Every year millions of animals are killed in our shelters because there are not enough good homes for them. This tragedy is preventable. By spaying or neutering cats and dogs we can humanely end the companion animal overpopulation crisis.
MYTH: Spaying and neutering are painful.
FACT: Veterinarians perform spay and neuter surgeries under a general anesthetic. Animals usually return to normal activity within 24 to 72 hours. Any discomfort experienced is minimal, and well outweighs the suffering and death caused by uncurbed breeding. Altering animals also eliminates the risk of certain diseases, such as mammary and testicular cancer. And keep in mind that unaltered male animals are more likely to be killed by cars as a result of straying from home.
MYTH: Animals must be at least six months old before they can be spayed or neutered.
FACT: Although animals have traditionally been altered at six months, veterinarians are now practicing early spay/neuter surgery, which can be performed on animals as young as eight weeks.
Doctors practicing the technique report that the surgery is significantly easier and quicker to perform. Furthermore guardians of animals altered younger report fewer medical problems than those of conventionally altered animals. Finally, the spy/neuter procedure, prior to adopting out animals from shelters, is the best way to ensure that unwanted births do not occur.
MYTH: Animals, dogs in particular, are less protective after sterilization and show other negative behavioral changes.
FACT: Any changes brought about by spaying/neutering are generally positive. Neutered male cats usually stop territorial spraying. Neutered dogs and cats fight less and are less likely to become lost due to straying from home in search of a mate. Spayed animals do not go into heat or need to be confined indoors to avoid pregnancy. All altered animals remain protective and loyal to their guardians.
MYTH: Males don’t give birth so we don’t need to neuter them.
FACT: The old saying “it takes two to tango” is as true for animals as it is for humans. And while a female dog or cat can only have one litter at a time, male animals can impregnate many females each day.
MYTH: Spaying and neutering is expensive.
FACT: While prices vary considerably, many humane societies and municipal animal control departments offer low-cost spay/neuter services. And while the cost of surgery may seem high initially, it’s a real bargain when compared with the cost of raising a litter of puppies or kittens. Spaying and neutering also save taxpayer dollars. On average, it costs approximately $100 to capture, house, feed and eventually kill a homeless animal – a cost that ultimately comes out of all our pockets.
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