It saves lives
It’s no secret, there is an overpopulation of unwanted pets nationwide and in our state. Every year more than 150,000 dogs and cats end up homeless in Washington State shelters alone. There are not enough people choosing to adopt those animals, and many will not make it out of the shelters alive.
Some animals end up in the shelters after they are abandoned and saved from off the streets, some from cruelty, and some are given up by their families. An unknown number of others never make it to shelters and suffer alone without someone to care for them. Spaying or neutering pets prevents unplanned and unwanted animals from being born accidentally. It is the most effective and humane way to save animals lives.
What is spay and neuter?
- A spay is the surgical removal of a female animal’s reproductive organs so she cannot become pregnant.
- A neuter is the surgical removal of a male animal’s testicles so that he cannot impregnate a female.
- The surgeries are performed by a veterinarian while animals are under general anesthesia so that they do not feel pain. An animal may experience some discomfort after the surgery, but pain medication can be given to help ease the soreness.
- When someone says an animal is “fixed” or “altered” that means the animal has been spayed or neutered.
- We recommend that people have their pets altered as soon as possible. Animals, especially cats, can get pregnant as early as five months old.
Why it’s good for me and my pet?
Your companion will live a longer, healthier life and you will experience fewer issues if you get him or her spayed or neutered.
Spaying and neutering reduces or eliminates:
- The odds of breast cancer and dangerous uterine infections in females and prostate problems and testicular cancer in males.
- Frustration in resisting the natural urge to mate. Your companion will be less distracted, more easily trained, and a more contented member of your family.
- The animal’s need to roam in search of a mate, decreasing the chances that your pet will become lost, get into fights with other animals or be hit by a car.
- Messy heat cycles in females and attracting unwanted males.
- The tendency to bite. However, your pet will still be protective of his home and family even after being altered. Aggression is different from protectiveness.
- Spraying, wailing, marking territory, or making inappropriate sexual approaches toward people or objects.
- The extra expense for food and veterinary care in the event of an unexpected litter of puppies or kittens.
- Many communities offer lower licensing fees and other benefits for spayed or neutered companion animals
Why it’s good for my community?
Spaying and neutering helps reduce the number of strays and unwanted animals in a community.
- Stray animals get into garbage cans, scare people, cause car accidents, and damage property.
- Irresponsible or accidental breeding contributes to dog attacks and bites.
- Some stray animals kill or injure wildlife.
- Communities spend millions of tax dollars every year to provide care for unwanted, abandoned and neglected animals.
What will it cost me?
The cost of a spay or neuter surgery depends on the weight, age and sex of your pet, whether or not your pet requires vaccinations and a number of other variables. It is important to remember, however, that it is a small, one-time cost compared to the numerous benefits it provides, and the number of unwanted issues that it will help you and your pet avoid. People United for Animals is dedicated to helping families spay or neuter their pets who would otherwise go unaltered. Fill out our spay/neuter assistance application, and we will do our best to make it affordable to you
A few common myths and misunderstandings
People cite many reasons why they won’t spay or neuter their animal. Among them:
- Myth: “A female cat or dog should have a litter before she is spayed.”
Fact: The sooner you spay your female, the better her health will be in the future. As long as a kitten or puppy weighs more than 2 pounds and is 2 months old, he or she can be neutered or spayed. Many veterinarians practice perfectly safe early sterilization. The longer a female goes unspayed, the greater the likelihood of developing mammary tumors or uterine infections. In fact, a female spayed before her first heat (6 to 9 months of age) has one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer as an intact female.
- Myth: “Spaying or neutering (sterilization) will change my pet’s personality.”
Fact: Any slight changes will be positive. Regardless of the age when spayed or neutered, your pet will remain a caring, loving and protective companion. Neutering will reduce the need to breed, and that has a calming effect on many animals. Both neutered male canines and felines tend to stop roaming and fighting, and they also lose the desire to mark their territory with urine.
- Myth: “Sterilization is a dangerous and painful surgery for my pet.”
Fact: Spaying and neutering are the most common surgeries performed on animals. With a minimal amount of home care, your pet will resume normal behavior in a couple of days.
- Myth: “Children should witness the miracle of birth.”
Fact: Countless books and videos are available to teach your children about birth in a responsible manner. Letting your pet produce offspring that you have no intention of keeping is teaching 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.
- Myth: “My pet will become fat.”
Fact: Absolutely not! Too much food and lack of exercise will make a pet fat. If you monitor food intake and provide exercise, your pets will stay trim. Spaying and neutering is good for your pet, since sterilized pets tend to live an average of two to three years longer than unsterilized pets.
- Myth: “He’s purebred so he can’t be fixed.”
Fact: Purebreds and their offspring also end up homeless in shelters. Purebreds not spayed or neutered can also contribute to the problem of overpopulation.
- “I will find good homes for all of the kittens (or puppies).”
If each of the great homes ready to welcome your pet’s offspring would instead adopt from a shelter, they–and you–could potentially save the lives of deserving animals waiting for a new home.
- “My pet is so special I want another pet just like her.”
You’re right! Your pet is special, and their will never be another one like him or her. There is no guarantee that puppies and kittens will inherit their parents’ best qualities. In fact, they may just as easily inherit the worst qualities. Not to mention, each pet is special in it’s own way.