Responsible pet care givers understand the importance of spaying or neutering their companion animals. Spaying or neutering reduces or eliminates many serious health problems that can be painful and life threatening to your dog, and even if the treatment is successful, it is usually very expensive! Spaying your female dog greatly reduces her chances of developing breast cancer, and lowers the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer and uterine infection, which are common occurrences in unaltered females. Neutering your male dog decreases the probability of testicular tumors and prostate problems, and also decreases the possibility of perianal tumors and hernias, which often develop in older, intact dogs. Neutering makes pets less likely to roam, run away, or get into fights, and they usually exhibit fewer behavior and temperament problems than those left intact.
Almost every community is faced with pet overpopulation as the result of accidental or poorly planned breeding. Consider the fact that the average number of litters a fertile dog can produce in one year is two, and the average number of animals in an average canine litter is six to ten. Theoretically in six years, one female dog and her offspring can produce more than 60,000 dogs. An 8-10 million animals are taken to shelters every year, and, unfortunately many of them are never adopted. Communities spend millions of dollars to control unwanted animals, and shelters are overburdened with surplus animals.
There are many excuses given for not altering a pet:
- It is NOT true that this surgery will make your dog fat and lazy. Inactivity and overfeeding cause an animal to become fat!
- It is also NOT true that neutering will “ruin a good dog.” There seems to be a male ego notion that neutering a dog is tied to a guy’s masculinity. Dogs don’t have any concept of sexual identity, and won’t suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
- Another common excuse is, “We want the children to witness the birth.” There are countless books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a responsible manner. Chances are that the kids wouldn’t be around for the event anyway.
- Then there is the idea that puppies can be sold to make money. Even legitimate breeders are fortunate to break even on litters, because the cost of properly raising a litter usually consumes most of the “profit.” Finding good homes for these puppies can be difficult and shelters are already crowded with unwanted dogs, and even if you find homes for your puppies that means that other dogs will be left homeless. Leave the breeding to professional dog breeders!
The only way to stop the heartrending reality of the companion animal overpopulation is through spaying and neutering your own pets and convincing others to do the same. Don’t procrastinate until you are faced with “Oops…an unplanned litter of pups.”
My Time Is Up
It’s lonely here at the shelter… I get good food and care, and the humans try their best, but with each passing day, I get more depressed and lonely, and my friends here are crying for attention too. How I long for a family to love. Every day people say I am too big or too small, my hair is too long or too short, or my ears are too floppy. I don’t understand. Can’t I be loved just the way I am? I guess I’ll just stop getting up when people come in. I still wag my tail at friendly faces, but I think they see the tears in my eyes, so they hurry on past. Today they came to my cage saying that my time was up. My time is up! Does that mean someone is coming to love me? I wag my tail as they take me from my cage…
Every animal that is put down is heartbreaking…The TLC does NOT euthanize healthy dogs, but it is a necessary evil at shelters across the country…no one wants to put them down, but sometimes there is no choice. And the strays that wander, suffer, and starve to death, make it even more imperative that we take action to end the overpopulation of companion animals. Please be part of the solution and alter your pet. It is the right thing to do