she was going, and that she would see her later, Mimi didn't mind at all. All was well in the world.

Mimi felt quite dreamy at this stage, and when the Green Top Man carried her through a door into a new area, she felt curious rather than anxious. She was put into a small enclosed area, similar to the Dog Crate where she slept at home. There was soft bedding in it, so she settled down for a short snooze.

When she was woken later and lifted out by a lady in a Blue Top, Mimi carried on feeling relaxed: what was happening now? The lady also spoke kind words to her, as she carried her towards another table where the Green Top Man was waiting. The man had something strange in his right hand, and as the Blue Top Lady held Mimi snugly, he held this object up to her right front leg. She just had time to wonder again what an earth was going on, when she felt more tired than ever, and she knew she was going to fall deeply asleep.

No time at all seemed to pass, and Mimi found herself waking up. She was lying on that soft bedding again. What had happened? She was vaguely aware of a tingling sensation on her underside, and when she looked around, she was surprised to see that the fur was missing from her belly. And there was a short line in the middle of her belly that seemed to be the focus of the tingling. She still felt tired, so rather than worrying about what was going on, she stretched out on that comfy blanket and snoozed.

Some time must have passed, then that Blue Top Lady came back. "Mimi - it's time to go home". She was carried out, and there was the Mum. Mimi was delighted to see her, wagging her tail and trying to lick the Mum's face.

The Blue Top Lady was speaking to the Mum: "The spay operation went well: there were no complications and she's made a good recovery so far. Just give her a small meal tonight, and rest her up for the next few days until her check up".

Mimi couldn't understand the words that were being said, but she knew now that her Mum was here, life would return to normal: breakfast had been skipped, but surely she'd be given dinner soon?

Thanks to Independent Regional Newspapers for permission to use this text.