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  • Jennifer herne

How Important is Spaying and Neutering?

We often speak to pet owners that are hesitant about spaying or neutering their dogs and cats. There are so many benefits of spaying and neutering for your pet, but also for your community. How does it benefit your pet? Let's review a few reasons why.

Across the country millions of unwanted cats, dogs, puppies and kittens are euthanized every year. That's a depressing statement, it's sad, but true. Animal shelters are overwhelmed with animals and cannot always find homes for all of them, so to deal with the constant influx of animals they receive, space must be made for them and unfortunately the only way to make space for some organizations is to euthanize. As a responsible pet owner, you can make a difference by not bringing puppies and kittens into an already burdened community in which you live.

Spaying and neutering prevents unwanted litters, helps to protect your pet against health problems such as cancer, and may eliminate the behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct, such as roaming and fighting. Early spaying of dogs and cats can protect them from health problems later in life such as breast cancer and uterine infections. Neutering your pet can lessen his risk of developing testicular cancer and enlarged prostate gland. Spaying and neutering have no effect on your pet's ability to learn, play, work and hunt. Some pets become better behaved after getting the surgery and this can make them a better companion for you.

Some communities offer a low-cost surgery for your cat or dog; do some research on this, and keep in mind that most animals become ready for reproduction around 6 months of age. You should always get your pet into the vet for its first visit when you acquire it or at 6 weeks of age. Be responsible and proactive in your community, do the right thing and spay or neuter!

(Photo: Goldie and her 6 kittens from an Akwesasne colony. All have been spayed/neutered including the mama cat who remains on mice duty; kittens found loving homes.)

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