Cats and dogs will be offered for adoption only after they have been spayed or neutered

A new regulation calls for stricter measures that obligate all organizations and municipal authorities to offer cats and dogs up for adoption only after they have been spayed or neutered. This welcome process was started thanks to legislation initiated by SPCA Israel

For many years, SPCA Israel has played a pivotal role in initiating animal rights legislation in Israel.  After a lengthy struggle initiated by the Society, the Knesset has now passed a law obligating organizations and kennels to offer animals up for adoption only after they have been spayed or neutered.

Despite the fact that all relevant authorities have reached a consensus on the issue of neutering and spaying dogs and cats, many organizations and municipal kennels still offer dogs and cats up for adoption, sometimes even for a lower fee, in disregard of the spaying / neutering policy.  This conduct has led to an uncontrolled reproduction of dogs and cats, thereby resulting in the suffering of many unwanted animals.

Four years ago, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel initiated a new amendment to the existing regulations regarding the adoption of dogs and cats, with the aim of reducing the number of abandoned animals and eliminating their suffering.

For the past few decades, the Society has offered dogs and cats up for adoption only after they have been spayed or neutered. According to the new regulation, all organizations and kennels are now obligated to adhere to the same policy. In addition, all dogs must have a microchip inserted for owner identification, and all animals offered up for adoption must be vaccinated.

The new legislation is a direct continuation of the regulation that was passed several years ago that obligates pet owners who fail to have their dogs and cats spayed or neutered to pay a higher annual fee. This regulation was designed as an incentive to encourage people to spay or neuter their pets.

The new legislation, which was submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture as an amendment to the previous Animal Cruelty Law, was approved by the Knesset Committee for Education, Culture, and Sports. The amendment is an important step for promoting animal welfare in Israel, and we hope that it will be strictly enforced.

Law and Order

A special collaboration: Israeli police cadets undergo advanced training at the Society in order to become familiarized with the Animal Welfare Law and its implications, to improve enforcement of the law and reduce cases of abuse

For improved enforcement of the Animal Welfare Law and significant reduction in occurrences of animal abuse, a special collaboration between the SPCA and the Israeli police was launched recently.

As part of a unique Israeli project, police cadets from Beit-Shemesh are undergoing special training at the SPCA. The objective is to reinforce the future police officers’ affinity towards animal rights issues.

The cadets learn about the Animal Welfare Law initiated by the SPCA in 1994. According to this law, it is deemed a criminal act to harm, abuse or abandon animals, and the law defines the enforcement mechanisms on the subject. In addition, the cadets learn about the Society, which is celebrating 90 years of activity, tour their grounds, get to know the animals and walk the abandoned dogs, some of which suffered abuse and neglect before arriving at the shelter.

Yaniv Ovadia from the Society’s Humane Education Department says, “We hope that the combination of instilling in the cadets the principles of the law and creating an emotional bond between them and the animals residing at the Society will reinforce the police cadets’ affinity towards the painful subject of animal welfare in Israel, and bring about improved enforcement of the law and a significant reduction in the number of animal abuse cases”.

Mandatory Neutering-Spaying Bill proposed by the SPCA moves on to the next stage

Confirmed at the preliminary reading: Dogs and cats will be given up for adoption only after spaying or neutering

The Bill proposed by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, by which animal welfare organizations, municipal dog kennels and animal shelters will only be permitted to give dogs and cats up for adoption after they have undergone spaying or neutering operations, was passed at the primary reading in the Knesset plenum.

The aim of the Law is to prevent suffering amongst dogs and cats by limiting births of unwanted litters, that are cruelly abandoned, thrown on to the streets or put down. The spaying and neutering procedures, that are the most humane way to solve this problem, will reduce the uncontrolled proliferation of cats and dogs while imposing order in many organizations, resulting in a more responsible adoption process than that existing today.

We wish to express our gratitude to MK Eitan Cabel, who has cooperated with us over the past several years to promote legislation on the topic of animal welfare, for leading the proposed Bill.

