February is Spay and Neuter Awareness Month which means this is a good time to reflect on the overpopulation of animals currently sitting in shelters and rescue agencies all across the United States.
Having your pet spayed or neutered is an important decision to make when adopting a new kitten, puppy, cat or dog. In the United States there are approximately 6 to 8 million animals that are currently homeless. These animals enter into shelters everyday and only half are adopted out. The other 2.7 million are euthanized due to aggression or lack of space. Having our pets spayed and neutered is the only 100 percent guaranteed method of birth control for dogs and cats.
While the number of homeless animals varies from state to state it’s important to remember that many of these animals are not the offspring of dogs and cats living on the streets. Animals surrendered to shelters are usually the puppies and kittens born to family pets as well as to purebred dogs and cats.
Why Have Your Pet Spayed or Neutered?
Pets that are spayed and neutered are healthier than pets that are not spayed or neutered. Having your pet spayed or neutered means they will also live a longer and much happier life than pets that haven’t undergone this type of procedure. Neutered dogs live 18% percent longer than unneutered dogs while spayed female dogs live 23% longer than those that have not been spayed.
Increased life span is due to the fact that dogs and cats will roam less if they’ve been spayed or neutered. Allowing them to roam means they’ll be exposed to fights with other animals or they may run into the street where they might be struck and killed by a car.
Pyrometra—A Fatal Uterine Infection
Cancer of the Reproductive System
When female puppies and kittens are spayed before their first heat cycle they are also healthier. Many veterinarians will now sterilize kittens and puppies as young as eight weeks of age.
When you spay or neuter your male kitten or puppy you eliminate the chance that he’ll develop testicular cancer. You’ll also cut down on the possibility that he’ll develop prostate cancer later on during his lifetime.
Dogs left unaltered are much more aggressive than dogs that have been altered. They’re also prone to lifting their leg and leaving their mark on EVERYTHING.
Kittens that are spayed before four months of age are less likely to spray their urine all over EVERYTHING as well. The urge to spray gets stronger as kittens grow into cats so if you own a kitten, don’t hesitate to have it altered as soon as possible.
According to http://www.azhumane.org the average cost to have a pet spayed or neutered in Arizona is:
Canine: $87.00 to $179.00
Feline: $65.00 to $85.00
If you are in need of financial assistance the Humane Society says that they have $20.00 spay/neuter vouchers available to those who might need them. You’ll need to ask about the voucher system when you make the surgery appointment for your pet.
Other specials include the Gimmie’ 10, which gives a 10 percent discount to those who present a military ID, those in law enforcement or those who are firefighters.
New Dog or Cat Toys
Unopened Wet or Dry Dog/Cat Food
To schedule surgery for your pet contact the Marge Wright Veterinary Clinic or the Margaret McAllister Brock Veterinary Clinic. More information about these clinics can be found at http://www.azhumane.org.
Every year for the past twenty-four years, the last Tuesday in February has been called World Spay Day. This year, that day falls on February 27. World Spay Day brings to light the importance of affordable, accessible spay and neuter services that should be made available to everyone.
As an individual, pet owner or not, you can sponsor a pet’s spay or neuter procedure. Contact your local shelter to make a donation or sponsor a surgery for a pet in need.
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