Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Ten's of Thousands of Puppies From One Dog; Spay Neuter Awareness

February has been a busy month in terms of pet awareness and action.  We've been communicating about several things throughout the month including Dog Training Education, Pet Dental Health, Spay/Neuter Awareness and Responsible Pet Ownership:

Spay/Neuter Awareness is critical
Me with just one of the hoards of puppies the shelter takes in every year
These are all important things to remind people about.  As a shelter volunteer, the one I probably communicate about the most is Spay/Neuter Awareness.  February is designated Spay/Neuter Awareness Month by the Humane Society of the Unites States (HSUS).

According to the Humane Society:

> The average female dog produces 2 litters per year, each litter containing 6 – 10 puppies. 

> If that one dog remains UNspayed and breeds for six years, that’s 72 to 120 puppies born! 

> If that dog’s offspring also remain UNspayed they could produce tens of thousands of puppies over a 6 year period! 

It's astounding to me that so many people still refuse to spay and neuter their pets.  Even though most shelters offer low cost, free, and mobile spay/neuter services, many people don't do it.  Is it culture, religion, fear, greed (breeding revenue) or just plain stupidity and disregard for animals that causes this resistance?  I wish I had the answer.

Recently, I was talking to my hairdresser about a camping trip she had been on with relatives.  They each brought their dogs on the trip, 3 dogs in total.  She told me that her dog, the only male, had been misbehaving while playing with the females and they had to lock him in the camper. 


We were discussing various reasons why her dog may have been misbehaving when she said one of the dogs was "on her period" and maybe that was the reason.  Seriously?!  One of them brought a dog in heat on a camping trip and let her off leash?! 

Spay/Neuter Awareness.  One unspayed dog could lead to thousands of unwanted puppies
So many unwanted puppies & kittens can be avoided by spaying & neutering
I proceed to ask her why on earth they haven't spayed her.  She doesn't know.  "I think they want to breed her one day" she says.    At that point my nails are digging into the cheap leather armchair as I struggle to maintain my composure.   My lecture begins.  It's one she's heard from me before and one I've given far too many times to way too many people over the years. 

My hairdresser gets it but isn't willing to go up against her half-wit relative to explain why spaying and neutering your pet is so critical and how insanely stupid it is to bring a dog in heat on a camping trip! 

This is many people's reaction.  They spay/neuter their own pets and know it's important but aren't willing to spread the word to the extent that it could alienate friends or relatives who don't get it.


Spaying & neutering dogs can prevent tens of thousands of unwanted puppies
3 of the many pups that enter the shelter daily.  The majority seem to be un-neutered males.
This is why it's so important for us to have continued awareness about the importance of spay/neuter and why we need to keep communicating the message and sharing the facts:

** Spaying and neutering will prevent the enormous number of unwanted puppies and kittens that end up in shelters every day.  People think they will find homes for all the puppies in all the litters their unspayed dog has.  They don’t.  They end up dumping the remaining unadopted  (or unsold) puppies at a shelter, or worse.  Even if they find homes for all the puppies or kittens in one litter, what about all those subsequently born to all their offspring?   

** Neutering reduces the desire to roam, in search of a female in heat.  Roaming contributes to dogs getting lost, hit by cars, or attacked by strange dogs they may encounter.

** Neutering will reduce or eliminate the desire to urine mark and claim territory.  We can all appreciate that!

** Neutering reduces unwarranted aggression in males.  Without the compelling desire to mark, roam, and mate, there is less need to compete with other males.   Dogs will still be protective of their home and family, don't worry about the dog turning into a pussy cat!

** According to the Humane Society, spaying and neutering can reduce several kinds of canine and feline cancers.  A healthier pet means longer life for your beloved pet and fewer vet bills for you.

Sharing these facts with family, friends, on social media, and in other forums is critical in bringing about change.  There are many myths around spay/neuter; see the Humane Society’s web site for a list of myth-busters.

My girl Phoebe arrived at the shelter Un-Spayed, terrified, and in bad shape
If this message resonated with you please Tweet, Pin, or post on Facebook to share it!

Share your thoughts on this topic in the comments, we always love hearing from you!!
 