New Bill Initiated by SPCA Israel

Organizations and kennels will only give dogs and cats up for adoption after being spayed or neutered

Look at the picture and see the suffering with your own eyes. Unwanted litters of puppies and kittens in immense numbers are an inseparable part of the difficult reality with which we, as do all other organizations working for animal welfare, have to contend on a daily basis. These puppies are separated from their mothers at too early an age, cruelly abandoned, thrown into the garbage or out onto the streets in a cardboard box with no true chance of survival. While most of the organizations close their gates in the face of these poor animals, and while the number of people willing to adopt animals is negligible in compared with the number of animals that are abandoned in Israel, it is clear that great efforts must be made to prevent unwanted litters. There is a consensus that the one method of doing this in a humane fashion is to encourage spaying and neutering procedures.

Puppies are cruelly abandoned in the streets in a cardboard box with no true chance of survival
Puppies are cruelly abandoned in the streets in a cardboard box with no true chance of survival

SPCA Israel has been active at the Parliamentary level for many years, aiming to have animal welfare laws introduced. Last year a Bill promoted by the SPCA was passed, by which owners of non-sterilized dogs must pay a higher annual Dog Holder’s License fee, which is intended to encourage dog owners to have their dogs spayed or neutered.

At present a newly proposed Bill has been presented to the Knesset by the SPCA, that approached a number of MK’s who have expressed interest in promoting it – The Bill for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Animal Protection) (Amendment – obligatory spaying or neutering of dogs and cats), 2013. According to this Bill, animal welfare organizations, municipal dog pounds and animal shelters will only be permitted to give a dog or cat up for adoption after it has been spayed or neutered. The Bill even gives details regarding the time necessary for carrying out the surgery from the moment the request for adoption is submitted, under what circumstances the date for surgery may be postponed (medical condition, females nursing their young, or puppies that are too young to undergo the surgery) and the sums that may be charged for these surgical procedures. In addition, the Bill gives the State the authority to stop supporting any organizations that violate the Law. We believe that this Law will benefit animals, lead to responsible adoption procedures, reduce the number of unwanted litters and the number of deaths while helping to create a uniform policy on this topic which will apply to all the organizations, kennels, shelters and quarantine facilities.

The importance of spaying and neutering pets is one of the issues upon which all animal welfare organizations have reached a consensus. However, apparently not all these organizations actually carry out the message that they themselves promulgate and to our regret we often take in dogs and cats, previously adopted from other organizations and kennels that were not spayed or neutered at the time. Just a fortnight ago, a dog of over six months of age reached us. He had been adopted from one of the organizations, not neutered, and what is even more serious, had no microchip that is obligatory by Israeli Law. This case is one example of many where animals are given for adoption in an irresponsible manner by the bodies that are supposed to act professionally and according to Law. Our extensive experience and the fact that we are the only organization whose doors are always open to any animal in need of shelter and protection, teach us that sometimes the desire to find adoptive homes leads to compromises in the adoption process, and the ones who pay the price in the long run are the animals themselves who, unwanted, are passed from hand to hand as though they were objects.

According to the policies of the Society for the past twenty five years and more, dogs and cats are only given out for adoption after being spayed or neutered. We hope that following this new Bill, all the other bodies and authorities in Israel will become wiser and will, finally, align themselves with the accepted manner of procedures on the subject of adoption in all advanced nations.

The Society for Protection of Animals in Israel, which will continue to propose bills benefitting animals, calls all organizations and kennels to adopt the responsible adoption processes of the SPCA, including completion of questionnaires, a long talk with an adoption counselor who matches the animals to the prospective adopter, veterinary examination and giving animals to new owners only after spaying/neutering, vaccinations, and, in the case of dogs, insertion of a microchip. Delivering healthy animals, acting in accordance with the Law, checking out the adopters and the extent of their suitability to raise the animal, is the correct procedure for orderly adoption where the adopting owners will raise the animal for the rest of its life.

Proposal for New Law Initiated by the SPCA

Dogs and cats will be given up for adoption only following surgical procedures for sterilization

A new Proposal, initiated by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, aims to obligate all authorized dog pounds, protected shelters and animal welfare organizations to neuter and spay cats and dogs being given up for adoption. The Proposal, presented jointly with the Let Animals Live Organization, has won the support and backing of MK’s Eitan Cabel (Labor), David Tsur (HaTnuah), Dov Hanin (Hadash) and Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz).

