Thousands of puppies and kittens are born each day in the U.S. In six years, one female dog can be the source of 67,000 puppies, while in seven years one female cat and her young can produce 420,000 kittens. Even if you find good homes for all of your pet's offspring, you are taking away homes from other companion animals desperately in need of someone to care for them. Thousands of unwanted animals are killed every day, most of them healthy, the majority less than one year old.
The Results of Pet Overpopulation
• Cheap sources of animals for use in scientific experimentation
• Cats and dogs treated as nuisances, leading to a general acceptance of animal cruelty in society
• More slaughtered wildlife as hungry strays kill birds and other animals
• An increased number of dog bites
• Increased taxes: the U.S. spends $1 billion annually euthanizing cats and dogs.
The Benefits of Spaying Your Pet
• A reduction in the likelihood that she will bite; most dog bites are caused by animals that have not been fixed
• Elimination of the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer
• Great reduction in the likelihood of mammary cancer, especially if she is spayed early
• Near elimination of the risk of mastitis
• Elimination of her heat cycle, during which females may cry incessantly, pace, and attract unwanted males
The Benefits of Neutering Your Pet
• Elimination of the possibility of testicular cancer
• Reduction of the risk of prostate cancer and prostate enlargement
• Reduction of the risk of certain types of hernias
• Decreased likelihood of roaming, as he is no longer seeking a mate
• Decreased likelihood of fighting
• A reduction in the likelihood that he will bite; most dog bites are caused by animals that have not been fixed
• Elimination of spraying in cats
You Can Help
• Spay and neuter your pets.
• Adopt from a shelter, never from a pet store.
• Never buy from a breeder; 20-25% of shelter animals are purebreds.
• Keep identification tags on your pets at all times.
• Volunteer at your local shelter or humane society. Many shelters are looking for people to simply walk dogs and pet cats.
• Support mandatory spay-neuter laws and differential-licensing laws (which increase license fees for animals that have not been fixed).
• Educate family and friends about the problem of pet overpopulation.