Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation

By Cindy Jones

Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation. Every year, 17 million cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays in the United States. These high numbers are the result of unplanned puppies and kittens that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

Top Reasons to Spay/Neuter Your Pet

•Fixed pets have less desire to roam, so they are less likely to be hit by a car, injured in fights, or get diseases. Surveys indicate that 85 percent of all dogs that are hit by cars are unfixed males. Fixing your pet could save you from a terrible broken heart.

•Fixed dogs and cats focus their attention on their human families. Fixed pets are easier to train. On the other hand, unfixed pets are focused on mating as their priority.

•Fixing your pet reduces/eliminates the spraying and marking with strong-smelling urine, and decreases the intensity of the smell.

•Fixing your pet drops the risk of your pet getting certain cancers, including uterine cancer (especially if done before first heat cycle) in females. In male pets, it eliminates testicular cancer and drops incidence of prostate disease.

•Fixed males are far less likely to develop dominance or aggression-related behavior problems, including possession and food guarding, territory marking (lifting his legs on everything in sight), aggression toward other dogs and “humping” inappropriate objects. Neutering pets also decreases aggressive behavior, including biting. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.

•Fixing your pet helps cats and dogs live longer, healthier lives.

For low-cost or no-cost spay and neuter services, you can use spaysandiego.com, a website with list of places that help with the cost of spaying/neutering. Among them are:

Animal Welfare Foundation: Providing low-cost spay and neuter referrals, 619-702-4400, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday only.

County of San Diego Department of Animal Services: sddac.com, 760-966-3224. Cats receive up to $100 coupon toward spay/neuter services at most veterinarian clinics.

Escondido Humane Society: escondidohumanesociety.org, 760-888-2249. In April, Escondido Humane Society will begin a partnership with the Neuter Scooter from SNAP for low cost spay/neuter services onsite.

Feral Cat Coalition: feralcat.com, a free trap, spay/neuter and return program to humanely reduce the suffering of homeless cats. (Serving all of San Diego County) Homeless cats only.

San Diego Humane Society and SPCA: sdhumane.org, offers several needs-based, affordable spay and neuter services:

Spay/Neuter Clinics

Designed to provide affordable and accessible spay/neuter opportunities five days aweek based on financial need. The fees for spay/neuter range from $30 to $75, depending on the type/sex of the animal. In addition to this service, the following targeted spay/neuter services are offered:

•Pit Bull Clinic: Free, public spay/neuter for pit bull/pit bull mixed breeds (8 weeks or older) based upon financial need.

ECAR Clinic: Offered in partnership with East County Animal Rescue’s (ECAR) Trap Neuter Release (TNR) program for cats (8 weeks or older and 2 pounds in weight).

•Project KEPPT Clinic: Free, public spay/neuter service, based on financial need for animals 20 pounds or less.

Litter Abatement Program (LAP): Free public spay/neuter service for those who:

•Are relinquishing a litter of puppies or kittens (from their pet)

•Have found a stray litter of kittens and are able to capture the stray parent animal(s)

Spay/Neuter Initiative Program (SNIP): Provides affordable spay/neuter services for stray animals brought to the San Diego Humane Society and reclaimed by their owner.  For these animals, the reclaim fee is waived ($170) if the owner allows them to spay/neuter the animal for the cost of the surgery ($50).  Only offered at the Humane Society’s North Campus location in Oceanside.

For more information on these services, to schedule an appointment, or to verify eligibility, call 619-299-7012.

Cindy Jones is a Ramona resident.

   
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