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When there is just too much of a good thing there is a problem. In the case of dogs and cats, it is a problem of pet overpopulation. Each year, millions of dogs and cats, puppies and kittens, are turned in to animal shelters around the country. Some are there because they are lost, some are abandoned, some are unwanted, many are the result of irresponsible ownership and uncontrolled breeding. Sadly, millions of those animals have to be euthanatized because there aren't enough good homes for all of them.


  • Spayed and neutered dogs and cats live longer, healthier lives.
  • Spaying female dogs and cats eliminates the possibly of uterine or ovarian cancer and greatly reduces the incidence of breast cancer.
  • Neutering male dogs and cats reduces the incidence of prostate cancer.
  • Neutered animals are less likely to roam and fight. Roaming animals are at greater risk of contracting diseases, some of which might be transmissible to humans.


  • Spayed and neutered dogs and cats are often better, more affectionate companions.
  • Neutered cats are less likely to spray and mark territory.
  • Spaying a female dog or cat eliminates its heat cycle, which can last twenty-one days, twice a year, in dogs, and anywhere from three to fifteen days, three or more times a year, in cats.
  • Females in heat often cry incessantly, show nervous behavior, and attract unwanted male animals.
  • Spayed and neutered pets are less likely to bite. Unaltered animals often exhibit more behavior and temperament problems than those that have been spayed or neutered.
  • Common Excuses for Not Spaying or Neutering Pets
    1. Excuse Number One: My pet will get fat and lazy.
      • Neutering or spaying may diminish your pet's overall activity level, natural tendency to wander, and hormonal balances, which may influence appetite and fat deposition. Pets that become fat and lazy after being altered usually are overfed and do not get enough exercise.
    2. Excuse Number Two: We want another pet just like Rover or Fluffy.
      • Breeding two purebred animals rarely results in offspring that are exactly like one of the parents. With mixed breeds, it is virtually impossible to have offspring that are exactly like one of the parents.
    3. Excuse Number Three: My pet's personality will change
      • Any change will often be for the better. After being altered, many pets will be less aggressive towards other dogs or cats, have a better personality, and will be less likely to wander. Spraying (urine marking), which is often done by dogs and cats to mark their territory, diminishes or ceases after pets are altered.
    4. Excuse Number Four: We can sell puppies or kittens and make money.
      • Even well-known breeders are fortunate if they break even on raising purebred litters. The cost of raising such a litter which includes stud fees, vaccinations and other health care costs, feeding a quality food consumes most of the "profit." Well-known breeders raise breeds that they like. These breeders also try to improve the standard of the breeds they raise.
    5. Excuse Number Five: My children should witness our pet giving birth.
      • Pets often have their litters in the middle of the night or in a place of their own choosing. Because pets need privacy when giving birth, any unnecessary intrusion can cause the mother to become seriously upset. These intrusions can result in an unwillingness to care for the offspring or in injury to the owners or to the pet.
    6. Excuse Number Six: I am concerned about my pet undergoing anesthesia.
      • Placing a pet under anesthesia is a concern of some owners. Although there is always a slight risk involved, the anesthetics currently used by veterinarians are very safe. Many veterinarians use equipment that monitors heart and respiratory rates during surgery to ensure that their patients are doing well under anesthesia. Thus, the medical benefits of having your pet spayed or neutered far outweigh the slight risk involved with undergoing anesthesia.. Consult your veterinarian if you are concerned about this aspect of the procedure.
    7. Excuse Number Seven: It's better to have one litter first.
      • There is no medical evidence that having a litter is good for your pet. In fact, the evidence indicates that females spayed before their first heat and males neutered before reaching sexual maturity are healthier. Check with your veterinarian about your own animals.
    8. Excuse Number Eight: But my pet is a purebred.
      • So are some of the animals brought to animal shelters around the country. There are just too many dogs and cats mixed breed and purebred.
    9. Excuse Number Nine: I'll find good homes for all the puppies and kittens.
      • The fact that most shelters have to euthanatize the majority of the animals they take in indicates that there are not enough homes to go around. Even if you could find homes for the litter your pet produces, those are homes that will no longer be available for any of the millions of animals already born.
    10. Excuse Number Ten: I want my dog to be protective.
      • Spaying or neutering does not affect a dog's natural instincts to protect its home and family.
    11. Excuse Number Eleven: It's too expensive to have my pet spayed or neutered.
    • The cost for spaying and neutering depends on the sex of the animal, its size and age, your veterinarian's fees, and a number of other variables. Some communities have low-cost options, and some veterinarians offer discounts for special circumstances. But whatever the actual price, spay or neuter surgery is a one-time cost and relatively small when compared to all the benefits. It's also a small price to pay for the health of your pet and to prevent more unwanted animals.
    • The Animal Welfare League offers support for low-income families that wish to have their pets spayed/neutered. 

      Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for application to:

      The Animal Welfare League
      P. O. Box 5686
      Knoxville, TN.
      or call 688-4540

      Friends of Animals - Call 1-800-321-pets (7387) for information on low-cost spay or neutering

      Animal Spay & Neuter Clinic......546-2204

      Paws Spay and Neuter Clinic 6869 Morganton Road, Greenback, TN
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