Spaying and neutering your animals: Responsible pet care – Part 10

Puppies & More Puppies Oh My!

Do you have any dogs? Are they spayed or neutered? If not, have you ever thought about what happens to those cute little puppies, when they’re dropped off at the local animal shelter?

In the Puget Sound area, in 1996, Washington State, 11,317 unwanted dogs were simultaneously euthanized in their area animal shelters, due to overcrowding and lack of funds. It is now illegal to euthanize so many at one time. The American Humane Society estimates that 15,000,000 healthy dogs will be euthanized this year. The United States birthrate for puppies is 2,000 per hour. If 2.5% of these litters survive, that adds up to 17,280,000 dogs existing this year. That’s almost 2 million! Where do they all go? Some go to good loving homes, but others are not so lucky. Many go to local shelters, and many are abandoned and/or live on the street. Most animal shelters give an animal 1 week to find a new home and if not they are euthanized. The ones that live on the street, if not caught and brought to the shelter, slowly starve to death, freeze to death, or sometimes become target practice by cruel people in the world.

Dr. Ken Lawrence stated that many health and behavioral problems are due to not spaying or neutering animals; Male dogs frequently get prostate infections, and testicular tumors commonly occur because of hormone fluctuations caused by in season females. Male dogs will commonly jump the fence and dig holes to get access to female dogs in heat, and they can become aggressive toward their owners while in proximity to a female and will often attempt to mount people incessantly. That may seem humorous initially; try having that happen to you several times a day, every day. Female dogs get frequent urinary tract infections because of the higher hormone levels and mating with multiple males, and they are, also, at greater risk for ovarian cancer, shorter life spans, and their general health suffers if pregnancies are repetitive. Due to their overpowering mating instinct, pets often roam large areas to find mates, therefore, diseases like the parvovirus and feline AIDS are contracted through contact with stray animals that may be disease carriers.

All these health and behavioral problems, not to mention mass euthanizing, can be avoided by simply spaying or neutering your pets. It’s a very simple and quick procedure; you drop them off at the veterinarian in the morning and pick them up that evening or the very next morning.

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