Why Spay or Neuter Your Pet?
Millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized annually or suffer as strays. Many of these are the result of unwanted, unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering. Rarely surviving for more than a few years on their own, strays die painfully by starvation, disease, freezing or being hit by cars.
Spaying or Neutering Will Not Alter Your Pet’s Personality
Regardless of the age when spayed or neutered, your pet will remain a caring, loving and protective companion. Any slight changes will be positive. Neutering will reduce the need to breed, which has a calming effect on many animals. Both neutered male canines and felines tend to stop roaming and fighting, and they also lose the desire to mark their territory with urine.
Spay or Neuter Early
The sooner you spay your female, the better her health will be in the future. Many veterinarians practice safe early sterilization. The longer a female goes unspayed, the greater the likelihood of developing mammary tumors or uterine infections. In fact, a female spayed before her first heat (six to nine months of age) has one-seventh the risk of developing mammary cancer as does an intact female. Early age spay/neuter is safe and effective. If you have a new puppy or kitten, talk with your veterinarian about when they recommend the surgery.
Pets Will Not Become Fat and Lazy If Spayed or Neutered
Your pet will not gain weight if you provide exercise and monitor food intake. Also, sterilized pets tend to live an average of 2-3 years longer than unsterilized pets.
Male dogs that are neutered when young are much less likely to roam, mark their territory (and your belongings) with urine, and show aggression toward other male dogs. Intact (unneutered) male dogs will go to great lengths to get to a female dog in heat—they will dig their way out of yards, break fences and leashes, and cross streets in heavy traffic if a female in heat is in the area.
An unspayed female dog bleeds for about 10 straight days twice a year. She bleeds on your carpet, your furniture, the interior of your car, and on the ground outside. As soon as she has marked your yard, you can anticipate a constant parade of male dogs who will pace your lawn, howl, and bark. You have a fenced yard? They will dig their way in.
Other Important Facts:
Low-Cost Spay/Neuter Options
All Paws Animal Welfare Clinic,
Falls Road Animal Hospital
Friends of Animals
Humane Society of Baltimore County
Project Cat Snip
410-836-1090 ext. 109
The Humane Society of Harford County is involved with a spay/neuter pilot program called Project Cat Snip, whose volunteers try to meet monthly to vaccinate and spay/neuter feral cats. Due to the overwhelming population of feral cats, there is a waiting list of people wanting to get their cats fixed. If you would like to have your name added to our list, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can also provide you with a list of low cost spay/neuter clinics, trapping guidelines, and other information to help you care for feral cats and feral cat colonies.