What is spay and neuter?

Spaying or neutering is surgical sterilization of animals performed to prevent reproduction. “Spay” is the female sterilization surgery and “neuter” is the male sterilization surgery. Spaying of females involves the removal of the entire reproductive tract (uterus and ovaries). Neutering of males is done by removing the testicles. Licensed veterinarians perform both of these procedures under general anesthetic using strict sterile techniques.

Is the surgery painful or harmful to the animal?

Spaying and neutering are the most common surgical procedures performed by Veterinarians. Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia posing minimal risk to relatively young and healthy animals. Post operative care usually involves a short course of pain medication and monitoring the surgical site by making sure it is clean to avoid infection and that the suture material remains in tact. Animals are usually fully recovered in just a few days. The minimal risk associated with the surgery far outweighs the health benefits to the animal, especially in their later years. 

Are we going against nature?

When we domesticated animals thousands of years ago, we interfered with nature. Now we have created an overpopulation of animals worldwide. Most animal offspring are more likely to being euthanized, abused or neglected than to find a good, loving home. Therefore, the natural right to reproduce is inferior to the responsibility we have to protect our animals from an otherwise short, sometimes cruel life, and horrible death. It is our duty, as humans, to help and protect animals. This crisis is a result of human interference: it is our obligation stop the cycle.

Will my pet put on weight after being neutered or spayed?

No, this is a myth. Their activity levels may decrease because certain hormones are gradually released from the body, but as long as you make sure that you pet eats a good diet dependent on their weight, age and condition, your pet will maintain a healthy weight.

Should I let my female animal have one litter before spaying her?

Medical studies indicate the exact opposite. There is an increased risk of uterine infection and mammary tumor the longer you wait to have your female spayed. The ideal time is before her first heat.

But I want my children to witness the miracle of birth.

Chances are, you won’t witness the birth unless they are caged. Most animal births happen overnight and in a secluded spot where the animal will take refuge. We encourage you to teach your children about animal responsibility instead.
 

Won't my male animal feel less like a male if he gets neutered?

No, animals don't have any concept of sexual identity or ego and so neutering a male dog or cat will not change their basic personality. It is often the individual who suffers any kind of emotional reaction to their animal’s castration.

Am I depriving the animal’s “sex life”?

The answer is no. Animals mate for the shear purpose of physical reproduction. They do not experience sexual connection, pleasure or intimacy as human beings do. This is evidenced by the fact that females only accept males when they are in heat and males only approach females when hormones are released during this time.

Will my pet’s character change?

After spaying or neutering, only hormone dependent behavior changes, like marking of territory or mounting in males. Because, hormones gradually leave the body after surgery, it is unlikely you will see any significant change right away.

Where can I find a low-cost spay & neuter clinic nearby?

For starters, you can check with your local animal control office, shelter or veterinarian to see if they offer any type of low-cost spay and neuter or if they know a local agency that does.

Additionally, you can find resources for low-cost spay or neuter of cats at www.lovethatcat.com/spayneuter.html.  Click on "listed by state" and then on the state you live in.  It will give you links to programs that offer low cost, or in some cases free, spay or neuter for cats.

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