A surprising number of people, even educated ones, think that neutering changes the personality of a pet. The Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals confronts this stereotype with their trademark sense of humor in this PSA. I just love the sex kitten cameos.

12 thoughts on “Spay & Neuter with a Smile, #5”

  1. Very, very, very cute. I love how the animals talk to each other without moving their mouths – that is always something that bothers me/creeps me out. Though it’s a little weird the cat is attracted to the dog… Not that I’m judging! 😉

    1. Yeah, I did think about the interspecies oddity — but hey, guilt-free and, as you say, judgment free, zone.

  2. I know the kind of folks this “nothing has changed” video is geared to. But it’s not quite true.

    Many people neuter their male pets because they want the changes that accompany the decrease in testosterone. Male cats are less likely to spray after neutering; male dogs neutered before maturity may never lift their legs to pee at all.

    I wish I could remember the name of the author who suggested that male dogs receive vasectomies instead of castration. She argued that it was unfair to alter the dog’s natural personality by castration when a vasectomy would prevent “littering” without the accompanying personality changes.

    Of course, NYC has a major problem with unwanted animals so I understand their wanting a clean and simple message without a lot of nuance. A simple marketing message will win over complicated nuance every time. At least that’s what we learned in the 2004 U.S. presidential elections. 🙂

    1. Actually, the medical opinions have come full cycle — the vet who was long quoted for his studies relating to the lowering of aggressive/roaming tendencies in dogs has come to rethink his position; he’s doing a long term study at UC Davis (if I recall correctly) to get some more data. No question though, hormones are related to behavior. The basic personalities may not change in teenagers, for example, but males and females both become heat-seeking missiles.

      I think it was Dr. Patty Khuly who argued for vasectomy.

      I’m with you about lack of nuance in advertising (and the 2004 election)!

  3. You know, it’s funny – growing up we never thought that about spaying or neutering. It was the right thing to do, so we just did it. We’ve never had a cat or dog that wasn’t – including the stray cats that started to hang around my Mom’s – they have all been trapped, fixed and released.

    It’s a cute video though – maybe this sort of thing needs to be aired in more states?


    1. You must have grown up in a wonderfully enlightened household. That’s great. So many people agonize about the decision for a variety of complicated reasons that mostly have to do with projection of our emotions onto animals (though there are some legitimate health concerns).

      A lot of different states do have similar ad campaigns; I’ve been running examples on my blog under the “Spay and Neuter with a Smile” heading (and also “Pet Adoption Videos that Don’t Make You Want to Kill Yourself”). That’s the great thing about You Tube and blogs — you can spread the message way beyond the original local audience.

  4. Thanks Edie for sharing these, I never would have seen them otherwise. Wonderful voice-over. I hope this campaign is giving some film folks in nyc work and exposure too!

    Simplistic or not, (and I usually will vote for the nuances), to me any campaign that addresses this focus is good. There is no ‘rational’ explanation for how some of the sweetest, kindest, dog-lovingest people I know ( and somehow they always happen to be guys) can be anti-neuter. So I totally understand why they had to go for the below-the-belt crowd.

    At least anti-nuclear folk are non-gender specific! View/recommend my recent comment #111 at the NYT article on the NRC and nuclear energy industry at http://community.nytimes.com/comments/www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/business/energy-environment/08nrc.html?permid=111#comment111

  5. I wish I had options like this where I live. Even in Ottawa, there is only one low-cost clinic, and we have been waiting since May of last year to get our cats altered. It’s already too late, and we now have to worry about speutering two MORE cats now.

    1. That’s so frustrating — there are many people like you who want to do the right thing and find themselves unable to because of expense. It’s also short-sighted because the money spent on dealing with an overpopulation of animals far exceeds what a spay neuter clinic would cost. Well, maybe if more people like you continue to be vocal, something can be done. Any organizers and fundraisers in Ottawa reading this? (I’m assuming you’re in Ottawa, though I’m not clear — maybe you’re in a really rural area with no options?)

  6. I think this may be m favorite one of all of them! The whole comment about not having his kids left in some shelter was awesome!

  7. Had to laugh at the “no littering” and nice message about not changing your pets personality. So many people – um, guys come to think of it – use the “my dog will get fat and lazy” excuse for not following through.

  8. My name is Staci and I am an intern at Animal Rescue of Tidewater (ART) located in Norfolk, VA .I found Will My Dog Hate Me while searching for other shelters and organizations that are big on spay/neuter like we are. One of our main goals at ART is reducing the killing of pets within our shelters in Southside Hampton Roads, Virginia. We endorse Trap-Neuter-and-Return (TNR) to help lower the number of strays that run through the neighborhoods. It is truly wonderful to see other shelters and groups supporting spay/neuter. I enjoyed reading your post and all the great actions that are being taken. Check out our services at http://www.artanimals.org/wordpress/services

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