Spaying and Neutering Facts

Many well-intentioned pet owners still find making the choice to spay or neuter their pet a difficult one. This is largely due to the many misconceptions associated with this very basic surgery. However the reality is pets that are spayed or neutered typically live much longer, healthier, and happier lives and are also helping to solve the serious problem of pet overpopulation. For these reasons, and many more, all animals adopted from The Anti-Cruelty Society have already been spayed or neutered. However, you may have a pet at home or have a friend with a dog or cat that has not yet had this simple surgery. Here are some of the reasons that spaying or neutering is one of the best things you can do for your pet, yourself, and your community:

  • Spayed or neutered pets are typically better behaved, calmer, and more affectionate than those that are not altered.
  • Male animals are less likely to mark their territory by urinating or spraying and less likely to run away in an attempt to find a female; no, this does not. This does not, however, mean you should leave your neutered animal outside unattended.
  • Spaying an animal eliminates their heat cycle and the undesirable elements of a heat cycle such as bleeding, crying, and nervous behaviors.
  • Want to take your dog to that fun dog park down the street or the daycare around the corner? Then your dog needs to be spayed or neutered as most dog parks and daycares require it. 
  • Every year approximately 4 million animals, the vast majority of which are medically and behaviorally adoptable, are euthanized. By spaying or neutering your pet you are directly helping to reduce this number. 
  • Due to the fact that it helps reduce the incidence of some of the most common types of cancers (breast, uterine, prostate, and testicular), your animal is likely to live a longer and healthier life.
  • Spaying and neutering decreases the number of stray animals which results in a decrease in animal bites (to both humans and pets), car accidents, and destruction to property. 
  • Spayed and neutered animals get along better with each other and exhibit less aggression issues towards animals of the same gender.
Spaying and neutering are straightforward surgeries and are performed under anesthesia. Like any surgical procedure, there is some risk but the overall incidence of complications is extremely low.

The Anti-Cruelty Society Myth Busters:

"Spaying or neutering my pet is just too expensive."
There are many clinics that provide spay neuter services at reasonable prices. At The Anti-Cruelty Society it costs only $20 to spay or neuter a cat, $120 to spay or neuter a dog. Spaying and neutering for pit bulls and feral cats is free. The cost of caring for a litter of puppies or kittens far outweighs the cost of surgery as does the cost of treating one of the many forms of cancer that spaying or neutering helps prevent.

"Spaying or neutering will make my pet fat."

Animals get fat due to the same reasons that people get fat-too much food and not enough exercise. Providing your pet with regular exercise and feeding them a diet that is appropriate for their age, size, and energy level will prevent your animal from becoming overweight.

"I don't want my dog to feel like less of a man; it's just cruel to do that to a male dog or cat."
Unlike people, animals do not have any concept of their sexual identity. Neutering a male will not cause any type of identity crisis or result in him mourning the loss of his reproductive capability. What is cruel is contributing to the tragic overpopulation problem.


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