Every eight seconds, a dog or cat in a U.S. shelter is euthanized. While these animals end up in the shelter for a variety of reasons, the root problem is that too many pet owners choose to breed their companion without thinking through the consequences of producing litters of dogs and cats. Spaying and neutering saves the lives of thousands of puppies and kittens who end up in the shelter each day. The surgeries to alter your pet are routine surgeries with an easy recovery. There are even free or low-cost clinics across the country to help you afford the surgery.
Here are six more reasons not to breed your pet:
Shelters already struggle with pet overpopulation
The Humane Society of the United States estimates that U.S. animal shelters care for six to eight million dogs and cats each year. Of those, approximately half are euthanized. A cat, for example, can have one to eight kittens per litter and two or three litters per year. That means you would have to find homes for up to 24 kittens. And those kittens, unless altered, could also reproduce, exponentially compounding the problem. Believe it or not, even the “Octomom” supports spaying and neutering pets.
Reduce – or eliminate – your pet’s risk for certain diseases.
Reduce or eliminate the risk of certain cancers, like testicular in males and ovarian or breast in females. Also, companion animals can contract STDs, uterine infections, and viruses associated with their sex organs.
Eliminate problem behaviors by eliminating sex hormones.
A lot of pesky behaviors are associated with sex hormones. Female cats and dogs go into heat and can leave blood stains around your house. Male cats and dogs spray or mark, altering your pet eliminates these messy mating behaviors entirely. After being altered, cats won’t spray and yowl, and dogs won’t roam or mark.
Keep your pets – and your community – safe.
An altered pet is less likely to roam the community searching for a mate and far less likely to show aggressive behavior. According to Best Friends Animal Society, there is a direct correlation between neutering and dog bites – a full 60 to 80 percent of bites are caused by intact male dogs.
Save money – yours and your fellow taxpayers’.
The cost of the surgery to alter your pet, even if you don’t go to a low-cost clinic, is less than the cost of care for a litter of puppies or kittens. Plus, it costs taxpayers and cities a lot of money to provide the staff and infrastructure needed to round up roaming pets, shelter unwanted dogs and cats, and provide for their care while trying to find suitable homes.
And, most importantly, altering your pet will lengthen his or her life.
According to Spay/USA, a program run by the North Shore Animal League, neutering your dog will increase his life by an average of one to three years, and your cat’s life by three to five years. By altering your companion, you’ll be able to enjoy a longer, happier life together!