The American Humane Association estimates that 3.7 million dogs and cats are euthanized at shelters each year because there are not enough homes available for these companion animals. You can ensure that you do not contribute to this problem by having your pet spayed or neutered. According to PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals), just one unspayed dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one unspayed female cat and her offspring can produce 370,000 kittens.
When a female animal is spayed, her reproductive system is removed which ensures that she will not be able to reproduce. The neutering of a male animal also renders him incapable of reproducing. The risks from these surgical procedures are minimal because they are performed by a licensed veterinarian. There are many benefits to having your pet spayed or neutered. These include:
- Eliminating the incessant meowing or whimpering, constant pacing, and repeated attempts of your dog or cat to get out of the house to find a mate
- Preventing the mess that results from a female dog that is ovulating
- Curbing unwanted behaviors such as urine marking, humping, and male aggression
- Improving the harmony among your pets if there is more than one pet in your household
- Reducing or eliminating the risk of breast cancer, uterine infections, and uterine cancer in females
- Preventing testicular cancer, enlargement of the prostate gland, and prostate cancer in males
- Reducing the risk for perianal tumors
Although you may think that the cost associated with spaying or neutering your pet is more than you can afford, the cost of caring for just one litter of puppies or kittens can easily exceed the cost of having your pet spayed or neutered. The American Humane Association estimates that the cost of feeding, worming and getting the first set of vaccinations ranges from $200 to $300. If there are complications during the birthing process that require hospitalization or a Caesarean section, the cost could quickly skyrocket. If you cannot afford the cost of having your pet spayed or neutered by your veterinarian, low cost spay and neuter clinics are often sponsored by local animal groups. To find out if such a clinic is available in your area, ask your veterinarian or contact your local Humane Society or animal shelter.
If you do not spay or neuter your pet and it reproduces, once the offspring are old enough to leave their mother, it will be your responsibility to find forever homes for each one. This could turn out to be a daunting task because there are just not enough homes for all of the companion animals born each year, and as a result many end up in shelters. It does not matter whether these animals are purebred or mixed breed. In fact, approximately 25% of the animals in shelters are purebred according to the American Humane Association.
The overpopulation of companion animals affects everyone. Millions of dollars of taxpayer money is spent each year to provide food and shelter for unwanted animals. Personnel must be hired and trained to staff shelters, capture, care for, and destroy stray, abandoned, and unwanted pets. Vehicles must be purchased and maintained that can be used by animal control officers to locate and capture stray or abandoned animals. Human health can be threatened due to rabies, animal bites, and attacks. Since dogs are pack animals, abandoned dogs can form groups that attack livestock and other companion animals. Stray cats have been known to lie in wait at backyard bird feeders attacking and killing the birds that come to feed which can be very upsetting to a bird-watcher.
Although shelters and other animal organizations attempt to find forever homes for as many companion animals as possible, the number of homeless animals far exceeds the number of people seeking to adopt an animal. As a result, there are many companion animals that would make wonderful, loving pets but instead must be euthanized each year. The solution to this atrocity is to spay or neuter each pet before it is able to reproduce.
Andrew Strauss writes for UCAH. It is a spay and neuter Clinic which provide an exceptional level of care along with compassionate service to the pets. For more information please visit our official site.