Spay / Neuter Information

PuppyWhat do you mean by spaying or neutering?
Spaying is the procedure used for female pets. Neutering generally refers to the procedure used for male pets. They are ways of providing birth control for dogs and cats by removing reproductive organs.

Through spaying or neutering, you can:

  • Help your pet have a happier, healthier, longer life.
  • Help all pets by reducing the number of dogs and cats condemned to live without homes and without love.

What should I know about spaying and neutering?

  • Millions of tax dollars are spent annually to care for lost, abandoned and unwanted pets - and millions more to destroy those that find no homes.
  • Health and safety are threatened by rabies, dog bites, cat scratches and loose animals causing car crashes.
  • Property may be damaged and livestock killed or injured when pets run "wild" or in packs. Yards and walkways can be fouled with urine and feces.
  • Millions of cats and dogs are killed each year - at least half in pounds and shelters, the rest by injury, poisoning, exposure, starvation and disease. Most of these victims are unwanted offspring of family pets.

Spaying a female pet:

  • Eliminates the heat cycle ("estrus"). Dogs are in heat for about 21 days twice a year. Cats are less predictable, but can be in heat 3 to 15 days, 3 or more times a year.
  • Ends crying and nervous pacing of a cat in heat; ends the frantic efforts of a dog or cat to get outside and find a mate.
  • Stops the bloody discharge of a dog in heat. The discharge, which can stain rugs, furniture, etc., attracts male dogs. (If the scent rubs off on your clothes, you may be "hounded" by admirers!)
  • Stops unwelcome visits by hordes of yapping or yowling "suitors." Male pets can be drawn from blocks around by the scent of a female in heat - even when she's kept indoors!

Neutering a male pet:

  • Stops spraying - a cat's "marking" of territory with foul smelling urine - in most cases. (If the habit is already established, it may not be completely eliminated.)
  • Stops the mating drive by removing organs that produce sex hormones. (It may take at least one month for hormones already in the bloodstream to disappear.)
  • Reduces the urge to roam in search of a mate - which in turn, reduces the risk of fights, injury, poisoning or death in traffic. (Even if kept inside, unneutered males will howl and beg to get out.)
  • Reduces mounting of furniture, cushions, and people's legs by frustrated dogs - a behavior embarrassing to many, even frightening to some.