Since its establishment 85 years ago, the SPCA has had to deal with the problem of excessive overpopulation of dogs and cats, and for over three decades we have given animals out for adoption only after they have been sterilized. A few months ago, a law initiated by the SPCA came into effect by which owners of dogs which have not been sterilized will pay an higher annual license fee, and the present Proposal is a further step in our efforts to promote animal welfare in Israel.

Israel copes with a painful and widespread phenomenon of dogs and cats that are abandoned, left to their own recourses and wander around alone. It is estimated that each year over one hundred thousand dogs are abandoned in Israel and over two million homeless cats are living in the streets; most of them eventually finding their deaths in terrible suffering from illness, hunger, dehydration, abuse, road accidents or euthanasia. Some of them reach shelters where the chances of them finding adoptive homes are negligible, since the number of people wishing to adopt is far smaller than the number of abandoned animals.

There is overall agreement amongst animal welfare organizations that the humane solution for reducing the phenomenon of overpopulation in dogs and cats is implementation of sterilization procedures. These simple surgical procedures, accepted in all advanced countries, also prevent certain illnesses to which animals are prone.

Unfortunately, not all organizations that are authorized to give animals up for adoption strictly observe the rule of carrying out sterilization before giving animals up for adoption. Some of them charge a fee for the operation and trust the adopting owner to have it done at a later stage, but they have no way of ensuring that this takes place. According to studies carried out on this issue, sterilization can be carried out as early as two months of age, the age when animals are weaned by their mothers. Since animals are not given up for adoption while they are still nursing, there is no reason for not carrying out the operation before giving the animal for adoption.

As stated, the aim of the proposal is to minimize overpopulation of dogs and cats and to prevent suffering amongst the many unwanted animals. The Proposal even gives details of unusual instances where it is permissible to postpone the operations, with the owners obligated by Law to carry out the operations at a later date (for example; an animal’s state of health that does not allow surgery, females still nursing puppies, puppies that have not yet been weaned), and allows the local authorities to charge a fee for the operation from a person who adopts a dog or cat from an authorized shelter.

As MK Eital Cabel says: “This is a further step in our humane war against the horrifying phenomena of dog euthanasia and abuse. Our aim is to reduce these phenomena to a minimum and for that to happen all animal lovers must get involved”. And in the words of MK David Tzur: “As a sworn animal lover, I am appalled by the number of abandoned animals that are euthanized each year because no one wants them. The Proposal that I presented together with MK Eitan Cabel and others is meant to put an end to this sad phenomenon of uncontrolled increase in the dog population”.

Economic Committee authorizes the Bill

Proposal for Law initiated by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel will be presented for second and third reading in the Knesset

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel scored an achievement for dogs in Israel when the proposed Bill for the Regulation of the Supervision of Dogs, by which all dog owners who have not had their dogs spayed or castrated will pay a higher fee to renew their annual dog license, will soon reach the second and third reading in the Knesset.

The Law, proposed by the Society, with the cooperation of MK Eitan Kabel (chairman of the Lobby for the Protection of Animals in the Knesset) and MK’s Feina Kirshenbaum, Nitzan Horowitz and Dov Hanin, was raised for discussion in the Economic Committee of the Knesset today, after passing the first reading. The Committee determined that the difference in the cost of the license for dogs who are not neutered and those who have had the surgery will be NIS 300. In this manner the Law will encourage dog owners to neuter their dogs, thus preventing the birth of thousands of dogs who cannot find homes every year, leading to a life sentence of suffering in the streets or prolonged stays in dog shelters. We hope that in the coming weeks the Bill will be presented to the Knesset for the second and third readings and will come into force very shortly.

At the same time the Society is continuing its project of sterilization for cats and dogs at subsidized rates. The special offer, which started in April, will continue till the end of May, thanks to contributions that the Society received specifically for this purpose.

To make appointments in the Tel Aviv and Bnei Zion Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals clinics, please call: *4553.

