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The Consequences Of Not Neutering And Spaying Animals

Updated on May 19, 2013

Something that is occurring right under our noses is the overpopulation of animals that are considered pets by many. By not neutering and spaying pets, people are possibly condemning their animal’s offspring with the other 5 to 7 million pets that go to an animal shelter every year. People are divided on the subject because they think that animals should have the right to reproduce just like humans. But when 60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats are being euthanized because of sentimental notions, the reason to keep them un-neutered or spayed becomes a horrifying reality.

An amazingly high 62 percent of all households in the United States have a pet, and only 10 percent received by shelters were neutered (qtd. “Spaying/Neutering”). Another reason that people don’t spay or neuter their pets is because they can’t afford it, and they would be right if human societies in towns close by didn’t offer a low cost way to pay getting their pets fixed. In most towns and cities you can apply for getting your animals fixed and have it paid in full if you have a low income. In an interesting statistic, 41 percent of people get their dogs from friends or relatives, which can be more expensive in the long run (qtd.”The ethics of responsibilities”). Making it difficult to get all of the pets’ shots, and medical needs quickly done. By adopting from a pro kill shelter or humane society, you get the full package of up to date shots, having them fixed, and a microchip implanted so that if they get lost other shelters can identify them as your pet. This is a very good thing since half the animals in shelters are strays that wandered from home, plus you save a life if you do adopt from a pro kill shelter.

When I say “pro kill shelter” I don’t mean that they like to kill. The term just means that rather than the alternative humane societies which don’t euthanize, some shelters don’t have that luxury because of the overabundance of animals that they don’t have room for.

In actuality, fixing your animals will give you and your pet benefits’ that you wouldn’t have had than if you didn’t. Such as, longer livelihoods, decreased aggression, and will mostly take the urge away to roam and mark territory. In short you can enjoy your pet for longer, and have your pet without the side effects of their mating instincts.

The other consequences of overpopulation are that it can become a hazard to other animals, such as livestock. If dogs or cats are without homes they will eventually go hunting and not care that dinner is someone else’s property or pet, they’ll just see food. Ironically other people’s pets will be in danger from someone else not taking responsibility for theirs. Not to mention the waste that they can leave behind in your yard or public parks is just down right gross and unsanitary.

We all love kittens and puppies, they’re adorable and we can’t resist wanting to raise them from when they are young, so that they’ll feel like they’re our own. Also how much fun is it to have kittens? It’s fantastically fun. If you do let your cat have kittens, and even if you find them all good homes…it’s still taking away homes from the animals at pro kill shelters. So a great way to have kittens in your house is by fostering, you’ll get your fix and you potentially help save their lives. It’s a win, win situation.

Another misconception is that pure bread dogs aren’t in the pile of other pets that are discarded into your local pound, since they are considered to be a higher standard in our society. Unfortunately 25 percent of dogs that are taken in are purebreds (qtd.“Pet Statistics”). I didn’t really think about purebreds not being wanted, because people pay hundreds and thousands of dollars just to have one. If this is news to you too and you want a purebred dog, you can find the breeds rescue site and rescue a dog or puppy in need of a good home.

The point being is that, most people don’t grasp the reality of the information about what happens to animals all over the world, or even in your own town. It seems like something that is a far away problem that doesn’t entirely concern the general public until its staring them right in the face and complicating their everyday life. But spend a day in a local shelter and you’ll quickly find that cats and dogs are growing in numbers and need our help more than ever.

The catch and release program is effective, but more on a local scale than a larger one. This program consists of catching local stray cats and dogs, giving them their shots, fixing them and then letting them go again. Though at the rate they can reproduce keeping up is a tough chore, which is why should always put a cat or dog in a shelter if you decide you can’t take care of them anymore. Even though knowing that they could be euthanized if they don’t get readopted, letting them suffer and possibly die in other more slow ways is a far worse fate. And if they have puppies or kittens their offspring will be in the same perspective future.

When I’ve volunteered in different animal shelters, whether it is a humane society or a pro kill shelter, I’ve always noticed something about the people there. They have this certain kind of luminosity, which radiates goodness. It literally makes you want to adopt an animal right then and there. Some of the people that volunteer at the shelter in the town I live in right now, volunteer there every single day of the week with as many hours as possible. And I realized why they radiate this sort of goodness. Because they care enough to witness the bad and still have faith that there is hope for the right thing to happen. Their mission is to get as many cats and dogs adopted as possible.

“The stray animal problem isn't unique to Daviess County -- dogs and feral cats are a common sight on city streets and county roads. Many of them roaming in the wild likely haven't been spayed or neutered, causing the pet population to keep escalating with animals carrying rabies and other diseases. As a result, the burden falls back on the taxpayers to pay for animal control -- an expensive endeavor. Last year in Daviess County, 4,050 cats and dogs were euthanized by the animal shelter. As of Aug. 23 of this year, there have been 2,789 euthanized. We're always going to have strays, but we can reduce it by spaying and neutering pets. Caring for animals is a responsibility, but the goal is keeping them from reproducing and filling our neighborhoods and country sides. Either way you choose to go -- the Humane Society or Spay-a-Stray -- it saves money and the life of a pet” says a local newspaper trying to raise awareness (qtd.“Spaying, neutering a necessity”).

It’s not a fun topic to talk about, or even think about for that matter. But what does matter is that you do think about it, and keep in good conscience that having all the facts makes a difference in how animals will be treated differently. The more people that know the facts, the more we can fight the pointless euthanizing of animals. There is hope, admits all the gory details that you have to find out first.


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