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Spay And Neuter Awareness Month

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Discussing The Importance Behind Pet Population Control

One of the biggest problems facing domesticated cats and dogs is overpopulation. According to the ASPCA, approximately 920,000 shelter animals (530,00 cats and 390,000 dogs respectively) are euthanized every year. That’s nearly one million innocent animal lives that could’ve been saved if we, as a society, took more responsible and proactive measures regarding their population control. More specifically, the practice of spaying and neutering our cats and dogs. Here, we will discuss the importance of spaying and neutering as well as the significance of “Spay And Neuter Awareness Month.” Keep reading to learn more!

The Holiday

The entire month of February is celebrated as “Spay And Neuter Awareness Month. However, it all started from a different holiday called “World Spay Day.” Originally founded in 1994 by The Dorris Day Animal Foundation, an animal advocacy group located in Washington D.C., as a campaign aimed to reduce the number of dogs and cats that were being euthanized in shelters every year. This holiday initially took place on the last Tuesday of February, but has since become a month-long holiday thanks to its overall popularity and success of reducing the amount of dogs and cats being euthanized in shelters on average. Here at ParaMount Pet Care, we strongly support adoption and shelter animals. To learn more about why you should adopt your next dog from a shelter, check out our previous blog entitled Adopt A Dog Month

The History Of Spaying And Neutering

It wasn’t until the 1930’s that spaying and neutering your cat or dog became widely available in the United States. Since then, the topic of spay/neuter has been heavily debated as many people believe it to be cruel and/or immoral. Regardless of one’s moral opinions, spaying and neutering has proven to be an effective means of countering dog and cat overpopulation. This practice was so effective that in 1972 the ASPCA laid down the law and required that all animals adopted from their shelters must first be sterilized as a means of population control. Over the next twenty years, animal shelters across the county saw a significant decline in the number of animals they were taking in each year. Although things were improving, the euthanasia rate was still far too high. During the 1990’s, a series of cat trap-neuter-release programs emerged across the country in an attempt to reduce the number of feral cats that were breeding in the wild. Although these programs were effective, there are still too many unwanted cats and dogs going in and out of shelters across the country today. 

Myths About Spaying & Neutering 

There are many myths and biased opinions floating around regarding spaying and neutering your dog and/or cats that should be addressed. Myth #1- Too expensive. The truth is that the average cost to have your dog or cat spayed/neutered ranges from $35 to $300. This is very affordable when compared to other pet expenses such as food, toys, and veterinary bills. There are also several programs and shelters that perform the procedure at a discount or even for free. Myth #2- It will cause my pet to get fat. Sterilization will not make your pet gain excess weight. The true reasons behind excess weight gain in pets is due to overeating and a lack of exercise. Myth #3- It will change my pet’s personality. On the contrary, your pet’s personality is mostly based on genetics and how they were raised from a young age. Removing your pet’s reproductive organs will not change their disposition, instincts, or degree of affection they have for you. Myth #4- It will cause my pet unnecessary pain. Yes the procedure is unpleasant and there will be a short recovery period. However, it is less painful than giving birth (which they can potentially die from) to a litter of puppies or kittens. And far less painful than having those puppies or kittens ripped away from them to be sold or put up for adoption. Myth #5- My pet stays indoors, so spaying/neutering isn’t necessary. Spaying/neutering provides more benefits to pets besides population control. Studies show that dogs who are “fixed” generally have longer lifespans and “fixed” female dogs are less likely to experience uterine infections and cancers.  

What You Can Do

So how can you help? The obvious answer is to have your own pet spayed/neutered. But since you’re a responsible pet lover, odds are you’ve already done that. The best thing you can do to help this cause is to spread the word about Spay And Neuter Awareness Month! Armed with the brief knowledge you’ve gained from reading this blog, you can now confidently tell your family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors about the importance of spaying and neutering your cats or dogs. Don’t be afraid to speak out about this important month-long holiday on social media too! Our pets don’t have a voice, but you do! Speak up and be proud to support spaying and neutering. And remember that every dog or cat that is “fixed” will help reduce the amount of unwanted dogs or cats that enter animal shelters every year. It’s not only the responsible thing to do, but it may very well save countless animal lives from being euthanized in animal shelters across the country.

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