Nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy and adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters every year. Spaying (ovariohysterectomy, or removal of both ovaries and the uterus) or neutering (orchiectomy, or removal of both testes) is the most effective way to reduce the amount of animals that experience the tragedy of being without a home.
Sterilizing pets is not only an effective tool for population control- it’s also beneficial for the health and longevity of your pet. Neutered male animals are left with minimal testosterone, which helps reduce aggression, dominance behavior, and marking. Spayed female animals have a significantly reduced chance of mammary and cancers affecting their reproductive system, as well as the elimination of a ‘heat’, or estrus.
Ideally, sterilization should be performed before your pet experiences sexual maturity, as the hormonal shift can cause behavioral or health issues. Many veterinarians perform the procedure for cats and dogs as early as eight weeks.
There are many myths about sterilization, and educating yourself and others will help save countless lives. Talk to your friends and family about the responsibility of spaying and neutering, and offer to help them seek the services of a low-cost clinic. Here in Humboldt, we’re blessed to have several affordable options to choose from, as well as financial aid programs.
Sequoia Humane Society (sequoiahumane.org 707.442.1782)
Friends for Life Animal Rescue (dogrescuers.org 707.442.5999)
Spay Humboldt! (spayhumboldt.org 707.442.SPAY)
Good luck! Know that by spaying or neutering your pet, you’re saving lives! Follow your veterinarian’s instructions before and after your pet’s procedure to ensure a quick recovery, and be sure to give them lots of love and treats for being so brave!