Written by Becca Gordon
Benefits of Spaying & Neutering
Did you know that spaying and neutering pets prevents and reduces a number of serious and expensive health problems? This includes uterine, ovarian and breast cancer in female cats and dogs. Neutered males also have a reduced chance of prostate cancer.
The spaying and neutering of cats and dogs often prevents or reduces many unwanted behavioural issues such as spraying/marking with male cats, fighting and/or aggression in dogs and the heat cycle which can last 21 days in dogs and anywhere from 3 to 15 days in cats. Heat can be a messy and uncomfortable time for your pet and often attracts male attention that can lead to aggression. Neutering reduces the chance of territorial or sexual aggression.
Overpopulation in the cat community alone is a huge problem. With many females giving birth on the streets. The gestation period is approximately 62 days and female kittens as young as 6 to 7 months can be impregnated . This means cats can have up to 5 litters a year and litters may average 5 kittens or more. Toronto has a wonderful relationship with “street cats” and allows for the management of feral colonies. But the care for these colonies can be taxing on well-meaning individuals who often use their own money and resources to feed, spay/neuter and care for the cats.
Where To Go For Help
Resources, such as spay/neuter clinics, are few and far between in Northern communities where dogs face harsh challenges. They are often seen as a nuisance and sometimes a health risk therefore are treated cruelly or even culled. Many groups travel into these communities to help with medical assistance or rehoming, and we’ve helped to find several Northern dogs new homes. But this overpopulation is a strain on resources and people.
We believe that pets should be spayed or neutered, but we understand not everyone can afford to do it on their own. If this is the case, there are many ways you can seek help including the Snyp Truck which is a city run program or subsidized clinics provided by organizations like the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or Toronto Humane Society.
Some stats from our friends down south:
- Pets provide companionship to 68% of U.S. households
- 2.4 million healthy and adoptable cats and dogs are put down in animal shelters each year due to a lack of critical resources and public awareness
- Nearly 90% of pets living in poverty, and 98% of community (feral and stray) cats are unaltered
- Spaying and neutering has been shown to dramatically reduce the number of animals who are put down in animals shelters
- Programs exist to assist with the cost of spaying or neutering pets living in poverty and community cats (i.e. SNYP Truck in Toronto, SPCAs)