By Dr. Donna Watson
Spaying and neutering your pets and neighborhood community pets is truly the only way we will ever reduce the growing over population of pets in our cities. Choosing to spay or neuter is one of the single best decisions you can make, not only for the long-term welfare of your pet, but to also help stop pet over-population in the Tri-County area.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. Tragically, 4 million of these homeless pets are killed each year in America’s shelters.
More than 7 animals per minute are killed in shelters unnecessarily across the country. That means more than 9000 animals per day. That’s INSANE, but true!!
According to the ASPCA, the 10 top reasons to spay or neuter your animals are:
Female pets can live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying your pet before her first heat helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer.
There are major health benefits for neutering your male pet.
To prevent testicular cancer, neuter your pet before six months of age.
Spayed females won’t go into heat.
In heat female felines yowl and urinate more frequently – sometimes all over the house!
Male dogs won’t want to roam away from home.
An intact male will try everything possible to escape and find a mate! Once free, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
Neutered males are better behaved.
Neutered cats and dogs focus more of their attention on their human families rather than spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house.
Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
Your pet will remain fit as long as you provide exercise and monitor food intake.
The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter and treatment when your un-neutered tom escapes.
Spaying and neutering your pet are good for the community.
Spaying and neutering reduces the number of animals that can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children.
Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
Spay/neuter is one of the greatest gifts you can provide your pet, your family and your community. These routine medical procedures not only reduce the number of animals who enter shelters, but they may also prevent medical and behavioral problems from developing in a cat or dog, allowing your pet to lead a longer, healthier and happier life.
Spaying or neutering is unlikely to change a pet’s temperament, basic personality or levels of playfulness and general activity. However, it can reduce the incidence of some bad behavioral issues, especially sexual behaviors, such as mounting, howling and the urge to roam.
The word “spay” refers to the sterilization of female pets. The term “neuter,” while more commonly used to refer to the castration of male pets.
Many community programs are available to help the lower income communities by offering low-cost and free spay/neuter assistance to pet owners and community cat caregivers who can’t afford this surgery but will offer good homes and safe environments for the recipients of the programs. Voucher programs are available that utilize outside facilities approved by the counties to help with the overwhelming numbers of animals. To learn about these programs, visit the websites of Broward County Animal Control, Miami Dade and Palm Beach County shelters as each has a listing of where you can register to have your animals spay or neutered at a much lower cost then going to your local vet. Their facilities use licensed veterinarians and trained staff to keep your pets safe during the surgeries.
Cost is no longer a deterrent to getting our babies fixed. Please do it for the safety of your pet and for the greater good of our over populated communities where thousands of animals are needlessly killed each year because the owners didn’t do it.
Dr. Donna Watson is a chiropractic physician and founder of Dr. Donna’s Pet Foundation, a non-profit focused on animal overpopulation and animal welfare. Follow us on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/drdonnaspetfoundation5.