An Urgent Call to Spay and Neuter
In communities throughout the United States, animal shelters kill large numbers of dogs and cats every day. In Los Angeles alone, 60,000 animals die annually. In the San Francisco Bay Area, authorities kill one animal every nine minutes. The New York City shelter system euthanized 39,000 animals in 1999. Such deaths could be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, if all animal guardians would simply spay and neuter their animals. This simple procedure can usually be done at low cost upon the adoption of a pet from an animal shelter, or at a clinic once an animal has been brought into one's home.

Sterilization programs instituted in large and small cities achieve significant reductions in impounded, and euthanized, animals. Since the city of Denver adopted strict spay and neutering laws in 1993, its number of impounded animals has decreased by eighteen percent.

Yet it is estimated that 50% of all licensed companion animals are neither spayed or neutered. These un-sterilized animals reproduce at an awesome pace. In six years, one female cat has the capability of giving rise to 420,000 young, and one female dog can produce up to 67,000 puppies.

Some inadvertent breeders take unwanted young to animal shelters. Other animals end up abandoned in streets or fields, where they die in a harsh environment or become feral, barely surviving. Abandoned cats, dogs, and other animals needlessly suffer from hunger, malnutrition, and exposure to the elements.

In the Bay Area, many shelters kill 70% of the animals that they receive. Animal control agencies and humane societies must put these animals to sleep because there are not enough homes available to receive the number of abandoned pets taken in by authorities.

Did You Know?

  • At the rate companion animals are being bred, whether on purpose or by accident, there will never be enough homes.

  • Females can become pregnant as young as 4 months old!

  • Rabbits can start breeding as young as 3 months old, can have a litter every month and have up to 14 bunnies in each litter.

  • One intact cat can produce 80,000 offspring in just 10 years with only 2 surviving kittens per litter. One intact dog can produce almost as many!

  • Rabbits, guinea pigs, ferrets, and other small animals are popular companions who also suffer due to overpopulation.

  • Other common synonymous terms for spay/neuter are altered, fixed, & desexed.

  • Many "purebred" animals are surrendered to shelters as well as mixed breeds. 

  • In males, neutering decreases the chances of developing prostatic disease and hernias, and eliminates the chances of developing testicular cancer.

  • In females, spaying decreases the incidence of breast cancer. The rate goes down to almost zero if the spaying is done before the first heat cycle. It eliminates the chance of developing a serious and potentially fatal infection of the uterus experienced by many mature unspayed animals (pyometra).

  • Spaying and neutering greatly increases the lifespan of companion animals and increases quality of life as well.

    Low-Cost Spay/Neuter State by State Listings

Due to the lack of a good home, it is estimated that a healthy shelter animal is euthanized every 1.5 seconds. 

Euthanasia Death Toll
since Oct 27, 2001
Courtesy of Pet-Abuse.Com


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