1) It helps to reduce companion animal overpopulation. Most countries have a surplus of companion animals and are forced to euthanize or disregard their great suffering. The surplus is in the millions in the United States. Cats are 45 times as prolific, and dogs 15 times as prolific, as humans. They do not need our help to expand their numbers; they need our help to reduce their numbers until there are good homes for them all.
2) Sterilization of your cat or dog will increase his/her chance of a longer and healthier life. Altering your canine friend will increase his life an average of 1 to 3 years, felines, 3 to 5 years. Altered animals have a very low to no risk for mammary gland tumors/cancer, prostate cancer, perianal tumors, pyometria, and uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers.
3) Sterilizing your cat/dog makes him/her a better pet, reducing his/her urge to roam and decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or getting hurt as they roam. Surveys indicate that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered. Intact male cats living outside have been shown to live on average less than two years. Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by bites and intact cats fight a great deal more than altered cats.
Q: But my dog (or cat) is so special, I want a puppy (or kitten) just like her.
A: A dog or cat may be a great pet, but that doesn't mean that her offspring will be a carbon copy. Professional animal breeders who follow generations of bloodlines can't guarantee they will get just what they want out of a particular litter. A pet owners chances are even slimmer. In fact, an entire litter of puppies or kittens might receive all of a pet's (and her mate's) worst characteristics.
Q: But my pet is purebred . . .
A: So is at least 1 out of every 4 pets brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats - mixed breed AND purebred in shelters.
Q: I don't want my male dog to feel like less of a male.
A: Pets don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego. These are emotions and feelings that humans place on their pet. Neutering will not change a pet's basic personality. He doesn't suffer any kind of emotional reaction or identity crisis when neutered.
Q: Isn't it better to have one litter before I spay my pet?
A: Medical evidence indicates just the opposite. In fact, the evidence shows that females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier. Many veterinarians now sterilize dogs and cats as young as 8 weeks of age. Check with your vet about the appropriate time for these procedures.
Q: It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
A: The cost of spaying or neutering depends on the sex, size, and age of the pet, your vet's fees, and a number of other variables. But whatever the actual price the spay or neuter surgery is a one time cost - a relatively small cost when compared to all the benefits. It's a bargain compared to the cost of having a litter and ensuring the health of the mother and litter; two months of pregnancy and another two months until the litter is weaned can add up to significant vet bills and food costs if complications develop. Most importantly, it's a very small price to pay for the health of your pet and the preventing of the births of more unwanted pets. Please visit our Low Cost Spay / Neuter page for more information.
Q: MYTH: I"ll be able to find GOOD homes for ALL the puppies and kittens.
A: You may find homes for all your pet's litter. But each home you find means one less home for the dogs and cats in the shelters who need good homes. Also, in less than one year's time your pet's offspring may have his or her own litter, adding even more animals to the population. The problem of pet overpopulation is created and perpetuated one litter at a time. In addition - there is always a chance that you will not find good homes for your entire litter. Are you willing and able to care for 2-8+ puppies or kittens, for the rest of their lives, should no suitable homes be found?
Q: What if I want my children to experience the miracle of birth?
A: Even if children are able to see a pet give birth - which is unlikely, since it usually occurs at night and in seclusion - the lesson they will really learn is that animals can be created and discarded as it suits adults. Instead, it should be explained to children that the real miracle is life and that preventing the birth of some pets can save the lives of others.
Q: What if I want my dog to be protective of me and my family?
A: Spaying and neutering does not affect a dog's natural instinct to protect home and family. A dog's personality is formed more by genetics and environment than by sex hormones.
Q: Will my pet get fat and lazy?
A: The truth is that most pets get fat and lazy because their owners feed them too much and don't give them enough exercise.