Ending pet overpopulation through spaying and neutering is one of ISF’s greatest passions and goals. February 28th is World Spay Day, so what better time to reintroduce the subject to all of you future and current change-makers?
Just a Quick Reminder…
In case you’ve forgotten, (or are learning for the first time!) spaying (for females) and neutering (for males, though sometimes used in reference to both females AND males) is a medical procedure performed by a veterinarian that results in the dog or cat being unable to produce offspring. But spaying and neutering can provide even more benefits; they also help in preventing certain kind of cancers in your cats and dogs too!
Why are Spaying and Neutering So Important?
In the United States alone, there are an estimated 6 to 8 million homeless animals brought into animal shelters every year. Unfortunately, only about half of these animals are adopted and many of the remaining are euthanized. In some states, as many as 300,000 homeless animals are euthanized every year. These are NOT all homeless animals found on the street; many are offspring from beloved family pets who WERE NOT spayed or neutered and the family simply could not take care of them all.
“Nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. Spay/neuter is the only permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats”.
The “When?” of Spaying and Neutering
As we’ve already mentioned, spaying and neutering reduces your pets risk of certain types of cancers. Non-spayed animals have a higher chance of developing several types of cancers, including those of the reproductive system. Females spayed before their first heat are typically healthier as some cats and dogs are getting sterilized as young as eight weeks old, (as long as they are healthy!) Dogs can be neutered into adulthood, but that could result in higher risk complications post-operation. It’s advised that cats be spayed or neutered before five months of age, and they can even be spayed while in heat. The best thing to do is talk to the veterinarian to determine the best time.
ISF Helps Fight Pet Overpopulation
To date, ISF has held TWO two-day spay/neuter clinics, the first, Missisnippin’, was held in Mississippi is June 2014, and the second was in New Mexico this past May (2016).
During our Missisnippin’ clinic we:
• Spayed 78 animals, (forty-two cats and thirty-six dogs)
• Neutered 25 animals, (ten cats and fifteen dogs)
To give you an idea of just how quickly cats and dogs can reproduce, by spaying 78 females we prevented up to 20,052,000 babies in seven years and by neutering 25 males we prevented up to 55,000 new babies being born in one year!!!
At our New Mexico clinic, held at a Navajo Reservation in Pine Hill, New Mexico, 116 animals were spayed and neutered, as well as given much-needed vaccines, health care, and preventative medicine.
What Can YOU Do To Help Fight Pet Overpopulation?
If you decide to get a new pet remember, ADOPT don’t SHOP! Even if it isn’t you who’s getting the new pet, spread the message to your family and friends!!! Also, make sure your pets have been spayed/neutered, and again, make sure your family and friends also know how important it is to get this done. You don’t have to annoy them, just drop some facts if they happen to mention that they haven’t! Keep an eye on ISF’s social media accounts this month as we continue to share important facts about spaying and neutering with you! #NeuterNow #SpayToday #ISF #ISFCreatures
Photos courtesy of Vanessa Savage