A Record Day of Abandonment

The dog abandonment phenomena raises its ugly head

Yesterday was a hard day for the Society’s staff and volunteers, a day when 32 dogs were taken in and given shelter. These dogs, including 22 puppies under three months of age, were simply abandoned by their owners. A day when, as it came to a close, the abandoned dogs, who up till then were used to living in the security of their homes, found themselves in a strange environment with their futures and fates uncertain.

Abandoned dogs, including many puppies, reach the Society every day but yesterday was a record day, testifying more than anything else to the ugliness and cruelty of the abandonment phenomena. Dog lovers find it difficult to understand how a person or family can abandon their pets, but to our regret, most people who approach us with the intent of handing over their pets, don’t even try to find an alternate home themselves (thus sparing their pets being restricted to a shelter), and choose the easy solution of abandoning them in some organization, in the best case, or just on the street.

Most organizations and animal shelters close their gates in the face of these abandoned animals, claiming a shortage of space. Thus, by not offering any alternate solution, these organizations seal the fate of the dogs to be abandoned to the streets. In contrast, The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel – Tel Aviv takes in any animal in need of shelter and protection. This has been the Society’s policy since the day it was founded, and was decided upon in order to protect abandoned animals that had been thrown out on the streets from further suffering and hardship. Apart from the fact that abandoning animals on the streets is against the Law, these animals find it hard to survive and are exposed to numerous dangers such as road accidents, illness, hunger, dehydration and abuse.

The reasons for abandoning dogs are varied and numerous; amongst the dogs taken in yesterday, there were two older dogs who were abandoned because their families had difficulty looking after them, a mother and two puppies whose owners had other dogs and were not able to bear the expenses involved in keeping them all, three one-year-old dogs who were found wandering around by passers-by, four six-week-old puppies whose owners couldn’t manage to rear so many dogs and eight one-month-old puppies who were found in a carton box on the street.

Then there was also one family with a complex story of its own, who brought in 13 dogs. We had come in contact with this Bat Yam family on an earlier occasion. A few months ago the father brought in three dogs which he left in the Society. The following day his wife arrived, burst into tears and begged to have her dogs returned to her. When we asked what she intended to do should her husband bring in the dogs again, she replied that they do not live together and assured us that she would not allow him to enter her house. Yesterday, the couple, accompanied by an acquaintance, brought in 13 dogs: The three older dogs that had been brought to us some months earlier, and ten one-month-old puppies. A short enquiry revealed that the seven-year-old bitch, who has had many litters and suffers from a skin ailment, is the mother of a four-year-old bitch, a one-year-old dog and four of the younger puppies. The other six puppies belong to the four-year-old bitch. Both litters were born a couple of days apart, just one month ago and, according to the woman, not only can the family not afford to rear them all, but she is also fed up cleaning up after them all day long. The husband urged the woman to leave the dogs and go without even filling out the requisite forms. He also made some other suggestions such as leaving the dogs on the street so that they would get run over, putting them in the deep freeze or scattering their ashes over the sea.

As noted, this is just one case of dog owners who don’t take responsibility for their actions, thus sentencing their pets to great suffering. In Israel, it is estimated that 100,000 dogs are abandoned every year. Regretfully, it is impossible to find adoptive homes for all of them since there are so few families willing to adopt. The outcome is that the dogs which are thrown on to the streets are either killed, spend extended periods of time in dog shelters or, in the absence of any other solution, undergo mercy killing. The only true, comprehensive solution, like so many other instances, must be at Government level, backed by considerable budgets.

Minimizing abandonment and unwanted litters is one of the aims of the Society, which works at several levels to deal with these phenomena:

1. Spaying and Neutering: For over thirty years we have been spaying and castrating every dog and cat that leaves for a new home, with no exception. This ensures that the animals we have given for adoption will not reproduce and will not bring unwanted young into the world. We are sorry to say that today, while there is higher awareness of the benefits of these procedures, many animal welfare organizations act irresponsibly and give un-spayed animals out for adoption. These animals are often brought in to the Society by their owners, and we know that they were adopted from other organizations by the data on their microchips.

