Monday, August 8, 2011

Save Lives: Spay and Neuter!

On a rainy day, the first week of December, 2010, a little Dachshund mix puppy was found trying to hide in the yard of a Riverside home.  The resident brought the puppy inside and then posted pictures of her around the neighborhood saying that she had been found.  No one ever claimed her, so the resident contacted Katie Chapman of Corona to ask her if she could give the puppy a new home.  The puppy was very lucky to have been found by someone willing to take care of her and find her a new home.  Not all puppies are so lucky.
Everyday dogs are getting out and roaming the streets without their owners knowing it until their dog goes missing or they find out weeks later that their female dog is pregnant. The ASPCA states that “Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country.  They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna, and frighten children.”  And while we assume most strays are unneutered males in search of a female, unspayed females tend to escape from their yards as well. (Lady and the Tramp ring any bells?)  Spay USA says that “In six years, an unspayed female and her offspring can reproduce 67,000 dogs.”  Litters of unwanted puppies are abandoned in boxes or sold in front of stores everyday across the U.S.  Even if those people make sure all the puppies find a new home, there is no guarantee that those puppies won’t be taken to the pound once they are no longer cute or manageable.  According to the Humane Society of the United States, “Seven dogs and cats are born for every one human born in the U.S. each day.  Of those, only 1 in 5 puppies and kittens stay in their original homes for their natural lifetime.  The remaining 4 are abandoned in the streets or end up at a shelter.”  
 Pet overpopulation is a serious issue in the United States.  According to ASPCA pet statistics “Approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60% of dogs and 70% of cats).  Only 10% of animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered.”
If those not-so-fun facts weren’t enough to convince you, here are some of the benefits of fixing your pet:
·         Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer in females, which is fatal in about 50% of dogs and 90% of cats. (Spaying before her first heat offers the best protection).
·         Neutering prevents testicular cancer in males if done before six months of age.
·         Neutered males focus their energy on their human families while unneutered males tend to mark their territory and can be very aggressive.  Aggressive behavior can be avoided by neutering a male at a young age.
·         Neutered males won’t roam away from home trying to find a mate.  A free-roaming dog could become injured crossing the street into traffic or fighting with another male.  
·         Fixing your pet saves you money in a few ways- 1. Cheaper pet licensing fees,  2. No unwanted litters to care for,  3. No injuries from fights with neighborhood strays.
·         Spaying or neutering your pet helps fight pet overpopulation!
Talk to your veterinarian about spaying or neutering your dog (and cat).  There are also plenty of low-cost spay/neuter clinics across Riverside and Orange Counties. 
Riverside County Spay/Neuter Clinic – 5950 Wilderness Avenue, Riverside, Ca 92504 (951)358-7373
For a list of other Riverside veterinarian offices and clinics that provide spay/neuter services, check out this List of Participating Veterinarians Spay/Neuter Voucher Program from the County of Riverside Department of Animal Services.  (The vouchers were a part of a county program to help low-income families afford to spay/neuter their pets.)
For a more extensive list, check out the list through Spay USA- Spay  This list gives all the information you need to contact the veterinarian offices and clinics as well as their prices.  But be sure to tell them SpayCalifornia referred you to ensure you get the discounted rates.   
Practice Birth Control, not death control. Spay and neuter your pets!

1 comment: