Often overlooked, the last Tuesday of each February marks World Spay Day. Now you may be thinking, why do we have “World Spay Day” anyways? Well, in short - millions of dogs and cats are euthanized each year due to shelter overcrowding. This is, in part, caused by the overpopulation of companion animals across the world as a result of not spaying/neutering pets. World Spay Day helps to spread awareness about this issue and educate the public on the importance of spaying/neutering pets.
In Los Angeles, it is mandatory to spay/neuter your pet, and all dogs brought to Wags and Walks are spayed/neutered if they were not already. By doing so, we help lower the chance that even more dogs end up in already overcrowded animal shelters, which aids in our mission of saving as many dogs as we can. It also helps to take the spay/neuter burden off of our potential adopters, and we are lucky to have so many great vets and fosters who care for our pups while they are in recovery.
Benefits of Spaying and Neutering Your Pets
Often seen as a financial burden or unnecessary procedure, spaying/neutering your dog actually has significant long-term benefits. The most well known of which is the impact of spay/neuter initiatives on reducing pet homelessness and thus lowering euthanization rates across the world. After all, many people don’t even realize that most of the dogs we find in animal shelters started out as family pets or were born from beloved family pets.
In addition, spaying or neutering your dog could actually help your pup live a longer, healthier life by lowering or entirely eliminating your dog’s chance of developing certain life-threatening cancers and infections, such as prostate or ovarian cancer. Also, spaying/neutering your dog can decrease your pet’s long-term healthcare costs and even reduce those behavioral issues associated with the mating instinct.
So, while that little cone your pup has to wear is a temporary nuisance, the pros of spaying/neutering your dog outweigh the brief period he/she must endure the “cone of shame”. To help you make an informed decision, organizations like the ASPCA, American Humane Society and American Veterinary Medical Association provide extensive research and information on the pros/cons of spaying/neutering.
“Happy World Spay Day!” may not be a common conversation starter, but spreading the knowledge of its benefits and impacts could help save dogs across the world. As more awareness is raised, more resources are put towards increasing the number of low-cost (and safe) spay/neuter clinics opened across America, which makes it easier for all pet owners to affordably and safely spay/neuter their dogs.