Why Spay and Neuter Is So Important

  • spay_neuter_ww.pngThe intentional efforts to increase and promote spay/neuter services over the past 50 years has been the single most important driver in reducing pet overpopulation and euthanasia in shelters.
    • Approximately 6.3 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.1 million are do​gs and 3.2 million are cats. 
    • Each year, approximately 920,000 shelter animals are euthanized (390,0​00 dogs and 530,000 cats).​
  • Cats can have their first heat cycle as young as 4 months old, and dogs can have their first heat cycle as young as 5-6 months old. 
  • In just seven years, one pair of unspayed/unneutered cats and their offspring can produce 420,000 cats - one pair of unspayed/unneutered  dogs and their offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in just ​six years.
  • Cats can have up to 3 litters per year, with an average of 4-6 kittens per litter; and dogs can have up to 2 litters per year, with an average of 6-10 puppies per litter.
  • Cats and dogs will breed​ with their littermates and other relatives, even their parents – they do not understand familial relationships like humans do.
  • Unneutered males (usually dogs) will travel up to FOU​R MILES away on the scent of a female in heat – they have a higher tendency to come into shelters as strays due to breaking out of their homes and yards, attempting to locate the unspayed female, and sadly they are also hit by cars at a higher rate.
  • Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our pets can get away from us. If your pet is fixed, you don't have to worry about it becoming pregnant or causing an unwanted litter (which you might not even be aware of!)
  • If your pet is fixed, you also don't have to worry about your dog or cat attracting unaltered animals seeking a mate, when they are in your yard or when out for a walk.​​
  • Can reduce or eliminate the chances of your pet developing some cancers, a​nd other diseases and complications due to producing litters.
  • Helps minimize vet bills from treating disease or litters, saves on licensing fees, and fixed pets tend to be less destructive to property and other animals. 
  • Can reduce spraying, marking, mounting, yowling, excessive barking, aggression toward people or other animals, property damage, and other unwanted behaviors. ​
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