Putting an end to pet euthanasia for good is a challenging goal. One that can only ever be achieved by more people choosing to adopt vs. shop, as well as helping to ensure that more animals are spayed or neutered. Every animal you bring home from My Furry Valentine will already be spayed or neutered, as well as properly vaccinated before you bring them home, making it one less concern or cost you need to worry about.
The following post has been contributed by Melanie Corwin, Executive Director of United Coalition for Animals Non-Profit Spay/Neuter Clinic, to give us all a little more information about the importance of spay and neuter.
Over 70,000 puppies and kittens are born each day in the U.S., compared to 10,000 people. Over half of these litters are “oops” (unintended) litters. As a result, approximately 7.6 million cats and dogs enter shelters in the U.S. each year and approximately 3 million of those, many who are healthy or treatable, are euthanized for space. The Hamilton County shelter – SPCA Cincinnati – took in over 13,000 cats and dogs in 2016 alone.
SPAY/NEUTER IS THE SIMPLEST SOLUTION
Sterilizing animals means fewer unwanted cats and dogs being born into abuse, neglect and abandonment to overcrowded shelters and therefore fewer animals being euthanized. Research shows that the intake and euthanasia rates at shelters decrease significantly when low-cost spay/neuter services are available.
SPAY/NEUTER BENEFITS TO THE COMMUNITY
Communities spend millions of dollars each year to control homeless animals, including the fees of dog wardens and the costs to collect, house and feed the homeless animals. According to the Humane Society of the U. S., it costs an average of $176 to collect, shelter and euthanize a single animal. This does not include indirect amounts spent by our health, fire and police departments on animal-related issues and by our courts on animal abuse/neglect cases. So, even if you don’t own a pet, you still pay for this. And, since it is money spent to treat symptoms and not causes, you’ll pay for it again year after year.
BENEFITS OF SPAY/NEUTER TO YOUR PET
In addition to fighting pet overpopulation, spay/neuter surgery has many benefits for your pet, including:
- Your pet will live a longer, healthier life! Many studies show spayed/neutered animals live longer because surgery prevents or significantly decreases the risk of certain types of cancer, including testicular and ovarian cancer, and infections.
- Your spayed female won’t go into heat. While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat 4 to 5 days every three weeks during breeding season and can attract unwanted suitors. In an effort to advertise for mates, they can cry incessantly, act nervous and urinate more frequently – sometimes all over the house!
- Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home. An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and escaping at any opportunity. Stray animals can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, get in fights with other animals, damage the local fauna and frighten children.
- Your neutered male will be much better behaved. Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many behavior problems can be avoided by early neutering.
- It saves you money in the long run! The cost of spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for an unwanted litter, treating cancers and other medical conditions that spaying/neutering can eliminate or significantly reduce the risks of occurring, and treating injuries caused by fights.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- Make sure your own animals are properly spayed and neutered.
- Volunteer with local rescues and shelters – start by checking out the websites of the organizations participating in My Furry Valentine or helping out your local county shelter.
- Lastly, if you can’t donate time, donate money. Even a little bit can make a big difference.