Paw Prints: Be responsible … Spay, neuter pet before litter season | Valley Life

You should be making plans now, if you haven’t already, to get your pet spayed or neutered. According to the Humane Society of the United States, thousands and thousands of kittens and puppies are born everyday. Between 6 and 8 million dogs (25% of these are purebred) and cats are placed into shelters every year, and 3 to 4 million of these are euthanized. This is the obvious consequence of uncontrolled breeding thus turning local humane shelters into warehouses that are forced to euthanize animals one after another. These living, breathing creatures are considered “throwaways” when it becomes inconvenient. Not to mention the millions of tax dollars spent trying to cope with the overpopulation of pets.

The American Pet Products Manufacturers Association conducted a survey in 2003-04, which revealed that about 65 million dogs are owned in the U. S. and of those owned dogs, 72 percent are spayed or neutered. There are about 77.6 million owned cats in the U.S. and 84 percent are spayed or neutered. Of these owned pets, only 16 to 18 percent have been adopted from a shelter. The average number of litters per cat in one year is 3, and in 7 years, one female cat and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats. The average number of litters per dog is 2, and in 6 years, one female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs.

Why should you spay or neuter your pet? Because it is the responsible thing to do … for you, for your pet, and for your community. It not only helps your pet to live longer, healthier lives, it can also help eliminate health issues that are expensive to treat. Spaying/neutering helps your pet to be more affectionate and it eliminates the heat cycle. Medical evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are healthier. Male cats will become less likely to spray and be less aggressive, less likely to roam or get into fights. Spayed or neutered animals are less likely to bite. It’s important to neuter as much as it is to spay. Male dogs/cats will not suffer any identity crisis when they are neutered.

The solution is simple. We can only make a difference by spaying or neutering our companion animals, which will dramatically reduce the amount of unwanted animals born. Even in cities with increasing human population, there has been reductions of euthanasia by 30 to 60% due completely to the implementation of spay/neuter programs. If you allow your pet to have litters, it is just one more puppy or kitten in a shelter somewhere that won’t get a home. As the HSUS states, “The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time.”

We claim to love cats and dogs. Millions of households have pets. As a nation, we need to take a hard look at the statistics … the millions of cats and dogs abandoned on the streets or dumped into shelters. As challenging as pet overpopulation is, it could be solved if we each would not allow our pets to breed. Spaying or neutering is a small price to pay for a solution to the crisis.

Pet of the Week

Bailey is an 8-year-old Chihuahua mix taken in on June 29, 2020, from a home without air conditioning, windows closed and no water to drink, because there was no running water to the house. Bailey’s poor coat and skin condition is the result of an untreated yeast infection of her skin. In addition, she tested positive for Lyme disease and heart worm. She’s currently being treated for both the yeast infection and Lyme disease and will be scheduled for heart worm treatment. She’s had several litters of puppies but she’s now spayed. Bailey’s a real sassy pants who walks briskly and, for the most part, in a straight line. She would make a great lap dog. Her adoption fee is $125 and helps cover the cost of her spay, worming, vaccinations, microchip, monthly heart worm, flea and tick preventive, her Lyme disease and yeast infection treatment and care while at the Clay County Humane Shelter in Brazil. Call 812-446-5126 to meet Bailey.

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