Monday, February 26, 2007

Spay/Neuter: The Truth

Spaying and neutering pets. It's a tough topic to cover in just one blog post and sometimes a bit controversial but with Spay Day USA tomorrow, now's as good a time as any to touch upon the subject.

Spay and neuter is such a fundamental topic for animal shelters that it seems unnecessary to mention. Doesn’t every thinking person agree that spay and neuter is the answer to ending the suffering and death of our surplus (unwanted) companion animals? This is not news, but there still seem to be people, even veterinarians, who are perpetuating the old ideas about waiting until an animal has been through its first heat cycle or even had its first litter(!) before neutering. Shelters across the country have been performing so-called early age neutering for 20 years without adverse effects. The American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association both support early age neutering.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington started pre-adoption spay and neuter surgery in 2005 for all dogs and cats at least eight weeks old and weighing at least two pounds. Why is this so important? No dog or cat adopted from the League will create a litter of animals that may end up unwanted, uncared for, or abandoned. We think this is reason enough to do everything we can to promote spay and neuter not only for our adopted pets, but for all the dogs, cats, and house rabbits in our community. We sponsor Spay Day every year and subsidize low-cost surgeries for residents year-round with money from our Hantke Memorial Spay Neuter Fund. Until every pet that is born has a home, the campaign for spay and neuter will be a primary mission for all those interested in animal welfare.

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