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Spay and Neuter: A Personal Essay
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Please Spay or Neuter ALL of your Petsby Holly M. Burns
When I told my dad that I was very concerned about the pet overpopulation problem, he said to me, "I thought we solved that problem." The sad truth of it is that no mater how much the importance of spaying-and-neutering-your-pets is stressed, we will never solve the pet overpopulation problem. Currently the numbers are staggering. According to the PaLC, for every person that is born, 15 dogs and 45 cats are also born. You do the numbers, there is no way we can find homes for them all.
Just one litter is too much, and litters always seem to slip by. One un-spayed female dog and one un-neutered male dog and their offspring can produce 4,372 puppies in 7 years. For cats it is even worse. One un-spayed female cat and one un-neutered male cat and their offspring results in 420,000 kittens in 7 years. These statistics make me very sad, particularly when I see them first hand at the animal shelter. As lucky as shelter dogs and cats are to be getting full meals and not to be sleeping on the street, or in uncaring and unloving homes, I know they cannot be happy sleeping alone without the creature comforts of a family. And the saddest part is that not all of them will be adopted. There are just too many of them. And as hard as it is to have to put some of them humanely to sleep, what is the alternative? Let them roam the streets, and get hit by cars, or bullied by children, or starved to death?
How can people look into their pet's unconditional loving eyes, and say that its life, and all the lives of their pet buddies, are not worth the money or the time it takes to neuter them? What I like to stress in this essay isn't that I am trying to solve the pet overpopulation problem -- that is just a pipe dream -- but that I am trying to educate people of its existence, and the consequences that dogs and cats face when pets are not spayed or neutered. The best way that we can handle this overpopulation issue is in as many cases as possible, nip this problem in the bud. Have all of your dogs and cats spayed or neutered. That is why I created the Dog Hause Spay and Neuter Information page (http://www.doghause.com/spay.asp). The more people that realize the horrors of this problem and know how they can help minimize it, the better. The more animals that do not have to die needlessly, the better job we all are doing of spreading the word.
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