2. Subsidizing Spaying and Neutering: The Society’s veterinary clinic, which is open seven days a week, offers these surgical procedures at subsidized rates, in order to encourage pet owners to have their animals treated without getting involved in very high expenses.

3. Education: The Society’s Department of Humanitarian Education runs numerous educational programs for groups of all ages, with the subject of spaying and neutering being one of the focal topics in the activities. The aim is to raise public awareness of the importance of this issue. In addition, the Society uses the media to bring the issue to the fore in the public agenda.

4. Law: Last week we heard that the License Fee Legislative Proposal (Bill for the Regularization of the Supervision of Dogs (Amendment – Neutering and Spaying Dogs) 2011), promoted by the Society, passed in the preliminary reading in the Knesset. The premise of the Proposal, which was submitted in collaboration with MK Eitan Cabel (Chairman of the Knesset Animal Protection Lobby) and MK’s Penina Kirshenbaum, Nitzan Horowitz and Dov Hanin, is the adjustment of the fee that dog-owners are required to pay to renew their dog license every year. The principle is that dog owners whose pets have not undergone neutering or spaying procedures will be required to pay NIS 700 more than dog owners whose pets have undergone the procedure.

5. Responsible Adoption: The society’s slogan, ”Loving Is Not Enough”, reflects our attitude towards animal adoption. Our experience shows that a low percentage of dogs live in one home all their lives. During their lives, most dogs move from one home to another a number of times because of adoption that was undertaken on a momentary impulse (especially in the case of puppies), or owners’ inability to provide for their pet’s needs. If more responsible people would adopt and raise spayed or castrated pets, there would be fewer unwanted litters born. The adoption process as it is carried out in the Society includes completing a questionnaire and taking part in an interview with an adoption counselor in order to ascertain which pet would best suit the family or person. Thus we attempt to ensure that the animals will be adopted into homes where they will live their entire lives. In addition, the adopters sign a form by which they undertake to return the animal to the Society should they decide to give the animal away. This is one way to ensure that the animals are not thrown onto the streets or passed from hand to hand in the event that they reach unsuitable homes.

We ask the general public to demonstrate responsibility towards the animals in their care, to spay or castrate them in order to prevent unwanted births, and to take advantage of the special prices offered by the Society for these procedures.

The thirty-two abandoned dogs are now awaiting adoptive homes, with the puppies being ready for adoption once they reach the age of three months, when they will get their first vaccinations and be spayed or castrated. When the wind whistles outside, the temperatures drop and winter is at its peak, think about the miserable, abandoned dogs. In the event that you are sure that you can offer a dog all its needs for the rest of its life, we invite you to make a Hanukah miracle happen, come to the Society, adopt a pet and give it a warm and loving home.

Proposal for New Law Initiated by the Society

Owners of dogs that are not spayed or castrated dogs will pay a higher license renewal fee

The Society has initiated a proposal for a new law with the cooperation of MK Eitan Kabel, Chairman of the Lobby for the Protection of Animals in the Knesset, and MK’s Feina Kirshenbaum, Nitzan Horowitz and Dov Hanin. The basis of the Proposal is an amendment of the present Annual License Renewal Fee paid by dog owners. According to the Proposal, dog owners of animals who are not spayed or castrated would pay NIS 700 more than owners whose animals have undergone this process. The aim of the Proposal is to encourage dog owners to have their pets taken care of and so to prevent increases in the number of unwanted dogs, who, as a result of the lack in adoptive homes, are doomed to lives of suffering on the streets or long years in dog-pounds.

In Israel, approximately one hundred thousand dogs are abandoned each year, finding their deaths, in many instances, from disease, starvation, dehydration, abuse and road accidents. According to MK Kabel: “The aim of this Law is to humanely reduce the problem of the increase in the dog population which is leading to thousands of abandoned dogs”.

As stated, one of the problems that arose in the Regulation Act for Supervision of Dogs is the difficulty in finding enough homes for such a great number of abandoned dogs. The various organizations cannot deal with the overload, and due to a lack of space, most of the organizations cannot take in any more abandoned animals in need of shelter and protection. Thus the owners of unwanted dogs see no alternative but to abandon the animals to the streets.

