By Kaitlin Evaston
Each year U.S. shelters euthanize an estimated 2.4 million dogs and cats; that’s one animal every 13 seconds. Shelters across the world are filled with abandoned, abused, and neglected animals with nowhere to call home. Most of these shelter animals are healthy or have treatable issues.
Many of these animals are not spayed or neutered and have been bred or produced accidental litters.
This only leads to more animals being without homes…the cycle continues. There is a simple and highly effective way to end this ongoing cycle and that’s by spaying and neutering all cats and dogs.
Spaying and neutering pets is the most effective and humane treatment to decrease the number of homeless animals that are euthanized in shelters or living on the streets. A whopping 87 percent of owned pets in the United States are already spayed or neutered.
However, in areas where resources are limited or unattainable, 91 percent are unaltered. There are 30 to 40 million community cats living at large and only 2 percent of these cats are altered, leaving these cats more likely to reproduce even more sick or feral (cats living outside with no humane interaction become “feral” or wild) offspring that will more than likely never know the feel of a warm blanket or the smell of fancy feast in the morning.
Not only are strays a problem in the United States, but outside the U.S. there are 300 million dogs living on the streets that are predominantly unaltered and homeless.
Spaying refers to an ovariohysterectomy for females while a male is neutered or castrated. Not only does spaying and neutering your pet prevent them from reproducing, it also prevents against many health issues. Spaying a female prevents them from going through a heat cycle. If spayed before their first heat cycle, it can completely eliminate their chances for breast cancer and uterine cancer. Neuter prevents males from displaying certain undesirable behaviors such as marking, mounting, and male aggression. In the long-run it prevents against testicular cancer, enlargement of the prostate gland, and reduces the risk for perianal tumors.
So what is “World Spay Day”? World Spay Day was originally created as “Spay Day USA” by the Doris Day Animal League in 1995. It was the first and only day that promoted the spaying and neutering of pets all over the world. World Spay Day takes place on February 23, 2016. Presented by the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, World Spay Day is a day to educate and promote the spaying and neutering of pets all over the world.
You can participate in World Spay Day by planning your own spay day event. Visit www.worldspayday.org for some ideas on how you can help your community promote spaying and neutering and help save lives!