If you wonder why pet rescue supporters are so adamant that pet owners should spay or neuter their pets, just look at your local shelter’s list of adoptable animals. Without doubt, you’ll see many puppies and kittens there, most of whom were probably born in the shelter or in a volunteer foster’s home.
Many pregnant animals are dumped at shelters because their owners cannot afford to or simply don’t want to take care of them and find homes for the newborns. Even if you keep your pet indoors, there is always a risk that your pet will get out, especially if they have the opportunity to mate. Given the size of most canine and feline litters, spaying and neutering is the only way to keep pet populations under control.
Some people express concerns about health risks. There are plenty of old wives’ tales that say that a dog needs to throw a litter before being spayed, or that spaying and neutering will change your pet’s personality. If you have concerns, always go to your veterinarian first. The fact is, spaying and neutering is very safe. Altered dogs actually tend to have fewer health risks than unaltered ones. And the only effect you’ll usually see on your dog’s personality is a reduction in certain negative behaviors, such as marking.
If the cost of surgery is a concern, most areas have organizations that will spay or neuter animals for free or at a minimal price. In the Kansas City area, Spay Neuter KC offers low-cost surgeries, vaccinations, and preventive care. If someone still cannot afford to alter their animal, they do have some financial assistance available on an application basis.
If your area has an awesome program to help people get their pets fixed, feel free to tell us all about it in the comments!