- Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Neutering also eliminates the risk of testicular cancer in male dogs, which is common. It also decreases the risk of anal cancer.
- Your spayed female won't go into heat.
Female cats usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. While in heat, female cats will yowl and urinate more frequently.
- Your male dog won't want to roam from home.
An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate, including digging under the fence or jumping over it. While roaming, he’s at risk for getting into fights with other animals or getting struck by a vehicle. Approximately 85 percent of companion animals hit by cars are not fixed.
- Neutered pets will behave better.
Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. Unneutered dogs and cats are known to mark their territory by spraying urine. Aggression issues also can be avoided by neutering early.
- Spaying and neutering fights pet overpopulation.
Every year, millions of cats and dogs are euthanized or endure suffering as strays, the result of high of unplanned litters that could have been prevented.
- Spay/neuter saves taxpayer dollars.
USA Today estimates U.S. taxpayers shell out $2 billion a year to impound, shelter, euthanize and dispose of homeless animals.
MYTH: Altering a pet is unnatural and/or a sin.
TRUTH: Sterilizing a pet is neither unnatural nor does it violate any religious tenet. No less of an authority than Bishop Michael Sis of the Catholic Diocese of San Angelo preaches that point. “It is not a sin to sterilize a pet,” says Bishop Sis, whose father was a veterinarian. “Sterilizing cats and dogs is a good and loving decision. In the Book of Genesis, when God created human beings, he gave them dominion over all the animals. He made humans stewards of the natural world. The decision to spay or neuter a cat or dog is an act of careful stewardship of the animals that God has entrusted to us. It reduces the number of stray animals on the streets who end up getting euthanized in shelters.”
MYTH: Every animal should have one litter.
TRUTH: Pets that never sexually mature are healthier.
MYTH: I don’t allow my pet outside or around other pets, so he/she can’t get pregnant or impregnate another animal.
TRUTH: Unaltered pets can dig out or jump fences to satisfy their instinctual need to procreate. A male dog can smell a female in heat from three miles away, while a male cat can smell a female cat in heat a mile away.
MYTH: Neutering my dog or cat will make him feel like less of a male.
TRUTH: Pets do not have any concept of sexual identity or ego.
MYTH: My pet is a purebred and shouldn’t be spayed or neutered.
TRUTH: Twenty-five percent of all animals in shelter are purebred; allowing your pet – mixed breed or not – to breed contributes to the problem of companion animal overpopulation. About half of all animals entering shelters nationwide are euthanized for lack of space. The number in San Angelo is closer to 75 percent.
MYTH: I can’t afford to have my pet spayed or neutered.
TRUTH: Concho Valley PAWS and the City of San Angelo both have low-cost or free spay/neuter vouchers for low-income families. PAWS also once a month provides vouchers ($50 for dogs, $25 for cats) for pet owners regardless of income.
MYTH: My pet is too old or too young to be spayed or neutered.
TRUTH: Dogs and cats can become pregnant long before they are a year old. Senior pets also can get pregnant, and giving birth at an advanced age can be deadly.
MYTH: Spaying or neutering one dog or cat won’t make a dent in overpopulation.
TRUTH: A female cat and her offspring theoretically can biologically produce 420,000 cats in seven years. A female dog and its offspring can produce 67,000 dogs in six years.
MYTH: I always find loving homes for my pets’ litters, so I am not contributing to the problem.
TRUTH: For every home you find for your pet, one less animal will be adopted from a rescue or kill shelter.
MYTH: I want my children to witness the miracle of birth.
TRUTH: Allowing your pet to breed despite animal overpopulation and the suffering it causes teaches your child irresponsibility and a low value for life.