Due to the huge number of dogs, that are abandoned, given away or thrown out on to the streets every day, the need has arisen to try to minimize their natural birth levels. The proposal is to solve the problem of population increase in homeless dogs by lowering their natural birth rates. This can be done by means of the simple surgical procedures of castration or spaying, which also contribute to their health and assists in lowering aggressive behavior. These operations have further advantages; in particular, ongoing health maintenance and prevention of common diseases such as ovarian and uterine cancer, cancer of the mammary gland, uterine infections, prostate problems and testicle cancer.

The amendment in the Law is designed to encourage the public to have their dogs castrated or spayed by increasing the annual license fee for those who have not undergone these procedures. The difference of NIS700 per annum, which is the suggested additional cost for the license fee, will encourage dog owners not to avoid the surgery on financial grounds. The amendment has already gotten legal validity and Parliamentary discussions are due to take place at the end of the summer recess, when the Winter Session of the Knesset begins.

Whilst pursuing the Parliamentary avenue, the Society continues to subsidize these operations and dog and cat owners are invited to have their pets operated upon in the Society’s clinic at reduced rates.

Member of Meretz

MK Nitzan Horowitz visited the SPCA and was recruited to lobby for animal rights and welfare

MK Nitzan Horowitz visit last week to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals In Israel included a tour of the site and a meeting with SPCA Chairwoman, Members of the Board and employees.

The visit began with a tour of the various facilities. MK Horowitz displayed tremendous interest and amazement at the site as well as its operations, cleanliness and the tremendous thought invested in the welfare of animals residing in the facility. Following the tour, everyone convened in the office of the SPCA chairperson, where they discussed issues involving improvement of animal rights and welfare that the SPCA wished to promote. Also on the agenda were issues that were directly related to SPCA operations, including the problematic handling by authorities of cases of animal abuse and neglect as well as insufficient punishment.

MK Horowitz presented a draft law designed to make convictions easier in these cases and promised that he would make a concerted effort to help advance the issues raised during the meeting.

According to SPCA Chairwoman, Ms. Hilma Shmoshkovitz, “MK Nitzan Horowitz’s visit was a resounding success. Animal welfare is a topic that is near and dear to us and we are thrilled at the prospect of his assistance in promoting issues that are important to SPCA operations in animal rights. MK Horowitz’s visit to the SPCA will produce results in the near future and we are delighted to cooperate with him to advance his draft law and any other aspect related to prevention of cruelty and suffering of animals”.

One day I will spread my wings

The Society supports the Anonymous Voluntary Organization in the battle against factory farming

The source of 98% of the eggs in Israel is from factory farming. Packed in these cages the chickens are kept in terrible overcrowding, which prevents them from walking around and spreading their wings, and causes them to attack one another. They are wounded by the metal latticework and the sloping grid flooring, and all their natural needs are negated. Furthermore, in order to increase the rate of egg laying, the chicken coups are kept in darkness and the birds are starved for long periods.

7 million hens are caged up in Israel in factory farms in cruel conditions that have been outlawed in many countries in the free world. In the light of research and from consumer pressure, the countries of the European Union started a gradual process of replacing the factory farm conditions with multilevel chicken coups without cages (flying coups). However, in Israel they decided to invest a great deal of money in perpetuating the existing conditions.

Three years ago, the Israeli government authorized a budget of 300 million NIS to execute a ‘reform’ in the egg industry. This ‘reform’ subsidizes the establishment of a huge farm with factory farm conditions that will supply two thirds of the egg needs of Israel.

Thus the organized abuse of the hens is continuing at the expense of the taxpayers. In addition, they are also expropriating public lands to build this farm. This decision, which has financial, public, environmental, consumer and real estate repercussions, will leave its mark for years into the future. Therefore the struggle against the factory farm ‘reform’ is critical.

At a deliberation that was held, a few weeks ago, at the Knesset Education Committee, it was decided that the Ministry of Agriculture must change the regulations regarding the hens so that they would meet the international standards of animal welfare conditions.

The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel supports the struggle against factory farming and the new ‘reform’ that is being led by the Anonymous Voluntary Organization, and we hope that the suffering and the abuse of the chickens will cease.