In my open letter to the animal welfare community, I have tried to summarize the evidence-based reasons underpinning our call to suspend routine spay/neuter surgery – to preserve supplies, staff safety, and health care capacity. This advice, which reflects recommendations by the shelter veterinary community, is a well-reasoned and dispassionate accounting of risk vs benefit.
Dr. Julie Levy is the Fran Marino Endowed Professor of Shelter Medicine Education at the University of Florida. She has published more than 100 scientific papers on the health and welfare of animals in shelters, feline infectious diseases, humane alternatives for cat population control, and contraceptive vaccines for cats. She founded Operation Catnip, a university-based community cat trap-neuter-return program that has sterilized more than 57,000 cats since 1998. In 2014, she joined Dr. Kate Hurley at the Koret Shelter Medicine Program at UC Davis to launch the Million Cat Challenge.
From: Julie Levy, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DABVP, Fran Marino Endowed Professor of Shelter Medicine Education, Maddie’s Shelter Medicine Program, University of FloridaTo: My colleagues in animal welfareSubject: Why must we suspend spay-neuter surgery during the pandemic I’ve spent my career studying, training, and advocating for spay/neuter in all of its incarnations – pediatrics, HQHVSN, TNR, MASH – even when it was unpopular. I never thought I would be advocating otherwise.