How Can I Help Keep Pets Out of Shelters?
In just 4 years, a single dog that's not spayed or neutered can be responsible for up to 150 puppies.
Hollywood Feed has been giving back to shelters with our Buy/Give Campaign and your help! Learn more about what we have been donating to shelters here.
Donating food, beds, and our time to shelters is very important and is a huge help. However, do you know the biggest way that we can each help keep pets out of shelters? Do you know the secret to beating pet overpopulation in our shelters and streets? I think the answer is simple: Spaying and Neutering our pets!
What Can I Do, Really?
We can start by making sure our own pets are spayed or neutered, of course! This should ideally happen between two and six months of age, according to who you ask. Adult dogs and cats can be neutered or spayed as well, though the risk of post-operative problems is a little higher, and they may take a little longer to fully heal.
Besides preventing an unwanted litter (which really happens very easily to responsible dog owners when a gate is left open or a dog in heat learns how to dig, jump fences, or dart out the front door), spaying and neutering our pets will prevent certain types of cancer, infections, and prostate issues.
Pets who are spayed/neutered also tend to live a longer, healthier life due to many behavioral factors. Intact males are more likely to get hit by a car or in a fight when they get loose and roam around sniffing for females.
Less Work for Me
Plus, we don’t have to deal with our female dogs and cats in heat. Have you ever been kept up all night by a cat in heat yowling up and down your hallway? Have you ever had to force your dog to wear diapers? Have you ever cared for a litter of puppies? These are all consequences of choosing not to spay or neuter!
Give Shelter Pets a Fighting Chance
Also, by choosing to spay and neuter and not breed our dogs and cats, we give a chance to all of the animals in shelters in our area to be adopted into a loving home. When we are looking for our next dog or cat, we can make sure to adopt from a shelter or rescue group instead of buying from a breeder, as well!
Did you know that 161 puppies can potentially result from just one litter from one intact female in 4 years? Take a look at this chart:
Donate Time and Money
If we live in an area where there is pet overpopulation in shelters and in the streets, then we can give back to the animals in our community and keep them out of shelters by donating to spay and neuter charities or by helping to trap and then paying to spay/neuter dogs and cats we find on the street as well. Everyone can find a way to help those animals out there in unfortunate situations and working to stop pet overpopulation is very important.
What are some other ways we can help with pet overpopulation? How can we be responsible pet-loving citizens and give back to the animals in our community?
Read Spay and Neuter Before Spring’s Sprung, World Spay Day, and Top 10 Tips for Responsible Dog Ownership to learn more about spaying and neutering pets.
- Jessie Isbell