OVERPOPULATION – THE IMPORTANCE OF SPAYING/NEUTERING
Believe it or not, the pet population is twice that of the number of people in the US. Recent studies have come up with the following data pronouncing pet population as pet overpopulation.
50,000 puppies and kittens are born each day
For every pet with a home, there are 4 who are abandoned, abused and neglected.
An average of a almost 100 dogs find themselves in shelters every single day.
Every year 30% to 60% of these animals have to be destroyed. Euthanizing pets is a last recourse since shelters have no means to support an estimated 40-60 million animals.
The facts are startling, but true. The cause of over population is simple, pet owners are not having their pets spayed or neutered. It is not startling that pets procreate and do it at a prolific rate. In fact, a population of 420,000 cats is derived in 7 years from just 1 female cat and her offspring. Female dogs and her offspring on the other hand produce 67,000 pups in just 6 years.
Most times, reluctance to spay and neuter pets rise from misconceptions, misplaced pity and blind acceptance of pet ownership. What is worse, there are defiant pet owners who refuse this practice since it is costly and it is convenient to just abandon the unwanted offspring. A common misconception among many pet owners is that their pets will get lazy and fat when they spayed or neutered. This amuses veterinarians since it is not scientifically based or proven. In almost every case, obesity in pets is in the hands of the owners since proper pet care means making sure your pet exercises daily.
COMMON MYTHES ABOUT SPAYING & NEUTERING:
Most of these myths have been passed along for years and years without any basis in fact. People still believe false statements like: "It will calm her down to have a litter" and "He needs to sow his oats," or "It will make her/him more protective." These are all inaccurate viewpoints and flat nonsense; and you have probably heard them all! Let’s look at a few more.
1. My dog is a purebred so it's ok if I breed.
The fact is that 25% of all animals found in a shelter are AKC or UKC purebreds. Know what that means? NOT MUCH! Those letters just mean they belong to a club and are registered to it. There is no guarantee of quality.
2. My pet is a male; I won’t have any litters.
These animals are a very big part of the pet overpopulation problem since they escape and breed with females in heat. They roam more, are more aggressive, and create many litters for someone else to raise.
3. It costs too much.
It will cost you a lot more to care for the litters created by your pet! If you have a litter and take proper care of it your cost factors are much more than a spay/neuter procedure would ever be. It will also cost less than the vet bills incurred from your male running after the female in heat up the road, and getting injured by a car. There are programs for assistance for those who cannot afford to get the procedure done.
4. My female needs to have at least one litter.
Does a woman need to have at least one child? Having a litter does not in any way improve or change a pet's disposition. It will however drain her body of nutrients, make her thin, and can weaken her bones and teeth.
5. Spaying & neutering is painful for the pet.
How painful is giving birth? Have you ever watched a female die in giving birth? Have you ever spent days trying to save dying puppies? Surgery is performed under anesthesia and animals are usually back on their feet into normal activities within 24 to 72 hours. This slight discomfort is not harmful and prevents the suffering and death of hundreds of unwanted animals that could be born if you do not spay/neuter your pet.
6. If I neuter my male, he won't be as protective.
Instinct is not affected by hormones. In fact, most pets will actually be more effective at protection since they will have stabilized hormones. They are usually easier to train. Altered animals are protective and loyal to their owners and often will have reduced desires to wander, mark territory and fight with other animals.
7. My pet will get fat and lazy.
With the right amount of food and exercise, your pet will not become fat. He will require fewer calories to maintain proper weight and should be fed less - he will be less expensive to feed! A dog's laziness or inactivity depends on his personality and temperament.
8. Only females need to be fixed, it's not my responsibility.
As we all know it takes two to tango. The female may end up with the litter, but it's just as much his doing as hers.
If this has not convinced you to neuter your animal, please go visit a shelter and spend some time there. Ask when they euthanize animals and witness how the animals cringe and defecate in fear as they are taken out to be killed. Look them in the eyes and explain why you do not want to neuter your pet.