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By making sure that your pet can't have puppies or kittens, you'll have peace of mind that his or her offspring won't be euthanized in an animal shelter.

Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide more than 3 million cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters. You might think that these are animals born in the streets or there is something "wrong" with them. But often they are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Maybe someone's dog or cat got out just that one time or maybe the litter was intentional, but efforts to find enough good homes failed.

Still the result is homeless animals that have to be euthanized because there are more dogs and cats entering shelters than there are people willing to provide them with loving care. Even if you do find homes for your pet's puppies or kittens, that means there are fewer homes available to take in other pets from shelters. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100-percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats.

Help your community … and yourself

Homeless animals may get into trash containers, defecate in the neighborhood and bite or attack. Spaying or neutering your pet means that your animal and its potential offspring won't contribute to the population of unwanted pets.

You can also enjoy your spayed or neutered pet more. Female pets that have been spayed do not go into heat. You won't have the mess that comes with the female reproductive cycle or the boisterous, noisy male suitors. Spaying and neutering may also reduce the risk of certain health problems, offering you more years with your beloved dog or cat.

Top 10 Reasons to Spay or Neuter Your Pet - Adapted from the ASPCA

1. Your female dog or cat will live a longer, healthier life.

Spaying—the removal of the ovaries and uterus—is a veterinary procedure performed under general anesthesia that usually requires minimal hospitalization. Spaying a female cat or dog helps prevent pyometra (pus-filled uterus) and breast cancer. Treatment of pyometra requires hospitalization, intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Breast cancer can be fatal in about 50 percent of female dogs and in 90 percent of female cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.

2. There are major health benefits for your male animal companion, too.

Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male dog or cat—the surgical removal of the testicles—prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.

3. Your spayed female won't go into heat.

While cycles can vary greatly, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they'll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house. Unspayed female dogs generally have a bloody discharge for about a week, and can conceive for another week or so.

4. Your male dog won't need to roam away from home…

An intact male in search of a mate will do just about anything to get one! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he's free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.

5. …and he will be much better behaved to boot!

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. Indoors, male dogs may embarrass you by mounting on furniture and human legs when stimulated. And FYI, a neutered dog protects his home and family just as well as unneutered dog--and many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.

6. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.

It's no use to use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.

7. Spaying or neutering is highly cost-effective.

The cost of your pet's spay or neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with neighborhood strays…or the cost of cleaning the carpet that your unspayed female keeps mistaking for her litter box, or the cost of…well, you get the idea!

8. It’s good for the community.

Stray animals pose real problems in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause vehicular accidents, damage the local fauna and scare children.

9. Your pet doesn't need to have a litter for your children to witness the miracle of birth.

We've heard this one a lot. But you know what? Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping teaches your children irresponsibility. Anyone who has seen an animal euthanized in a shelter for lack of a home knows the truth behind this dangerous myth. There are countless books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a responsible manner.

10. It packs a powerful punch in the fight against pet overpopulation.

Millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized annually or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unwanted, unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

We at Wiregrass Spay&Neuter Alliance are dedicated to providing a non-lethal solution to the problem of shelter overpopulation.

 

Safe and effective

Licensed veterinarians perform the spay or neuter operation while the pet is under anesthesia.  If you have a new puppy or kitten, don't wait! Pets can become parents sooner than you think. Early age spay/neuter is safe and effective.

Millions of pet deaths each year are a tragedy—but it can be solved. By spaying and neutering your pet, you can be an important part of the solution. Contact the Wiregrass Spay/Neuter Alliance today and be sure to let your family and friends know that they should do the same.