Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Book of Neuteronomy

So we are supposed to get Prancis's balls chopped off soon, and our neighbors told us about the ASPCA's mobile spay/neuter truck. It so happens that it's going to be near us on Saturday, and we can save a couple hundred dollars by getting him neutered there instead of at the vet's.

I am a little hesitant because the program is intended to provide services to low income communities and they perform only a limited number of operations (25 animals a day) on a first come/first served basis. There is a nominal fee for people without proof of public assistance, but even with that we could be preventing someone from getting their pet fixed for whom going to the vet would not be an option. If we want to minimize our impact as gentrifiers in our neighborhood, isn't this exactly the kind of thing we should be avoiding? On the other hand, it would save us $300, which is a significant amount of money...but maybe that makes it that much more unethical?

I don't know, I'm not sure what we'll decide. We've also discussed the possibility that 25 people might not even show up by seven on what is going to be a drizzly Saturday morning on a holiday weekend, but that feels like a rationalization.


DU said...

You'd only be preventing one dog from getting fixed, so as long as you undo that prevention you should be good. Just run over an unneutered stray on the way there. Ethically blameless.

edith said...

Hmm, this is tricky, but I think that it IS unethical. After visiting the spay/neuter truck's website, I think it's clear that the services are intended solely for low-income families who wouldn't be able to afford a neutering any other way, and the $75 fee for those who can't provide paperwork proof of low-income status is more of a gesture to help people who might be missing the paperwork--not to officially open the service to people who are just interested in taking advantage of a bargain (although that's effectively what it does).

Although this kind of ethics has been sort of trampled on in similar arenas, like hipsters shopping for clothes at the Salvation Army, etc., I think in this case the right answer would be to go to the vet and pay the higher price.

edith said...

But also if you were to show up at 7 a.m. and sort of hang back for a while and it was clear that only, like, six dogs were there, then you should totally go for it.

tps12 said...

Hm, that's not a bad idea. Maybe even show up a little late? This might be what we do. Thanks!