February is Spay/Neuter Awareness Month and the last day of the month is considered World Spay Day. Every year millions of dogs and cats, puppies, and kittens go into animal shelters, and sadly, a lot of them die in those shelters. If more companion animals were spayed or neutered, the number of litters of puppies and kittens would decrease, and therefore, so, too, would the numbers of animals killed in shelters each year.
That is one reason to spay and neuter pets. There are several others.
Although a spay surgery can be expensive, especially for a large or extra-large female dog, there are opportunities to find low-cost spay-neuter clinics. The ASPCA provides a database of such low-cost clinics. Visit their webpage at http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/low-cost-spayneuter-programs to find a clinic/program near you. The Humane Society of the United States can also assist you finding low-cost programs and clinics; visit that group’s website to learn more: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/pet_overpopulation/tips/afford_spay_neuter.html?credit=web_id88387650.
If you live in Wyoming, as I do, you can visit the SpayWyoming page, a state-wide program of the Dog and Cat Shelter in Sheridan, Wyoming and an affiliate of SpayUSA. You might also visit the Care Credit website, a health-care credit card covering dental, chiropractic, veterinary, and other medical fields; the company often gives patients (or in this case the “pet parents” of patients) six to 12 months to pay off the account before charging interest (it’s a program my husband and I use for our veterinary bills).
The outlay for a spay or neuter might be spendy at first, especially if your area doesn’t have a low-cost spay/neuter program. However, the benefits of the surgery are many, including a healthier pet and not dealing with behavioral issues. But, a strong reason to spay and neuter is saving lives, not having to wonder how to find homes for litters of puppies and kittens and facing the reality that, if taken to an animal shelter, those animals may not get new homes, but instead, may die.
Please do your part as a responsible pet parent: spay/neuter your companion animal!
Although spring seemed to delay its arrival, summer is now just around the corner. With this time of year often comes the evidence of littering – litters of puppies and kittens that is. What will happen to all of these little ones, and the ones that will be born later this year and the ones born to those youngsters also not spayed? Will each one find a special home? Doubtful.
Nearly four million dogs, cats, puppies and kittens are euthanized in animal shelters every year, and for every person born in the United States, there are seven puppies and kittens born. An unspayed female cat and her offspring can contribute several thousand additional cats in a lifetime. Animal shelters and rescue organizations become overwhelmed with the number of puppies and kittens brought to them. There is one simple solution: spay or neuter your pet!
Many myths exist about spaying and neutering, and most are just that: myths. Here are some facts about pets that are spayed or neutered:
Cesar Milan, the nationally-recognized and respected “Dog Whisperer”, debunks many spay and neuter myths on his website: http://www.cesarsway.com/tips/basics/spay-and-neuter-myths.
To learn more about spaying and neutering myths and facts, visit
Lack of homes and pet overpopulation is a serious national, regional, state and community problem –so let’s fix the problem by fixing our pets! Remember the motto: Please don't litter, fix your critter!
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.