30 comments:

  1. So important to spay your pups
    Lily & Edward

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  2. Altering is great for the Joe Blow pet owner, but it's not necessary for a responsible pet owner if they don't wish to do it. There are several benefits for delayed altering, especially in larger breeds. Altering also does not cure or prevent most things it claims to. ;)

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    1. I don't see the benefits of not Ever altering your pet. It's very difficult to keep a female in heat from attracting an unaltered male and getting pregnant. Both my sister and a friend of mine had tragic stories following that very thing. I understand the points made about delayed altering of giant breeds, but at some point under 2 yrs. old I feel they should be altered. Either a person is a professional breeder or they're not and if not, there's no reason not to alter in my opinion. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, I really appreciate your input.

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  3. It is beyond stupid to not spay or neuter your pets. I think many people believe it is unmanly to neuter their male dogs. Grrr! You can't fix stupid but you can fix their dogs! BOL!

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    1. LOL! It's true, you can't fix stupid. If a person isn't a professional breeder, there is no reason not to spay/neuter your dog or cat. It boils my blood when guys say "why should I do that to him, I wouldn't want someone to do that to me!" Yes, I've actually heard that one on several occasions!

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  4. This is such a great and important post! I don't understand why people will not spay and neuter?!? And to take a female dog in heat on a camping trip?!? Please...don't get me started....

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    1. I know right!? How dumb are those people to let an unsprayed female run loose on the camp grounds! All I can say is Keep Educating!!

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  5. Great info Cathy. I have a friend who is a backyard breeder and I truthfully hate to see her dogs pregnant. I'm not sure the amount of times a dog should have a litter but it really takes a tremendous toll on the poor dog.

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    2. Oh how awful. A dog shouldn't have more than 2 litters a year at most and shouldn't breed past 5 or 6 years old, it does take a toll on them. Backyard breeders are usually not registered with their state and don't follow state regulations. They usually don't do any genetic testing either. What a shame

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    3. Oh how awful. A dog shouldn't have more than 2 litters a year at most and shouldn't breed past 5 or 6 years old, it does take a toll on them. Backyard breeders are usually not registered with their state and don't follow state regulations. They usually don't do any genetic testing either. What a shame

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  6. I waited until Nelly and Sophie were both over a year before I had them spayed, but I was in a position to make sure they weren't exposed to any male dogs when they were in heat. It seems more than a little crazy to take a dog camping when she is in heat.

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    2. You have to be so careful with a dog in heat, an un- neutered male will go to great lengths to mate & can scent a female in heat from a couple of miles away! There's no benefit or need for a female to go through a heat cycle before being spayed, unless perhaps for giant breeds.

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    3. You have to be so careful with a dog in heat, an un- neutered male will go to great lengths to mate & can scent a female in heat from a couple of miles away! There's no benefit or need for a female to go through a heat cycle before being spayed, unless perhaps for giant breeds.

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  7. Ugh. It's super irresponsible of them to let a dog in heat run around off-leash around other dogs.

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    1. I know, it's ridiculous! Makes me so mad.

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  8. Education is key to this issue. People need to learn what consequences there are. Thank you for Sharing all this information.

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    1. You are so right, Education is the key!

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    2. You are so right, Education is the key!

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  9. Spaying and neutering is so, so important. Getting the word out there is key. Thank you, Cathy, for sharing this info and hopefully more people will understand the importance and long-range positive effects spaying and neutering has. Great post.

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    1. Thank you. Dorothy! I do hope that one day everyone will be responsible & spay/neuter their pets. That one thing will significantly reduce the number of pets that end up in shelters.

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    2. Thank you. Dorothy! I do hope that one day everyone will be responsible & spay/neuter their pets. That one thing will significantly reduce the number of pets that end up in shelters.

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  10. It is kind of mind-boggling when you actually think about just how many puppies one un-spayed female can produce in her lifetime. It's hard enough to educate folks who truly just don't know how important it is to spay and neuter pets but then there are the folks who flat out refuse to do so. I actually met a guy last week who was bragging about the fact that his 10-year old dog wasn't neutered! This is a really important post!

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    1. The numbers really are mind boggling! It's so frustrating that there are still people who just don't get it.

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  11. I want to stand up and yell, "YES" It is so disheartening to everyone who still doesn't get the issues with not spaying or neutering a family pet. I've shared.

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    1. I know right!? So frustrating. Thank you very much for sharing the message, we just have to keep on sharing the message.

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