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Cat and Dog Overpopulation






In the Knesset

+ Rescue in
Northern Israel

+ Rescue in Gaza and the West Bank

+ Horses: Abuse &   Rescue

+ Horses: Against Expansion of Racing

Strychnine Poisoning

Rabies Control

Cat & Dog Overpopulation

+ Animal Experimentation Alternatives

Alternatives Overview

Alternatives Library

Alternatives Fund

Alternatives Conference:





+ Education & Training Projects



Campaign in the North: Spaying & Neutering Before Adoption

Companion Animals: Preventing Overpopulation

Mobile Clinic Medical Services: Clinic in Action





Yafit, spay/neuter clinic staff member, with a client

Like all countries with a warm climate and inadequate sanitation control, Israel has a major cat and dog overpopulation problem. At CHAI's inception in 1984, awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering to reduce the overpopulation was virtually non-existent, and low-cost operations were, for the most part, unavailable. Inhumane methods of population control were commonplace, including the use of the slow-acting, painful poison strychnine and other inhumane drugs banned in the U.S., such as T-61, which can cause intense pain, paralysis, and suffocation before the animal loses consciousness.


One of CHAI's first initiatives was to put up posters and distribute pamphlets promoting spaying and neutering in cities around the country and to send notices offering low-cost spaying and neutering to every kibbutz in the country, through the three kibbutzim associations. In addition, CHAI created humane education materials for schools, emphasizing the importance of these operations for the health of the animals and to prevent suffering.


In 1998, CHAI Advisory Board member Paula Kislak, DVM, introduced the concept of early-age spay/neuter in Israel in a presentation to Israeli veterinarians, sponsored by CHAI, at which she also demonstrated the operations. Altering puppies and kittens as early as 6 to 8 weeks prevents the "revolving door syndrome," whereby shelters adopt out animals only to have their offspring relinquished at the shelter several months later. Dr. Kislak, who performed the first research studies on early-age spaying and neutering with Dr. Mark Bloomberg, also wrote an article on the subject for Israel's Veterinary Journal. See Early-Age Spay/Neuter.


CHAI donated an anesthesia machine to the SPCA in Israel, in Tel Aviv, to enable it to perform these operations. To assist other shelters performing spaying and neutering, CHAI donated funds, humane traps, tranquilizers, surgical suture material, and surgical instruments. An autoclave, a machine for sterilizing surgical instruments, was donated to the Jerusalem SPCA. To the Tiberias SPCA, CHAI donated all the surgical instruments necessary to start a spay/neuter clinic.


In 2002, CHAI shipped a 24-foot state-of-the-art mobile spay/neuter clinic to Israel, the first such clinic in the Middle East. The clinic, operated by Hakol Chai, CHAI's sister charity in Israel, now makes low-cost surgeries available throughout the country. The clinic staff also provides education in responsible animal care, including the importance of spaying and neutering to prevent the overpopulation that causes so much suffering. Hakol Chai makes spay/neuter posters available to cities, community centers, and schools.


As part of its campaign to educate the public on this subject, Hakol Chai has provided humane education training to youth leaders in community centers and to community groups. In 2003, CHAI, Hakol Chai, and the Ministry of Agriculture co-sponsored a training class on humane overpopulation control for municipal vets around the country, at which Hakol Chai's veterinarian, Sarah Levine, outlined the spay/neuter protocol used in Hakol Chai's mobile clinic, and she promoted spaying and neutering as the long-term solution to the overpopulation problem.