According to statistics compiled for the years 21-24 AZ, sterilization affects approximately 42% of Animals who consider themselves to be permanent residents of the lands outside The Park.
“We are looking at rates for Dogs of [sometimes] 900 per thousand,” said Carmelita Ardilla, a member of the team that analyzed the data assembled by the UnderCover Reporter.
The numbers aren’t much better for Cats, either. They are being sterilized at a rate of over 800 per thousand.
“Any way you look at it, sterilizations are being performed in shockingly high numbers,” she said.
What accounts for such significantly elevated rates? The Mammalian Daily asked Dr. M. Rosario Morsa, Professor of Statistics and Well-Being at the University of West Terrier’s School of Medicine, to analyze the data. In his opinion, these numbers are due, in part, to the high rate of co-habitation with Humans outside The Park.
“We keep coming back to it, over and over again,” he said. We do not want to give a simplistic answer; we do not want to lay blame where it might be inappropriate. But it is impossible to ignore this fact. Animals who cohabit with Humans are simply more likely to be sterilized than other Animals.”
Sterilization is believed to be quite fashionable in the Human world. The surgical procedure, which is known by a number of other terms, including “spaying” and “neutering,” became popular among Humans in the last century. Unsubstantiated reports circulating inside The Park indicate that it is now the preferred method of birth control for older Humans and for those who feel that their families are complete. But evidence suggests that the Human attitude toward Animal reproduction differs considerably.
One source close to the investigation, who wished to remain anonymous, revealed that sterilization among Animals who live outside The Park often occurs prior to any live births and has become “a requirement” for the co-habitation arrangement.
“I have been told by friends,” she said, “that it was made quite clear to them that they could not share quarters with Humans unless they surrendered their reproductive rights.”
Last month, an account of such a situation appeared on The Mammalian Daily’s best seller list. Author William Patrick Wolfhound’s “Life in a Gelded Cage: The Personal Memoir of a Pet,” tells the harrowing tale of one Dog’s encounter with a city’s population control policies.
Even if [Human] co-habitation customs are behind this “domestic” trend, that would not account for the alarmingly high rates of sterilization found among Animals who live independently of them. In fact, suddenly soaring rates of sterilization have become a cause célèbre for the Squirrel population, particularly those of the Grey persuasion, and that community has launched an investigation of its own.
The UWT’s Dr. Morsa cautioned that the figures compiled in the report signify a disturbing — and life-threatening – trend – and one to which Park residents should not assume themselves to be immune.
“We do not know all the causes of this trend,” he said, “but it is important to remember, at the very least, that these procedures are being done without the express consent of the Animals. These statistics, then, are indicative of an ethical issue that warrants serious and timely investigation by the entire research community.”