Whether you've recently added a pet to your family or you're considering it, one of the most important health decisions you'll make is to spay or neuter your cat or dog. If you've adopted your pet, congratulations! You'll be happy to know that the spay or neuter surgery for your new friend is included in the adoption fee.
Spaying and neutering a cat or dog has tremendous benefits. It reduces your pet's chances of developing deadly, costly medical problems, and improves the animals overall behavior. For the community, it helps reverse the tragedy of unwanted puppies and kittens being relinquished to the local shelter at tax payer expense.
Too Many Homeless Animals
Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control (FWACC.org) is an open-access shelter that never turns an animal away. In 2011, FWACC received 15,863 animals of which 14,000 were dogs and cats. One of our primary goals is to reunite lost animals with owners, but oftentimes no owner steps forward to claim the animals received or it is the owner that gives up the animal.
To find a new home for each animal not claimed, FWACC would need approximately 45 families or individuals willing to adopt a pet each day of the week. Not only is that a daunting challenge, it's highly improbable. According to the National Pet Owner's Survey, only 20% of the 64.2 million households' that report owning a pet acquired their pet through a shelter adoption program. Most owners acquire their pet from a friend, relative, or breeder. Approximately 9% purchase dogs from a pet shop and 5% purchase cats. In recent years these numbers appear to be changing as more people become champions of pet adoptions, but adoptions alone cannot solve the problem.
The tragedy of homeless animals waiting for adoption in US shelters is serious and it can be attributed in part to people who fail to have their pets spayed or neutered, and who abandon or give up pets because of lack of commitment to training the pet.
Sterilization of companion animals is the key to reducing this tragedy. Communities that have established sterilization programs have seen the number of pets euthanized drop by 30 to 60%.
Advantages for You and Your Pet
- Altered animals (especially males) are less territorial and less likely to roam. Research indicates that 80% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered males.
Altered pets are less aggressive, less likely to fight or bite, as documented in studies.
- Neutered pets are less likely to urine mark on furniture, rugs and household items.
- Spayed females will not have heat cycles that soil rugs and furniture and usually shed less fur.
- Neutered pets can't develop testicular tumors, the second most common malignancy in males, and have a lower incidence of prostate cancer, which is better for your pet and means lower medical bills.
- Spayed females typically stay healthier and live longer. They have a lower incidence of mammary tumors and no uterine or ovarian cancer, which is better for your pet and means lower medical bills.
- Sterilization does not change the pet's personality.
- Removing the urge to mate focuses more of a pet's attention on the family, aiding in training.
When to Spay or Neuter
Pets can become capable of reproduction as early as 6 months of age. That's why dogs and cats should be spayed or neutered before the age of six months, as endorsed by the AVMA; the chief veterinarian of the Humane Society of the United States recommends 4 months as ideal. Older pets can safely be sterilized as well. This routine surgical procedure removes the reproductive organs. It does not cause the pet pain or stress, and most pets recover within a day.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian to spay or neuter your pet today. Or contact local low-cost spay/neuter sources such as HOPE for Animals Spay Neuter Clinic or The Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic.