PET OVERPOPULATION IS A TRAGIC & DISTURBING PROBLEM, BUT WITH YOUR HELP IT CAN BE SOLVED!

In Sumter County and all across America, in the case of dogs and cats, there is a problem with pet overpopulation. Each year, more than 12,000,000 dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens are left at animal shelters around the country. Some are lost, some are abandoned, some are unwanted, but most are the result of irresponsible pet ownership. Sadly, nearly 8,000,000 of those animals have to be euthanized because there are not enough homes for them all.


 

CONSIDER THESE FACTS:


  • In six short years, one female dog and its offspring can be the source of 67,000 puppies.
  • In just seven years, one female cat and its young can produce 420,000 cats.
  • Every day in the United States, more than 70,000 puppies and kittens are born. When this number is compared to the 10,000 human births each day, it is clear that there can never be enough homes for all these pets. But do not look at it as just a problem of numbers - every single pet is an individual life.


 

WHAT DO "SPAY" AND "NEUTER" REALLY MEAN?


Your veterinarian can fully explain spay and neuter procedures to you and discuss with you the best age at which to sterilize your pet. Basically, female dogs and cats are 'spayed' by removing their reproductive organs, and male dogs and cats are 'neutered' by removing both testicles. In both cases, an operation is performed while the animal is under anesthesia. Sometimes the pet can go home that same day, and other times a stay at your veterinarian is required. Depending upon the procedure, your pet may need sutures removed after a few days.


 

PREVENT A LITTER: IT IS GOOD FOR YOUR PET


  • Spayed and neutered dogs and cats usually live longer, healthier lives.
  • Spaying and neutering can eliminate or reduce the incidence of a number of health problems that can be very difficult or expensive to treat.
  • Spaying female dogs and cats eliminates the possibility of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer, particularly when your pet is spayed before the first estrous cycle.
  • Neutering male dogs reduces the incidence of prostate cancer and prostate disorders.


 

WHAT DOES PET OVERPOPULATION HAVE TO DO WITH ME?


Just about everything. It is hard to imagine that letting your pet have one or even two litters causes a problem, especially if you find homes for most of the puppies or kittens. But the fact is that "just one litter" does cause pet overpopulation. In less than a year, all the little ones in your pet's litter could be having litters of their own. Every day, thousands of healthy puppies and kittens must be destroyed, and each one of those thousands came from "just one litter".


 

PET OVERPOPULATION IS A PROBLEM YOU CAN HELP SOLVE


Fortunately, there is a solution to pet overpopulation. It is a routine surgical procedure for your pet called spaying or neutering. Being a responsible pet owner means making this important choice for your pet - a choice that saves lives. Talk to your veterinarian about spaying and neutering. Prevent a litter and be a part of the solution to the tragedy of pet overpopulation.


 

PREVENT A LITTER: IT IS GOOD FOR YOU


  • Spayed and neutered pets are usually better, more affectionate companions.
  • Neutered cats are less likely to spray and mark territory.
  • Non-spayed female dogs will go into "heat" or estrus usually twice a year. The age at which they start their cycles and the duration of the cycle varies greatly between the breeds of dogs and individual dogs. There are four stages to the canine estrus cycle. The first estrus cycle usually occurs by age 6-12 months; for some small breeds, as early as 5 months, and for some large and giant breeds, the first cycle may not occur until 14 months of age or older. On average, dogs have two cycles a year. The estrus cycle lasts on average 12-21 days, but maybe be as short as a few days to four weeks. The estrus period length varies widely between breeds and individual dogs. The length of a cycle varies widely, even for dogs of the same breed. If in doubt, assume the longer end of the range for the cycle length. Bleeding occurs prior to a female being receptive to a male (allowing mounting by the male), but male dogs will be very attracted to the female in the proestrus stage. Dogs can get pregnant during their first heat cycle, but this is not advisable as a 6-month old dog is not yet fully grown/mature, and complications for the mother and the puppies are more likely.
  • Cats are referred to as "polyestrus," which means that they will go into heat cycles periodically during their fertile years. These heat cycles may start as early as the fourth or fifth month of a kitten's life, and will continue until she is either bred or spayed. Heat cycles in cats last from several days to two weeks or longer, and repeat every two to three weeks. You can see then, how a female cat may almost always seem to be in heat.
  • Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to bite. Unaltered animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than do those that have been spayed or neutered.
  • Neutered males are less likely to roam the neighborhood, run away, or get into fights.