The Benefits of Spay and Neuter

Prevention is the best medicine, this is an adage used very commonly among medical professionals. It means the best cure for something is to never contract it. This is also similar to something that most rescuers hold close to their heart, prevention over destruction. There is no mystery that the amount of unwanted pets in America is staggering, heartwrenching and a huge problem. The problem can often seem insurmountable. The best way to make sure that we can stem the ever streaming amount of unwanted animals being born is by spaying and neutering. This is only one of the many benefits that come from ‘altering’ our pets.

Getting an animal altered can help a number of things, it can help prevent them from wandering away. A dog or cat who has been altered has much less of a desire to look for a mate. An intact male often wanders to track down the scent of a female in heat. They have been known to jump fences or pull free of leashes, the primal instinct to mate is very strong when they are not fixed. Once an animal is altered their health is better as well, the risk of certain medical issues drop and can disappear in some cases. Ovarian cancer is gone in females, testicular cancer in males, there is a drop in breast tumors, and a drop in prostate issues. Already, two reasons and it’s hard to see any down side, but there are still more reasons. The cost to license your pet will drop, drastically, in Marion County it costs $40 to have an unaltered pet registered for a year. If your pet is altered it costs you $8. That means for $40 you could have your pet registered for 5 consecutive years.  For male cats neutering can help prevent spraying. Male dogs it can help prevent excessive marking. Dominance and aggression issues can also be lessened when your pet gets fixed.

With all of the positive parts of spaying or neutering it can be a mystery as to way people don’t do it. One reason is that it can be expensive to do, local veterinarians often charge hundreds of dollars. There are programs and organizations though that are here to help with that cost. VOCAL is working on opening a low cost clinic, specifically to help those who can not afford to spay or neuter their pets. The county also has a program, as does the humane society. If cost is the only reason you feel unable to get your animals spayed or neutered please reach out to us or another organization and we will make sure to find a way to help you. Often times spaying and neutering is avoided because the desire to have a future pet that is related to their current animal. The hope is the animal will look similar, or have a similar personality, but this is not the case of how genetics work. Just like with human children, the parents do not guarantee the personality or appearance of the child. The personality is cultivated throughout the animals life and is often effected by the environment in which they are raised.  If a puppy is your only desire to not fix your animal, consider rescuing a puppy from a shelter as it has just as good of a chance of having a great personality.

Consider if your pet is unfixed, the multitudes of benefits it can provide. Not only will you help prevent unwanted pets, you will make your animal healthier, they will behave better, and it will help your wallet. Spaying and Neutering is something extremely important and something we as a society need to embrace for the betterment of all of our animals.

 

 

 

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References used in research of this post:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-5827.2011.01220.x/full

http://www.delawarevalleyacademyvm.org/pdfs/May16SurgeryFullNotes.pdf

http://www.albertaspca.org/welfare-care/pet_care/pet_costs.html