Misguided reluctance to sterilise dogs
I recently adopted a feral soi puppy. She was under-nourished and had a bacterial infection of the skin. But with a good diet and a few trips to the vet, she is now in tip-top shape, and a very affectionate and playful puppy she is too, no doubt grateful for the better life she now enjoys.
However, I have no desire to add to the dog population of Thailand's streets, which already suffer an over-abundance of unwanted, malnourished, diseased and sometimes ferocious packs of dogs.
So I asked my vet at what age I could have the puppy de-sexed. "Oh, I don't do that," he said. I tried two other vets in Rayong and the story was the same, all of them citing their Buddhist convictions for refusing to carry out this relatively routine and minor operation. I jokingly told them all that as neither the puppy nor I were Buddhist, perhaps they could bend their own principles, but to no avail.
Perhaps I should have been forewarned some years ago when I took another dog to the vet. The vet found a flea on it and carefully picked it off and carried it outside to release. No doubt the flea waited for the next passing dog before hopping on board for a free meal. Now I have the added expense of a trip to Bangkok, where I know a vet who is prepared to do what I want.
I have the greatest respect for Buddhism and Buddhists, but surely this is mad, with members of a profession who are failing in their duty to their customers.
Before anyone accuses me of not understanding Buddhist precepts, let me explain some of the inconsistencies. All of the vets who refused my request to spay my female puppy were quite happy to give her a chemical injection every six months as a contraceptive. And all were happy to sell me any number of products that would have effectively killed any fleas or ticks that dared to venture near my pet. So the end result in either case would have been the same, except the vets were left with a clear conscience because they didn't actually commit the dastardly deed themselves!