Importance of Spay and Neuter Procedures
Spay and neuter surgeries are perhaps the most important veterinary procedures an animal can have. These are routine, affordable surgeries that have many health benefits and aid in the prevention of all the suffering that comes along with irresponsible breeding and animal overpopulation.
Without these programs, the majority of homeless animals (millions per year!) are euthanized, neglected, or die of the disease. To put a number on it, a female dog can produce 20 puppies in a year. A male dog can impregnate more than 100 females in a year- that is 2000 puppies! Hence, sterilization is critical to manage the stray animal population and prevent litter from being born into dangerous and inhumane street life. Also, the one-time cost of these surgeries is far lower than the cost of feeding and housing abandoned animals, caring for them, and euthanizing those that cannot find homes.
In terms of sterilizing pets, if your animal is going to come into contact with other animals you would be wise to spay or neuter. This includes dog parks, kennels, other pets and even walking down the street. Spay and neuter surgeries are the only way to ensure that your pet can enjoy these activities safely without the possibility of unwanted litter.
Spay and neuter surgeries also provide many health benefits for the animal. The risk of reproductive cancers is eliminated- this includes uterine cancer in females and testicular cancer in males. Furthermore, unaltered animals often display more behavioral and temperament problems than those that have been spayed or neutered. This means they are also more likely to roam and fight with other animals and humans. The importance of reducing behavioral issues in stray animals is clear, but spaying or neutering a pet increases the chances of a longer and healthier life for all the same reasons.
I hope now you can see all the benefits that the animals will reap over their lifetimes. Most importantly though, spaying and neutering is the most successful way to reduce the devastating loss of stray animals to euthanasia and street life. You can contribute by donating to many existing spay and neuter initiatives- one of which exists right here at Animal Shield.