As responsible pet owners who value our pets, the decision to spay or neuter her/him, is an important one to make. Every year in the United States, an estimated 6 to 8 million homeless animals are admitted to animal shelters. Only about half of these animals are adopted to families and tragically, the other half are euthanized. In some states, as many as 300,000 homeless animals are euthanized each year. Many of these animals are not the offspring of homeless street animals but are kittens and puppies of family pets and even purebreds. These are healthy, loving animals that would have made wonderful pet companions. Recent studies have shown that the pet population is twice that of the number of people living in the United States. Data from these studies includes the following facts:

* 50,000 kittens and puppies are born every day.

* For every pet that has a home, there are 4 who are either abandoned, abused or neglected.

* On average, almost 100 dogs are admitted to animal shelters every day.

* Because shelters lack the financial means to care for so many animals, between 30% and 60% of all animals admitted have to be euthanized.

* Only a very small percentage of animals admitted to shelters are successfully adopted by families.

These facts are startling, but true. The exploding pet population in our nation is a serious problem. Pets procreate at a prolific rate! A population of 420,000 cats is derived in only 7 years from just 1 female cat and her offspring! A female dog and her offspring will produce 67,000 puppies in just 6 years!

Many pet owners hesitate to have their pets spayed or neutered for fear their pet will become overweight. Although there is no clear scientific evidence to substantiate this claim, it is one of the most common concerns pet owners have in regard to spaying or neutering their pet. In the majority of cases, pet obesity is simply a result of over-feeding and a reduction in physical exercise. Your veterinarian professional would be happy to address any concerns you may have regarding the effects of spaying or neutering your pet.

Federal and state legislations are joining the battle against pet over-population by enacting requirements to which pet owners must comply (rabies vaccination, spaying/neutering) in order to register and apply for a pet’s license. Many non-profit groups and veterinary clinics offer free spaying and neutering and some offer discounts through subsidized programs.

As a loving, responsible pet owner please do your part to help keep our nation’s pet population under control and eliminate the need to euthanize so many innocent and loving pets.

Have your pet spayed or neutered!