University of Phoenix
Stop Excessive Euthanizing in Animal Shelters
Animal shelters nationwide euthanize more than four million dogs and cats annually. Many people believe cats and dogs in animal shelters are street animals or something is wrong with them. The fact is most dogs and cats in shelters are the offspring of cherished family pets, even purebreds. Whether a litter is intentional or unintentional, the efforts to find good homes often fail. Spaying and neutering cats and dogs have many health, behavior, and mess benefits. Overcrowded animal shelters, affect us all. Millions of tax dollars are spent to round up lost, abandoned, and unwanted pets. A large percentage of that money is spent to euthanize these pets when homes cannot be found. The solution is to spay and neuter pets at an early age; this not only reduces overcrowding and euthanizing in shelters, but reduces the chances dogs and cats will develop health issues, behavior problems, and messes created by pets going into heat or marking their territory. The most significant health benefit associated with pet sterilizations’ relate to disease of the reproductive system. For female dogs and cats, risk of mammary tumors decrease by having them spayed, and the risk of pyometra, a life threatening uterine infection is completely eliminated. “This is no small victory: Pyometra is prevalent in older female dogs, and tumors in these animals show up most often in the mammary glands. In cats, mammary tumors are malignant 90 percent of the time” (Twining, 2009, p. 51). For male dogs and cats, neutering eliminates the risk of testicular tumors. Prostate disease, another health problem male dogs and cat’s contract is also reduced in likelihood by neutering. Some studies have found a higher incidence of certain conditions, such as hypothyroidism in sterilized animals. These diseases occur less frequently than ones spaying and neutering protect...