New policy for claims: Compulsory ear-notching for all CNRM female dogs and cats

We have said this many times over the years, but had not made it compulsory.

Now, we have to.

In the past, there had been cases where female dogs/cats were caught and taken to the vet by well-intentioned rescuers to be spayed only to be opened up and discovered that the female dog/cat had already been previously spayed.

While it is very possible to tell if a male dog/cat has been neutered (due to the size of the scrotum), it is often very difficult to tell if a female dog/cat has been spayed. This is especially so when the uterus cannot be seen in an X-ray or ultrasound scan and also, incisions are very fine and small these days. Normally, a few months after surgery, the incision can hardly be seen anymore.

Thus, the V-notch (we prefer the V-notch to the flat tip as it is more visible and clearer, the flat tip could also be caused by fights) can be a life-saver. The V-notch would, first of all, already spare the female dog/cat from being taken to the vet by well-intentioned rescuers and CNRMers.

Furthermore, to open up a female dog/cat, anaesthesia is required – this itself is already a health risk. Then, sometimes when the vet cannot find the uterus, he/she has to open up wider and search deeper to look for the uterus only to finally conclude that the dog/cat had already been previously spayed.

Why subject the poor dog/cat (who cannot tell us she has already been spayed) to all these risks, discomfort and pain when all it takes to avoid the unnecessary surgery is a notch on the ear?

But, here comes the argument that an ear notch will reduce the cat’s chances of being adopted. We understand that this may be a fact, especially for adopters who are looking for “perfect” looking cats. But do please consider the fact that adopted cats may and can run away from home, and become a free roaming cat again.

Also, for adopters who do not want to adopt a cat with an ear notch because she doesn’t look perfect, then what happens if the (perfect looking) pet later needs surgery which may leave permanent scars – what will happen to the pet then? Do you want such an adopter?

All said, if any applicant feels very strongly about not ear-notching female cats, of course we respect your decision. However, we regret that we won’t be able to help you with our neutering aid.

In some clinics, the rescue rate is only given to ear-notched cats. In some shelters, all neutered females (and even males) are ear-notched before adoption. In Singapore, when TNRM became widespread, even pet owners take their neutered pets back to the clinic to get an ear-notch because they realise that their pets may escape one day.

And finally, it’s always been our hope that one fine day, the authorities will allow neutered animals to stay on the streets. The street is where they are born and hence, the street is where they belong. Penang already allows this. Will other states follow one day? Maybe, when the authorities realise that this Earth belongs to the animals as much as she belongs to us.

But before that happens, let’s do the necessary to safeguard our spayed females from being opened up again – please request the vet to do the V-notch if you wish to put in a claim.

In addition, when the public and authorities see more and more of the V-notched strays, they will realise just how many have been neutered and may eventually be convinced of the benefit of CNRM in street population control.

Little by little is the water jug filled, right?

For all applications, effective immediately, the female animal’s collage will require the additional photo of the V-notch. A close-up would be best. For males, ear-notching can help identify a neutered male from afar, but we will not make this compulsory at this point in time. Our present concern is that we do not want a spayed female animal to be caught and opened up unnecessarily. It is a health risk and a wastage of time, money and resources.

We will give all applicants a one-claim grace period as some of them do not read this blog. Applicants will be informed as and when they submit a new claim.

Our long-term hope is that V-notched animals will be spared from capture by the authorities – of course, this requires MUCH hope. This has always been AnimalCare’s one single request from the authorities. All it takes is for one person of authority and power to enact changes to the council by-laws. That’s “all” it takes.

Thank you.

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