Fixing a cat on the air

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 1993:

Alan Givotovsky, DVM, of Vachon Island, Washington, says he isn’t sure
whether he’d again perform a neutering operation on live radio. On February 3, Givotovsky
neutered a tomcat in the studio of KISW-Seattle during the early morning drive time to pro-
mote neutering, while disk jockey Bob Rivers supplied commentary and took calls from lis-
teners.
“Field surgery most of the time is pretty clean,” Givotovsky told ANIMAL PEO-
PLE, “but people were anxious because we weren’t in a clinic.” In fact, Givotovsky got up
at four a.m. to pack up and take along just about all the equipment he’d normally have had at
his clinic. The operation took 45 minutes, Givotovsky said, because of the preliminary
introduction, the time required to anesthetize the cat, and interruptions for songs, advertis-
ing, and the news.

“People only listen to the radio for 15 to 30 minutes at a time as they drive to
work,” he added, “so I would doubt that it had any measureable effect. It was just another
piece of information coming over the air. But eventually, if you get enough pieces of infor-
mation out there, people will break down and say to themselves, ‘that’s something I should
do.’ People look to veterinarians as leaders,” Givotovsky concluded. “If we don’t come out
with a position, the void is filled by unqualified persons who just want to stir things up. It
was worth a try.”
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