Spaying and neutering not only prevent unwanted litters and may reduce many behavioral problems associated with the mating instinct (e.g, marking territory, humping, roaming), but they also reduce or eliminate the risk of conditions such as testicular cancer, prostatic hyperplasia, ovarian cancer, uterine cancer and uterine infection. Reducing roaming may lower the risks of your dog being hit by a car, fighting or biting people or other dogs.

Benefits of Spaying (Females)

  • No heat cycles, therefore males will not be attracted
  • Less desire to roam
  • Risk of mammary gland tumors, ovarian and/or uterine cancer is reduced or eliminated, especially if done before the first heat cycle
  • Reduces number of unwanted cats/kittens/dogs/puppies
  • Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives

Benefits of Neutering (Males)

  • Reduces or eliminates risk of spraying and marking
  • Less desire to roam, therefore less likely to be injured in fights or auto accidents
  • Risk of testicular cancer is eliminated, and decreases incidence of prostate disease
  • Reduces number of unwanted cats/kittens/dogs/puppies
  • Decreases aggressive behavior, including dog bites
  • Helps dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives

Top 3 Reasons to Spay and Neuter

  1. It helps to reduce companion animal overpopulation. Most countries have a surplus of companion animals and are forced to euthanize or disregard their great suffering. The surplus is in the millions in the United States. Cats are 45 times as prolific, and dogs 15 times as prolific, as humans. They do not need our help to expand their numbers; they need our help to reduce their numbers until there are good homes for them all.
  2. Sterilization of your cat or dog will increase his/her chance of a longer and healthier life. Altering your canine friend will increase his life an average of 1 to 3 years; for felines, 3 to 5 years. Altered animals have a very low to no risk of mammary gland tumors/cancer, prostate cancer, perianal tumors, pyometria, and uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers.
  3. Sterilizing your cat/dog makes him/her a better pet, reducing his/her urge to roam and decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or getting hurt as they roam. Surveys indicate that as many as 85 percent of dogs hit by cars are unaltered. Intact male cats living outside have been shown to live on average less than two years. Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by bites and intact cats fight a great deal more than altered cats.

Additional Benefits
Your community will also benefit. Unwanted animals are becoming a very real concern in many places. Stray animals can easily become a public nuisance, soiling parks and streets, ruining shrubbery, frightening children and elderly people, creating noise and other disturbances, causing automobile accidents and sometimes even killing livestock or other pets. (Source: The American Veterinary Medical Association)

The capture, impoundment and eventual destruction of unwanted animals costs taxpayers and private humanitarian agencies over a billion dollars each year. As a potential source of rabies and other less serious diseases, they can be a public health hazard. (Source: The American Veterinary Medical Association)

Key Points

  • 70 percent of mixed breed dogs will become unwanted and will be surplus pets by age two.
  • Less than one out of five dogs (under 20 percent) in the U.S. were adopted from shelters.
  • Around 30 percent of dogs entering pounds and shelters nationally are purebreds. This figure does not include unwanted purebred animals that are released to purebred rescue groups.
  • Seven puppies are born for each child born in the U.S. That figure is 11:1 for cats.
  • Pet overpopulation can be tracked. Unwanted animals, bites, maulings and fatalities caused by dogs are overwhelmingly found in low-income communities where pet sterilization is difficult, or impossible, to afford.
  • Feral cats are not wildlife; they are the result of irresponsible pet ownership. Free-roaming animals that remain intact and cats that have been abandoned create stray and feral cats throughout the U.S.
  • Do not put off until tomorrow. According to two international studies, feral cat (and dog) populations that are sterilized just a few at a time – as convenience and money allow – results in less competition for food and space, often creating an overall increase, not a decrease, in numbers.
  • Spaying before spring prevents litters that will have offspring before year’s end (six for the price of one!).
  • According to FBI research, most serial killers started out by targeting animals, progressing to people. Many animals that are killed for “fun” are/were unwanted and unaccounted for when they were victimized.
  • Spaying female pets vastly decreases incidence of mammary tumors and eliminates other health problems later on.
  • Neutering males may reduce aggression and eliminate certain health problems as well.

Irresponsible Pet Ownership is Costly

  • Each year, over 120,000 unwanted animals are put to death in Oklahoma shelters because there are not enough homes for them. Considering that over half of Oklahoma’s population has no access to a shelter, the remaining areas dispose of unwanted animals in ways that do not include sheltering – those numbers are not included.
  • Taxpayers pay over $5 million a year to collect, house and kill unwanted animals in Oklahoma. Nationally, that budget is around $2 billion dollars per year.
  • According to the U.S. Centers on Disease Control and Prevention, 76 percent of dog bites are from intact male dogs.
  • There are over 333,000 dog bites per year. At an average cost of around $5,000 each, the total is over $2 billion. (Dogs kept on chains or in pens without social contact are also factors in dog bites).
  • Additional money is spent on damage control and livestock predation caused largely by abandoned animals.
  • Less than 1 percent of the money spent to collect house and kill unwanted animals is spent on prevention services, including spaying/neutering and education.