From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1994:

Early-Age Spay/Neuter, distributed by Cats In
Need of Human Care (POB 431, Pomona, CA 91769,
attn. Tiffany Curry). $10.00, or $13.00 including addi-
tional information for veterinarians.
“I began early-age neutering in early 1988,”
recalls veterinarian W.M. Mackie in a commentary distrib-
uted with the Early-Age Spay/Neuter video. “By the summer
of 1989, the Coalition for Pets in Los Angeles assigned
Phyllis Daugherty to video me in a show-and-tell. It is an
amateur production,” Mackie acknowledges of the newly
released product. But the technical faults don’t get in the way
of the message. “The purpose,” Mackie continues, “is to
show my anesthesia protocol and to demonstrate that the skill
required is not extraordinary. Shown quite clearly is that
recovery of youthful patients is quick.”

Because the video is intended for use in veterinary
instruction, ANIMAL PEOPLE asked for an opinion from
Peggy Larson, DVM, the leading neutering practicioner in
Vermont, whose long career (described in our July/August
1993 issue) has combined professional distinction with fre-
quent critical challenges to the veterinary establishment.
“I found it to be generally very good,” Larson said.
“I especially liked the commentary on the improved health
and behavior of spayed and neutered animals. I was very
happy to see that the mothers of the kittens were also
spayed,” along with the kittens themselves. “The plane of
anesthesia was very good and the display of sterile instru-
ments was impressive. The technique was flawless.”
But Larson, a former USDA inspector, did note
potential problems. “If the video is used to try to convince
veterinarians to do early neutering,” she said, as opposed to
teaching skills to those already interested, “there might be
some criticism about the anesthetic gas escaping into the
room from around a loosely fitting anesthetic mask; some
criticism of Dr. Mackie for not scrubbing before putting on
his gloves; for not wearing a mask or cap; and for wearing a
watch that the gloves do not cover. While these infractions
are minor and are of no importance to the success of the
surgery, some veterinarians will undoubtedly yell sloppy
technique. Unfortunately,” she added, “some of our tech-
niques are more for show than for necessity.”
The Think Film, free to shelters, from the North
Shore Animal League (Lewyt St., Port Washington,
NY 11050).
The North Shore Animal League offers The Think
Film free to all who request it on humane society letterhead.
Intended for either continuous screening in adoption centers
or for use in humane education, the five-minute video
describes the duties and difficulties that come with a pet,
suggesting simple solutions to commonplace problems. In
keeping with the NSAL philosophy, the video doesn’t
preach. Instead of stating negatives, it states corresponding
positives, preparing the viewer for possible trouble while
providing reassurance that each situation can be dealt with.
The animated format is suitable for both children and adults.
Okay, so you don’t have a video monitor at your
shelter. Maybe you don’t even have a waiting room. No
problem. Get somebody to donate a used monitor, use
brackets to mount it on a wall, and give The Think Film a
try. There’s not much you can do to help your shelter that
could have as much positive impact with as little cash outlay.
––Merritt Clifton
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