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Humane Society of
Wayne County, New York

1475 County House Road, Lyons, NY 14489

315.946.3389

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More than 25 years of shelter operations

This page was last modified on Sunday November 18, 2012

My Pets are Heroes, My Pets Save Lives

All of my pets, two dogs and five cats, are all spayed or neutered so they are not producing litters of unwanted kittens and puppies. That's right, the spaying and/or neutering of your pets will save lives by reducing the number of unwanted pets in the world.

Recently, I read a story about a backyard dog that lived in a trailer park in Binghamton, New York. This poor female lab mix was tied out in the backyard. Around the age of six months old she came into heat and all of the unneutered neighborhood dogs dropped by for a visit. All alone, on one very bitter cold, dark winter night this poor dog gave birth to ten tiny mix breed puppies. This poor dog in an attempt to keep her new babies warm she tried to dig a den in the frozen ground. The poor mother dog's efforts were of no use because the next morning some neighborhood children found the ten dead puppies frozen in the shallow frozen hole. This true story of a backyard dog being left out alone on a dark and bitter cold winter night is awful enough. But, knowing that she gave birth to ten tiny pups that froze to death despite her heroic attempt to save them is truly horrible and heartbreaking. The owner of this poor mother dog, a woman, is now charged with ten counts of animal cruelty. This tragic circumstance of this story would be lessened if this female dog had been spayed, and this woman's neighbors had their male dogs neutered.

Additionally, unaltered cats pose an even bigger problem. Unlike a dog that has about two heat cycles a year when they can become pregnant, a female cat can come into heat several times throughout the year. Therefore, a female cat can have several litters one right after the other. Moreover, homeless cats do not fair as well in shelters as do homeless dogs. For example, during the month of August last year our shelter had to humanely euthanize 64 cats because there were already 72 cats waiting for homes. Lollipop Farm reports, in the last newsletter that during the month of September 2003, 217 "adoptable animals" were euthanized. 106 of those "adoptable animals" were kittens and 96 were cats.

Do these euthanasia numbers make you mad? Then do something about it. The sad thing is that all of us have the power to do something about the number of unwanted pets by having our pets spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering are relatively simple surgical procedures and are fairly inexpensive. With the low-income spay/neuter program the cost of these surgical procedures is no excuse for not having a pet altered.

There are several health advantages to a pet by having him or her spayed or neutered. Moreover, spay/neutering can correct some very bad behaviors. It is a myth that letting a female dog or cat have a litter will make them a better pet. If you are tempted to let your cat or dog have just one litter, go talk to the people at the shelter whose job it is to euthanize all of these "adoptable" unwanted and homeless pets. Remember it just as important for a male to be neutered as it is for a female to be spayed.

Make your pet a hero too, have your pet spayed or neutered. You have nothing to lose but an unwanted litter.