Spay\neuter financial assistance program
for pet owners
Serving eastern Iowa and northwestern Illinois
People like us, who are often called upon to help find homes for unwanted animals, always offer one big reason for spaying or neutering: the appalling pet overpopulation problem that results in thousands of pets being euthanized (killed) every day.
Some 70,000 puppies and kittens are born every day in the U.S.
Between four million and six million pets are euthanized every year because they are homeless.
That means between 11,000 and 16,000 pets are euthanized every day simply because they are homeless.
An animal in a shelter is killed every 1.5 seconds.
Only one animal in 10 born in the U.S. gets a good home that lasts a lifetime.
These alarming statistics present a good enough reason, all by themselves, for preventing more animal births. Simply put, the widespread failure to spay or neuter results in homelessness, misery, cruelty, and death.
Myths About Spaying/Neutering
Some people don’t want to spay or neuter their pet because they have heard about some bad “side effects” of the surgery, or because they have picked up some mistaken ideas along the way. There are a number of myths about spaying and neutering. Here are a few of the most common, and the truth about each.
Altering makes a pet fat. Spaying or neutering at the youngest possible age—before the pet has reached sexual maturity—generally has no effect whatsoever on weight. Pets who undergo the surgery after reaching sexual maturity may show an increased appetite because altering affects hormone balance. However, pets who are fat are usually fat because they are fed too much and/or do not get enough exercise.
Altering makes a pet lazy. Neutering reduces a male's desire to roam (often over long distances) to find females in heat, and altering can somewhat reduce a pet’s energy level. Altering does not make pets lazy. Altered pets are as playful and energetic as intact pets.
Altering changes a pet’s personality. The only personality changes that result from spaying or neutering are the positive changes described above—no roaming, less tendency to mark territory, and less aggression. Aside from these changes, your pet will be no less like himself than humans are after undergoing vasectomy or oophorectomy (removal of the ovaries).
My pet has a right to experience sex. Sex, for an animal, is nothing more than the result of a powerful instinctive drive to reproduce. People who worry about this issue are usually over-identifying with their pet. This is an excuse often presented by men, who cringe at the very idea of castration—even though it is a painless surgical procedure being performed on their pet, not on them.
It’s a good thing for our children to see the miracle of birth. Bringing more animals into a world already overburdened with thousands of homeless pets is not the best way to show your children the birth process. You can show them videos or even let them witness live human births on the internet.
What’s In It for You?
Even though an action may be good for the community, people have a natural tendency to ask what benefits they will receive. Here are some benefits you and your pet can expect when you have your pet spayed or neutered.
Better health. A pet that is spayed or neutered has no chance of developing uterine or testicular cancer; in females, the risk of breast cancer and urinary infections is drastically reduced. Reproductive cancers are common among older dogs that have been bred.
Better behavior. Males that are neutered when young are much less likely to roam, mark their territory (and your belongings) with urine, and show aggression toward other males. Intact (unneutered) males will go to great lengths to get to a female 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.
Easier care. An unspayed female 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 males who will pace your lawn, howl, and bark. You have a fenced yard? They will dig their way in. Intact male cats spray to mark their territories and that smell in not something you want in your house.
No accidental pregnancies. If your pet accidentally becomes pregnant, you will have to provide additional medical care—for her and the babies—and be responsible for finding good homes for half a dozen or more offspring.
Saves money. Most communities charge more for licensing of pets that have not been spayed or neutered, often twice as much. And the health benefits of spaying\neutering means that you will ultimately save money on vet bills. Pregnant and nursing females require more food and more vet visits. And proper medical care for a litter is expensive.