Why Spay or Neuter?
We all love our pets. But, there are too many pets and not enough homes for them all. Pet overpopulation is a severe problem! Every hour, there are 10,000 babies born and 70,000 puppies! The numbers don't add up!!! Every year thousands of unwanted animals are euthanized, even worse, an unknown number of unwanted and abandoned dogs are left to perish on our streets. Pet overpopulation is not limited to "mutts" - approximately 40% of the dogs available for adoption are purebred.
Pet overpopulation is more than a humane problem, it is a fiscal problem. It costs taxpayers a million and a half dollars a year to operate a county Animal Control and the Animal Shelter, and to care for an average of 12,000 animals per year which come there.
Please, don't have a litter of puppies so your kids can see the miracle of life and the experience of watching puppies grow. Having a litter of puppies in the house is expensive and messy. Children frequently lose interest after a few weeks, leaving the parent with the chore of dealing with the puppies. Sometimes the family pet is unwilling or unable to care for the litter, giving the owners the time consuming job of hand-raising 7 or 8 little ones for 8 weeks.
The idea of life should not be created for casual and selfish purposes should be taught to every child and introducing the opportunity to the concept of reproductive responsibility is a far better lesson to teach the kids than the one they'll learn by experiencing the birth of a litter. Even if you find good homes for all your puppies, your conscience should still not be clear. Your puppies took away available homes from other puppies that are homeless and more than likely will be euthanized.
Spaying and neutering can improve your pet's health! Repeated veterinary studies show that spayed/neutered dogs have a longer average life span than intact animals. For example:
- Up to 65% of unspayed female dogs will develop mammary tumors (half of which are cancerous) by the age of 10. By contrast, less than 1% of female dogs spayed before their first heat will develop mammary tumors. Statistically, for every heat cycle a dog goes through, the dog's chances of having mammary tumors increases by a factor of 10.
- Canine diabetes is most common in unspayed older females. Study results show that 38 to 85 percent of older unspayed female dogs will develop diabetes.
- Older unspayed female dogs are prone to having severe uterine infections which can be life-threatening, and can necessitate emergency spay surgery. The risk of these infections is completely eliminated in a spayed female.
- Spay surgery performed on a healthy female dog is less risky for that dog than having puppies.
- Up to 50% of unaltered male dogs will develop testicular cancer by age 14, a risk completely eliminated in altered male dogs.
- A type of perianal cancer has a very rapid and deadly growth in unaltered male dogs, because the rate of spread of this cancer seems to correlate with the amount of testosterone in the dog's system. This cancer grows very slowly in a neutered male.
- Unaltered male dogs frequently develop prostate problems as they age, necessitating neutering surgery at that time, a greater risk in an older dog.
For the animals' sake, we all need to work together to prevent pet overpopulation.