It’s no secret that choosing to adopt a pet saves a life, but many people don’t realize how critical the combination of spay/neuter programs and pet adoption is. Unless you’re planning on breeding your pet, it’s very important to be sure your newly adopted pet is spayed or neutered. Read on to learn the importance of spay/neuter programs and pet adoption.
Spay/Neuter programs and pet adoption check-list
1. Population control
It is estimated that a single unspayed female cat, and her offspring, can reproduce up to 400 more cats in her lifetime. With over 3 million cats entering shelters across the country, it’s easy to do the math. Clearly, this is one of the reasons animal shelters and rescues focus on spay/neuter programs and pet adoption, not just one or the other.
2. Medical benefits
Spaying your female pet will allow her to live a longer, healthier life. This simple surgical procedure helps prevent mammary tumors, which are cancerous in one out of two cases in dogs, and almost all cases in cats. For the best chance of preventing these types of cancers, make sure your female pet is spayed before her first heat. Spaying your female pet will also remove the risk of a common condition called pyometra. This condition is very serious and if left untreated, will be fatal. In addition, having your newly adopted male feline or canine friend neutered will entirely remove the risk of testicular cancer and will also decrease the risk of prostate problems.
3. Behavioral benefits
“Intact” pets, or pets that have not been spayed/neutered, will listen to their biological tendencies and look for a mate. This means they are much more likely to roam and ignore commands from their guardian. In addition, other undesirable behaviors may surface. Cats tend to urinate or spray in the house, and dogs are more likely to hump their human or canine companions. This is another reason why shelters and rescues combine spay/neuter programs and pet adoption, as their goals is to see pets stay in their forever home. Newly adopted pets who act this way after adoption are less likely to be successful in the new home.
You may have heard that spaying or neutering your pet will cause them to slow down or gain weight, but there is no evidence that spaying or neutering will do anything to change your pet’s personality or waistline. Also, many people worry that neutering a male pet will make them less “manly” but again, veterinarians across the country agree that it there’s no science to back up that claim. For more myths about spaying and neutering, read this.
If you’ve decided that spay/neuter programs and pet adoption go hand in hand, we encourage you to visit your local animal shelter or rescue to see who is looking for a new home. Or, if you aren’t looking to adopt, help spread the word about the importance of spay/neuter programs and pet adoption.
Angela Marcus is a life-long animal advocate and co-founder of GetYourPet.com, the first nation-wide online pet adoption community that directly connects people who need to rehome a pet with people who want to adopt a pet.