Responsible pet owners spay, neuter

Published 10:24 pm Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Bob Barker had a point. To spay and/or neuter your pets indeed helps control the pet population. But instead of interpreting that as preventing more canine or feline lives, consider it as saving them.

Animals that undergo the treatment benefit in a number of physiological ways that create a much better quality of life for the pet and the owner.

Tuesday marked the Chilton County Humane Society’s Spay Day, a national campaign to motivate people to save animals’ lives by taking action. Events are held in honor of Spay Day throughout the month of February.

Humane Society director Joe Murphy said spayed or neutered animals reap undeniable benefits versus those that go unaltered.

On the whole, you’ll get a much more affectionate dog or cat. A truly loving companion makes the process all that much more worthwhile. Your cat will also refrain from spraying in your house, at least not as much as it typically does without the operation. That way, you might save on Febreze and carpet cleaner.

Of course, those results speak to the owner’s quality of life. Take into consideration what the surgery does for the animal. Generally, they’ll lead longer and healthier lives thanks to it. Specifically, it all but eliminates the possibility of uterine and ovarian cancer in females and greatly reduces the risk of breast cancer. Males are less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Owners often perceive spaying or neutering as calming mechanisms that ultimately improve an animal’s behavior. The humane society happily confirms that idea for us. Murphy said the animals have less behavioral and temperament problems and are less likely to bite humans or fight with other animals.

Probably the most important point behind spaying or neutering your pet is reducing the number of unwanted pets animal shelters must find homes for.

Any animal lover hates to think of a shelter’s next step once it cannot find new homes for dogs and cats. If we could take them all in, we would. But we can’t.