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World Spay Day

The last Tuesday of February is World Spay day, a tradition celebrating its 25th year. It’s an important day for pet lovers across the world, as awareness is spread and hopefully more and more pets are spayed and neutered.

The day was created by the Doris Day Animal League in 1994 as a day to bring attention to the pet overpopulation problem in the United States, and also to encourage animal population control by neutering pets.

Why Spay and Neuter Pets?

So when it comes to spaying and neutering pets one of the first things that comes to people’s minds is why they should spend the time and money getting their dog or cat spayed or neutered.  Ultimately it comes down to simple numbers. Specifically, the difference in animals that enter into shelters each year and how many leave shelters.

According to the ASPCA’s website about 6.5 million animals enter shelters in the US every year. 3.3 Million of those are dogs and 3.2 million are cats.  Only about 3.2 million of those animals will go to loving homes and 1.5 million are euthanized.

It goes without saying that a difference of 3.3 million animals coming vs going at shelters is sizable, and spaying animals helps keep that number down. The main reason why comes from just how many litters dogs and cats can potentially have when left unchecked.

The humane society of greater Kansas City compiled some statistics based on what they had seen in their area and dealing with animals there. By their calculations a cat left unchecked for 4 years could have over 20,000 offspring, and a similarly promiscuous dog could have over 4,000 pups. Obviously those are under ideal conditions, but you can see how each and every dog and cat can help balloon the pet population.

In addition to keeping pet numbers in check spaying and neutering can have some difficult to see health benefits for your pets. For instance, dogs and cats that are neutered cannot develop testicular cancer later in life. Spaying also prevents your team from the harassment they may receive from gentlemen callers while in heat.

Getting your pet spayed or neutered

So now that you know the benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered you are probably wondering what the process is like, if it’s safe and how much it will cost you.

Well luckily the process itself is a well-established one, and the doctors that perform these surgeries do hundreds of times a year, meaning they are extremely well practiced. Of course with any surgery there are still risks so always consult your vet before any surgery.

As far as cost goes there is no one number but nearly every city has low cost options and frequently your local animal shelter will assist you in locating one. Also important to consider, when thinking of cost is that a litter of puppies or kittens cost much more in the long run.

So while Tuesday February 26th may be this years world spay day, it’s something to consider every day of the year. Controlling the pet population is the responsibility of every pet owner.

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